Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Proposed Text

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Action:
Periodic review
Stage: Proposed
8/16/19  9:47 AM

Part I
General Provisions

18VAC112-20-10. Definitions.

In addition to the words and terms defined in § 54.1-3473 of the Code of Virginia, the following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Active practice" means a minimum of 160 320 hours of professional practice as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant within the 24-month 48-month period immediately preceding renewal. Active practice may include supervisory, administrative, educational or consultative activities or responsibilities for the delivery of such services.

"Approved program" means an educational program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association CAPTE.

"Assessment tool" means oPTion or any other self-directed assessment tool approved by FSBPT.

"CAPTE" means the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association.

"CLEP" means the College Level Examination Program.

"Contact hour" means 60 minutes of time spent in continuing learning activity exclusive of breaks, meals or vendor exhibits.

"Direct supervision" means a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant is physically present and immediately available and is fully responsible for the physical therapy tasks or activities being performed.

"Discharge" means the discontinuation of interventions in an episode of care that have been provided in an unbroken sequence in a single practice setting and related to the physical therapy interventions for a given condition or problem.

"Encounter" means an interaction between a patient and a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant for the purpose of providing healthcare services or assessing the health and therapeutic status of a patient.

"Evaluation" means a process in which the physical therapist makes clinical judgments based on data gathered during an examination or screening in order to plan and implement a treatment intervention, provide preventive care, reduce risks of injury and impairment, or provide for consultation.

"FCCPT" means the Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy.

"FSBPT" means the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

"General supervision" means a physical therapist shall be available for consultation.

"National examination" means the examinations developed and administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy and approved by the board for licensure as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant.

"Reevaluation" means a process in which the physical therapist makes clinical judgments based on data gathered during an examination or screening in order to determine a patient's response to the treatment plan and care provided.

"Support personnel" means a person who is performing designated routine tasks related to physical therapy under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant within the scope of this chapter.

"TOEFL" means the Test of English as a Foreign Language.

"Trainee" means a person seeking licensure as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who is undergoing a traineeship.

"Traineeship" means a period of active clinical practice during which an applicant for licensure as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant works under the direct supervision of a physical therapist approved by the board.

"TSE" means the Test of Spoken English.

"Type 1" means continuing learning activities offered by an approved organization as specified in 18VAC112-20-131.

"Type 2" means continuing learning activities which may or may not be offered by an approved organization but shall be activities considered by the learner to be beneficial to practice or to continuing learning.

18VAC112-20-25. Current name and address.

Each licensee shall furnish the board his current name and address of record. All notices required by law or by this chapter to be given by the board to any licensee shall be validly given when mailed sent to the latest address of record provided or when served to the licensee. Any change of name or change in the address of record or the public address, if different from the address of record, shall be furnished to the board within 30 days of such change.

18VAC112-20-50. Education requirements: graduates of schools not approved by an accrediting agency approved by the board.

A. An applicant for initial licensure as a physical therapist who is a graduate of a school not approved by an accrediting agency approved by the board shall submit the required application and fee and provide documentation of the physical therapist's certification by a report from the FCCPT or of the physical therapist eligibility for licensure as verified by a report from any other credentialing agency approved by the board that substantiates that the physical therapist has been evaluated in accordance with requirements of subsection B of this section.

B. The board shall only approve a credentialing agency that:

1. Utilizes the FSBPT Coursework Evaluation Tool for Foreign Educated Physical Therapists, based on the year of graduation as required to sit for FSBPT examination, and utilizes original source documents to establish substantial equivalency to an approved physical therapy program;

2. Conducts a review of any license or registration held by the physical therapist in any country or jurisdiction to ensure that the license or registration is current and unrestricted or was unrestricted at the time it expired or was lapsed; and

3. Verifies English language proficiency by passage of the TOEFL and TSE examination or the TOEFL iBT, the Internet-based tests of listening, reading, speaking and writing or by review of evidence that the applicant's physical therapy program was taught in English or that the native tongue of the applicant's nationality is English.

