About Physiatry

Role of Rehab Highlighted at AAPM&R-Sponsored Congressional Briefing

AAPM&R is proud to report on this groundbreaking opportunity to enhance awareness of the specialty of PM&R and highlight the work of Academy members.

On June 23, 2011, a Capitol Hill briefing was held to focus on the value of rehabilitation. AAPM&R was represented at the meeting by Gerard E. Francisco, MD, who is chief medical officer at TIRR Memorial Hermann; chairman of PM&R and the director of the brain injury fellowship at the University of Texas at Houston; and the attending rehabilitation physician for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The briefing was sponsored by AAPM&R and assembled by Peter W. Thomas, JD, the Academy’s legal counsel, who helped design the agenda to illustrate the positive impact rehabilitation can have on the health, functional status, and ability of Americans with disabilities to live independently in their homes and communities.

View this YouTube video clip of the briefing to hear Dr. Francisco's comments during the briefing:


The briefing included discussion of:

  • Rehabilitation as an essential health benefit
  • Giffords’ treatment as a prime example of the value of rehabilitation
  • The impact of rehabilitation and habilitation services and therapies as well as durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and other assistive devices
  • Cost-benefit of states reducing Medicaid coverage of rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation’s impact on injured military and veterans

The briefing was co-sponsored by the Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid Coalition, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Health Task Force, and the Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation (AAPM&R is a member of these three groups) in collaboration with the Bipartisan House Disabilities Caucus.