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§ 1309.1. Physical therapist assistant; education and examination; scope of duties; certificati...

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 63 P.S. Professions and Occupations (State Licensed)Effective: October 2, 2008

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 63 P.S. Professions and Occupations (State Licensed) (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 27. Physical Therapy Practice Act (Refs & Annos)
Effective: October 2, 2008
63 P.S. § 1309.1
§ 1309.1. Physical therapist assistant; education and examination; scope of duties; certification
(a) To be eligible for certification by the board as a physical therapist assistant, an applicant must be at least 18 years of age unless otherwise determined by the board, be of good moral character, not be addicted to the habitual use of alcohol or narcotics or other habit-forming drugs, be a graduate of a physical therapist assistant program adopted by the board, which program has been approved for the education and training for physical therapist assistants by the appropriate nationally recognized accrediting agency and be successful in passing an examination approved by the board, subject to rules and regulations established by the board and administered in accordance with section 812.11 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L. 177, No. 175), known as “The Administrative Code of 1929.” Applicants eligible to register with the board shall be deemed eligible for certification by the board until such time as the board promulgates any regulation regarding certification. No applicant shall be certified unless he has attained passing scores established by the board and published prior to the administration of the examination.
(a.1) Upon the submission of an application, as provided by the board, the board shall issue a temporary certificate to an applicant for certification who has met all of the requirements of subsection (a) and who is eligible to take the examination provided for in subsection (a). The board shall issue only one temporary certificate to an applicant, and the temporary certificate shall expire upon failure of the first examination or six months after the date of issue, whichever first occurs. Issuance by the board of a temporary certificate shall permit the applicant to provide physical therapy acts and services only while under the direct on-premises supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Upon expiration, the temporary certificate shall be promptly returned by the applicant to the board.
(b) In case of failure of the first examination, the applicant for certification shall have, after the expiration of 60 days and within one year from the first failure, the privilege of a second examination. The board may adopt regulations governing the eligibility of applicants who have failed to pass two examinations in order to be admitted to subsequent examinations.
(c) A physical therapist assistant while assisting a licensed physical therapist in the practice of physical therapy shall only perform patient-related physical therapy acts and services that are assigned or delegated by and under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Such acts and services of a physical therapist assistant shall not include evaluation, testing, interpretation, planning or modification of patient programs. For purposes of this section the term “supervision” means as follows:
(1) In all practice settings, the performance of selected acts and services by the physical therapist assistant shall be:
(i) The responsibility of the licensed physical therapist at all times.
(ii) Based on the following factors:
(A) Complexity and acuity of the patient's needs.
(B) Proximity and accessibility of the licensed physical therapist to the certified physical therapist assistant.
(C) Supervision available in the event of an emergency or critical event.
(D) Type of practice setting in which the service is provided.
(2) In all practice settings, the initial patient contact shall be made by a licensed physical therapist for evaluation of the patient and establishment of a plan of care.
(3) Supervision requirements of a physical therapist assistant shall be dependent upon the practice setting in which the care is delivered:
(i) When care is delivered to an individual in an acute care hospital, acute inpatient rehabilitation center, long-term acute care hospital facility setting or as otherwise required by Federal or State law or regulation, the physical therapist assistant shall be under the direct on-premises supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
(ii) When care is provided to an individual in a preschool, primary school, secondary school or other similar educational setting, a licensed physical therapist shall make an onsite visit and examine the patient at least every four patient visits or every 30 days, whichever shall occur first.
(iii) When care is provided to a patient in a physical therapy independent private practice outpatient facility, a licensed physical therapist shall provide direct on-premises supervision of a physical therapist assistant for at least 50% of the hours worked by the physical therapist assistant during the calendar week unless otherwise required by Federal law, and the physical therapist shall be immediately available by telecommunication if not providing direct on-premises supervision.