C. An applicant for licensure as a physical therapist assistant who is a graduate of a school not approved by the board shall submit with the required application and fee the following:

1. Proof of proficiency in the English language by passing TOEFL and TSE or the TOEFL iBT, the Internet-based tests of listening, reading, speaking, and writing by a score determined by the board or an equivalent examination approved by the board. TOEFL iBT or TOEFL and TSE may be waived upon evidence that the applicant's physical therapist assistant program was taught in English or that the native tongue of the applicant's nationality is English.

2. A copy of the original certificate or diploma that has been certified as a true copy of the original by a notary public, verifying his graduation from a physical therapy curriculum. If the certificate or diploma is not in the English language, submit either:

a. An English translation of such certificate or diploma by a qualified translator other than the applicant; or

b. An official certification in English from the school attesting to the applicant's attendance and graduation date.

3. Verification of the equivalency of the applicant's education to the educational requirements of an approved program for physical therapist assistants from a scholastic credentials service approved by the board and based upon the FSBPT coursework tool for physical therapist assistants.

D. An applicant for initial licensure as a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant who is not a graduate of an approved program shall also submit verification of having successfully completed a 1,000-hour traineeship within a two-year period under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. The board may grant an extension beyond two years for circumstances beyond the control of the applicant, such as temporary disability, officially declared disasters, or mandatory military service.

1. The traineeship shall be in accordance with requirements in 18VAC112-20-140.

2. The traineeship requirements of this part may be waived if the applicant for a license can verify, in writing, the successful completion of one year of clinical physical therapy practice as a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in the United States, its territories, the District of Columbia, or Canada, equivalent to the requirements of this chapter.

18VAC112-20-65. Requirements for licensure by endorsement.

A. A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who holds a current, unrestricted license in the United States, its territories, the District of Columbia, or Canada may be licensed in Virginia by endorsement.

B. An applicant for licensure by endorsement shall submit:

1. Documentation of having met the educational requirements prescribed in 18VAC112-20-40 or 18VAC112-20-50. In lieu of meeting such requirements, an applicant may provide evidence of clinical practice consisting of at least 2,500 hours of patient care during the five years immediately preceding application for licensure in Virginia with a current, unrestricted license issued by another U.S. jurisdiction or Canadian province;

2. The required application, fees, and credentials to the board;

3. A current report from the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB) National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB);

4. Evidence of completion of 15 hours of continuing education for each year in which the applicant held a license in another U.S. jurisdiction or Canada, or 60 hours obtained within the past four years;

5. Documentation of passage of an examination equivalent to the Virginia examination at the time of initial licensure or documentation of passage of an examination required by another state or Canadian province at the time of initial licensure in that state or province; and

6. Documentation of active practice in physical therapy in another U.S. jurisdiction or Canada for at least 320 hours within the four years immediately preceding his application for licensure. A physical therapist who does not meet the active practice requirement shall:

a. Successfully successfully complete 320 hours in a traineeship in accordance with requirements in 18VAC112-20-140; or

b. Document that he attained at least Level 2 on the FSBPT assessment tool within the two years preceding application for licensure in Virginia and successfully complete 160 hours in a traineeship in accordance with the requirements in 18VAC112-20-140.

C. A physical therapist assistant seeking licensure by endorsement who has not actively practiced physical therapy for at least 320 hours within the four years immediately preceding his application for licensure shall successfully complete 320 hours in a traineeship in accordance with the requirements in 18VAC112-20-140.

18VAC112-20-70. Traineeship for unlicensed graduate scheduled to sit for the national examination.

A. Upon approval of the president of the board or his designee, an unlicensed graduate who is registered with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy to sit for the national examination may be employed as a trainee under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist until the results of the national examination are received.

B. The traineeship, which shall be in accordance with requirements in 18VAC112-20-140, shall terminate two five working days following receipt by the candidate of the licensure examination results.

C. The unlicensed graduate may reapply for a new traineeship while awaiting to take the next examination, provided he has registered to retake the examination. A new traineeship shall not be approved for if more than one year has passed following the receipt of the first examination results. An unlicensed graduate who has passed the examination may be granted a new traineeship for the period between passage of  the examination and granting of a license.  An unlicensed graduate shall not be granted more than three traineeships within the one year following the receipt of the first examination results.

