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Feb. 6 2008 12:00 AM

Because of recent and ongoing anti-competitive actions taken by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) has filed a civil lawsuit against APTA in Dallas, Texas. The suit is based on alleged violations of federal antitrust laws. 


The most recent anticompetitive action by the APTA is related to its efforts to restrict our members access to education in and the practice of manual therapy techniques, which are consistent with athletic training competencies, scope of practice and licensure. This type of action is simply an attempt by the APTA to prevent certified athletic trainers from competing fairly with physical therapists when it comes to providing physical medicine and rehabilitation services.


NATA President Chuck Kimmel released this statement:


As athletic trainers, who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses, we expect to practice in settings and situations consistent with our training, education and state licenses. Certified athletic trainers work under the direction of physicians. When a physician believes an athletic trainer is the best choice to care for a patient, we believe the athletic trainer should be allowed to do so.


NATA had no choice but to take this step to protect its members right to fairly compete and practice in the marketplace. NATA tried to work through these issues with the APTA; however, the APTA response to our concerns was unsatisfactory and dismissive of the issues NATA raised. NATA has indicated its willingness to meet with APTA in the future to discuss resolution of these issues.


Only after a great deal of study and careful consideration did NATA decide to bring legal action. We have never attempted to restrict the practice of other professions. We believe others should not try to restrict ours.


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