(iv) For any home health care, facility or practice setting not specified in subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii), a licensed physical therapist shall make an onsite visit and actively participate in the treatment of the patient at least every seven patient visits or every 14 days, whichever shall occur first. The board shall review and make recommendations to the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee of the Senate and to the Professional Licensure Committee of the House of Representatives relating to the implementation of this paragraph three years following the effective date of this paragraph.2
(4) In all practice settings, a physical therapist assistant shall be under the direct on-premises supervision of a licensed physical therapist until the physical therapist assistant submits for approval evidence satisfactory to the board of:
(i) at least 2,000 hours of experience providing patient-related acts and services verified by a supervising licensed physical therapist; or
(ii) employment as a physical therapist assistant for at least three of the five years immediately preceding the effective date of this paragraph.3
(5) Upon compliance with paragraph (4), a physical therapist assistant may only provide physical therapy acts and services when the licensed physical therapist is available and accessible in person or by telecommunication to the physical therapist assistant during all working hours of the physical therapist assistant and is present within a 100-mile radius of the treatment location. A physical therapist assistant shall consult with the supervising physical therapist in the event of a change in the patient's condition which may require the assessment of a licensed physical therapist.
(6) A licensed physical therapist shall not supervise more than three physical therapist assistants at any time.
(7) In the event of a change of the supervising licensed physical therapist, the subsequent supervisor shall assume responsibility for the ongoing supervision of any certified physical therapist assistant providing physical therapy acts and services and shall become the supervising physical therapist.
(d) Only an individual who has been properly certified as a physical therapist assistant with the board, pursuant to the provisions of this section and rules and regulations promulgated by the board thereto, shall assist a licensed physical therapist in the practice of physical therapy as a physical therapist assistant and use the title “physical therapist assistant” and the abbreviation “PTA.” Until such time as the board promulgates rules and regulations, an individual who is properly registered with the board shall be deemed certified for the purposes of this section.
(e) Deleted by 2008, July 4, P.L. 293, No. 38, § 9, effective in 90 days [Oct. 2, 2008].
(f) The board shall issue, renew, revoke or suspend the certification of physical therapist assistants pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the board. All actions of the board shall be taken subject to the right of notice, hearing and adjudication and the right of appeal therefrom in accordance with Title 2 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (relating to administrative law and procedure).
(g) Unless ordered to do so by a court, the board shall not reinstate the certification of an individual to practice as a physical therapist assistant which has been revoked, and such individual shall be required to apply for certification after a five-year period in accordance with the provisions of this section, including the examination requirement, if he desires to practice at any time after such revocation.
(h) A physical therapist assistant may not authorize the discharge of a patient from physical therapy services.
(i) In an emergency situation, such as serious illness or death of a family member, which causes the unanticipated absence of the supervising physical therapist for not more than two days per month, a certified physical therapist assistant may continue to render services to only those patients for which the certified physical therapist assistant has previously participated in the intervention for established plans of care not to exceed the regularly scheduled operational hours of the particular day or days the supervising physical therapist is absent. Every effort shall be made by the licensed physical therapist or certified physical therapist assistant to obtain supervision in the care described in this subsection. A licensee utilizing this section shall maintain a written record noting the date and the emergency, which shall be available for board review, and shall submit a report to the board biennially setting forth each day absent under this paragraph and the reason for such absence. A licensed physical therapist may utilize this emergency provision no more than ten days per calendar year.
(j) For each certificate renewal, a certificate holder shall complete within the immediately preceding two-year period at least 30 hours of continuing physical therapy education as approved by the board in accordance with standards and criteria established by the board by regulation. The certificate holder shall provide the board with evidence of the completion of the continuing education. The current rules and regulations shall remain in effect until such time as the board establishes by regulations, standards and criteria relating to continuing physical therapy education for certified physical therapist assistants and physical therapists.

Credits

1975, Oct. 10, P.L. 383, No. 110, § 9.1, added 1985, Dec. 20, P.L.500, No. 117, § 4, effective Jan. 1, 1986. Amended 2008, July 4, P.L. 293, No. 38, § 9, effective in 90 days [Oct. 2, 2008].

Footnotes

71 P.S. § 279.3a.
Subsec. (c)(3)(iv) added effective Oct. 2, 2008.
Subsec. (c)(4)(ii) added effective Oct. 2, 2008.
63 P.S. § 1309.1, PA ST 63 P.S. § 1309.1
Current through 2022 Regular Session Act 96. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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