18VAC112-20-90. General responsibilities.

A. The physical therapist shall be responsible for managing all aspects of the physical therapy care of each patient and shall provide:

1. The initial evaluation for each patient and its documentation in the patient record;

2. Periodic reevaluation, including documentation of the patient's response to therapeutic intervention; and

3. The documented status of the patient at the time of discharge, including the response to therapeutic intervention. If a patient is discharged from a health care facility without the opportunity for the physical therapist to reevaluate the patient, the final note in the patient record may document patient status.

B. The physical therapist shall communicate the overall plan of care to the patient or his legally authorized representative and shall also communicate with a referring doctor of medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic, podiatry, or dental surgery, nurse practitioner or physician assistant to the extent required by § 54.1-3482 of the Code of Virginia.

C. A physical therapist assistant may assist the physical therapist in performing selected components of physical therapy intervention to include treatment, measurement and data collection, but not to include the performance of an evaluation as defined in 18VAC112-20-10.

D. A physical therapist assistant's visits to encounters with a patient may be made under general supervision.

E. A physical therapist providing services with a direct access certification as specified in § 54.1-3482 of the Code of Virginia shall utilize the Direct Access Patient Attestation and Medical Release Form prescribed by the board or otherwise include in the patient record the information, attestation and written consent required by subsection B of § 54.1-3482 of the Code of Virginia.

18VAC112-20-100. Supervisory responsibilities.

A. A physical therapist shall be fully responsible for any action of persons performing physical therapy functions under the physical therapist's supervision or direction.

B. Support personnel shall only perform routine assigned physical therapy tasks under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist or a licensed physical therapist assistant, who shall only assign those tasks or activities that are nondiscretionary and do not require the exercise of professional judgment.

C. A physical therapist shall provide direct supervision to no more than three individual trainees or students at any one time.

D. A physical therapist shall provide direct supervision to a student in an approved program who is satisfying clinical educational requirements in physical therapy. A physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant shall provide direct supervision to a student in an approved program for physical therapist assistants.

E.  A physical therapist shall provide direct supervision to a student who is satisfying clinical educational requirements in physical therapy in a non-approved physical therapist program that has been granted the Candidate for Accreditation status from CAPTE.  Either a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant shall provide direct supervision to a student who is satisfying clinical education requirements in a non-approved physical therapist assistant program that has been granted the Candidate for Accreditation status from CAPTE.

18VAC112-20-120. Responsibilities to patients.

A. The initial patient visit encounter shall be made by the physical therapist for evaluation of the patient and establishment of a plan of care.

B. The physical therapist assistant's first visit encounter with the patient shall only be made after verbal or written communication with the physical therapist regarding patient status and plan of care. Documentation of such communication shall be made in the patient's record.

C. Documentation of physical therapy interventions shall be recorded on a patient's record by the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant providing the care.

D. The physical therapist shall reevaluate the patient as needed, but not less than according to the following schedules:

1. For inpatients in hospitals as defined in § 32.1-123 of the Code of Virginia, it shall be not less than once every seven consecutive days.

2. For patients in other settings, it shall be not less than one of 12 visits made to the patient during a 30-day period, or once every 30 days from the last reevaluation, whichever occurs first.

3. For patients who have been receiving physical therapy care for the same condition or injury for six months or longer, it shall be at least every 90 days from the last reevaluation.

Failure to abide by this subsection due to the absence of the physical therapist in case of illness, vacation, or professional meeting, for a period not to exceed five consecutive days, will not constitute a violation of these provisions.

E. The physical therapist shall be responsible for ongoing involvement in the care of the patient to include regular communication with a physical therapist assistant regarding the patient's plan of treatment.

18VAC112-20-130. Biennial renewal of license.

A. A physical therapist and physical therapist assistant who intends to continue practice shall renew his license biennially by December 31 in each even-numbered year and pay to the board the renewal fee prescribed in 18VAC112-20-27.

B. A licensee whose licensure has not been renewed by the first day of the month following the month in which renewal is required shall pay a late fee as prescribed in 18VAC112-20-27.

C. In order to renew an active license, a licensee shall be required to:

1. Complete a minimum of 160 320 hours of active practice in the preceding two four years; and

2. Comply with continuing competency requirements set forth in 18VAC112-20-131.

D.  The board may grant an extension of the deadline for completing active practice requirements for up to one year for good cause shown upon a written request from the licensee prior to the renewal date.

E.  The board may grant an exemption to the active practice requirement for circumstances beyond the control of the licensee, such as temporary disability, mandatory military service, or officially declared disaster, upon a written request from the licensee prior to the renewal date.

18VAC112-20-131. Continued competency requirements for renewal of an active license.

A. In order to renew an active license biennially, a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant shall complete at least 30 contact hours of continuing learning activities within the two years immediately preceding renewal. In choosing continuing learning activities or courses, the licensee shall consider the following: (i) the need to promote ethical practice, (ii) an appropriate standard of care, (iii) patient safety, (iv) application of new medical technology, (v) appropriate communication with patients, and (vi) knowledge of the changing health care system.

B. To document the required hours, the licensee shall maintain the Continued Competency Activity and Assessment Form that is provided by the board and that shall indicate completion of the following:

1. A minimum of 20 of the contact hours required for physical therapists and 15 of the contact hours required for physical therapist assistants shall be in Type 1 courses. For the purpose of this section, "course" means an organized program of study, classroom experience or similar educational experience that is directly related to the clinical practice of physical therapy and approved or provided by one of the following organizations or any of its components:

a. The Virginia Physical Therapy Association;

b. The American Physical Therapy Association;

c. Local, state, or federal government agencies;

d. Regionally accredited colleges and universities;

e. Health care organizations accredited by a national accrediting organization granted authority by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to assure compliance with Medicare conditions of participation;

f. The American Medical Association - Category I Continuing Medical Education course;

g. The National Athletic Trainers' Association; or

h. The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy;

i. The National Strength and Conditioning Association; or

j. Providers approved by other state licensing boards for physical therapy.

One credit hour of a college course shall be considered the equivalent of 15 contact hours of Type 1 continuing education.

2. No more than 10 of the contact hours required for physical therapists and 15 of the contact hours required for physical therapist assistants may be Type 2 activities or courses, which may or may not be offered by an approved organization but which shall be related to the clinical practice of physical therapy. For the purposes of this subdivision, Type 2 activities may include:

a. consultation Consultation with colleagues, independent study, and research or writing on subjects related to practice.

b. Up to two of the Type 2 continuing education hours may be satisfied through delivery Delivery of physical therapy services, without compensation, to low-income individuals receiving services through a local health department or a free clinic organized in whole or primarily for the delivery of health services for up to two of the Type 2 hours.

c. Up to two of the Type 2 continuing education hours may be satisfied by attendance Attendance at a meeting of the board or disciplinary proceeding conducted by the board for up to two of the Type 2 hours.

d. Classroom instruction of workshops or courses.

d. Clinical supervision of students and research and preparation for the clinical supervision experience.

Forty hours of clinical supervision or instruction shall be considered the equivalent of one contact hour of Type 2 activity.

3. Documentation of specialty certification by the American Physical Therapy Association may be provided as evidence of completion of continuing competency requirements for the biennium in which initial certification or recertification occurs.

4. Documentation of graduation from a transitional doctor of physical therapy program may be provided as evidence of completion of continuing competency requirements for the biennium in which the physical therapist was awarded the degree.

5. A physical therapist who can document that he attained at least Level 2 on the FSBPT assessment tool may receive five hours of Type 1 credit for the biennium in which the assessment tool was taken. A physical therapist who can document that he attained at least Level 3 or 4 on the FSBPT assessment tool may receive 10 hours of Type 1 credit for the biennium in which the assessment tool was taken. Continuing competency credit shall only be granted for the FSBPT assessment tool once every four years.

C. A licensee shall be exempt from the continuing competency requirements for the first biennial renewal following the date of initial licensure by examination in Virginia.

D. The licensee shall retain his records on the completed form with all supporting documentation for a period of four years following the renewal of an active license.

E. The licensees selected in a random audit conducted by the board shall provide the completed Continued Competency Activity and Assessment Form and all supporting documentation within 30 days of receiving notification of the audit.

F. Failure to comply with these requirements may subject the licensee to disciplinary action by the board.

G. The board may grant an extension of the deadline for continuing competency requirements for up to one year for good cause shown upon a written request from the licensee prior to the renewal date.

H. The board may grant an exemption for all or part of the requirements for circumstances beyond the control of the licensee, such as temporary disability, mandatory military service, or officially declared disasters, upon a written request from the licensee prior to the renewal date.

18VAC112-20-135. Inactive license.

A. A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who holds a current, unrestricted license in Virginia shall, upon a request on the renewal application and submission of the required renewal fee, be issued an inactive license.

1. The holder of an inactive license shall not be required to meet active practice requirements.

2. An inactive licensee shall not be entitled to perform any act requiring a license to practice physical therapy in Virginia.

B. A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who holds an inactive license may reactivate his license by:

1. Paying the difference between the renewal fee for an inactive license and that of an active license for the biennium in which the license is being reactivated;

2. Providing proof of 320 active practice hours in another any jurisdiction in which the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant was licensed for active practice within the four years immediately preceding application for reactivation.

a. If the inactive physical therapist licensee does not meet the requirement for active practice, the license may be reactivated by completing 320 hours in a traineeship that meets the requirements prescribed in 18VAC112-20-140 or documenting that he has attained at least Level 2 on the FSBPT assessment tool within the two years preceding application for reactivation of licensure in Virginia and successfully completing 160 hours in a traineeship in accordance with requirements in 18VAC112-20-140.

b. If the inactive physical therapist assistant licensee does not meet the requirement for active practice, the license may be reactivated by completing 320 hours in a traineeship that meets the requirements prescribed in 18VAC112-20-140; and

3. Completing the number of continuing competency hours required for the period in which the license has been inactive, not to exceed four years.

18VAC112-20-136. Reinstatement requirements.

A. A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant whose Virginia license is lapsed for two years or less may reinstate his license by payment of the renewal and late fees as set forth in 18VAC112-20-27 and completion of continued competency requirements as set forth in 18VAC112-20-131.

B. A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant whose Virginia license is lapsed for more than two years and who is seeking reinstatement shall:

1. Apply for reinstatement and pay the fee specified in 18VAC112-20-27;

2. Complete the number of continuing competency hours required for the period in which the license has been lapsed, not to exceed four years; and

3. Have actively practiced physical therapy in another any jurisdiction in which the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant was licensed for active practice for at least 320 hours within the four years immediately preceding applying for reinstatement.

a. If a physical therapist licensee does not meet the requirement for active practice, the license may be reinstated by completing 320 hours in a traineeship that meets the requirements prescribed in 18VAC112-20-140 or documenting that he has attained at least Level 2 on the FSBPT assessment tool within the two years preceding application for licensure in Virginia and successfully completing 160 hours in a traineeship in accordance with requirements in 18VAC112-20-140.

b. If a physical therapist assistant licensee does not meet the requirement for active practice, the license may be reinstated by completing 320 hours in a traineeship that meets the requirements prescribed in 18VAC112-20-140.

18VAC112-20-140. Traineeship requirements.

A. The traineeship shall be approved by the board and served under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist.

B. Supervision and identification of trainees:

1. There shall be a limit of two physical therapists assigned to provide supervision for each trainee.

2. The supervising physical therapist shall countersign patient documentation (i.e., notes, records, charts) for services provided by a trainee.

3. The trainee shall wear identification designating them as a "physical therapist trainee" or a "physical therapist assistant trainee."

C. Completion of traineeship.

1. The physical therapist supervising the trainee shall submit a report to the board at the end of the required number of hours on forms supplied by the board.

2. If the traineeship is not successfully completed at the end of the required hours, as determined by the supervising physical therapist, the president of the board or his designee shall determine if a new traineeship shall commence. If the president of the board determines that a new traineeship shall not commence, then the application for licensure shall be denied.

3. The second traineeship may be served under a different supervising physical therapist and may be served in a different organization than the initial traineeship. If the second traineeship is not successfully completed, as determined by the supervising physical therapist, then the application for licensure shall be denied.