SENATE BILL 6263
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1992 Regular Session
By Senators West and McMullen
Read first time 01/23/92. Referred to Committee on Health & Long‑Term Care.
AN ACT Relating to licensure of physical therapist assistants who are supervised by physical therapists; amending RCW 18.74.010, 18.74.020, 18.74.027, 18.74.060, 18.74.070, and 18.74.090; reenacting and amending RCW 18.74.023; and adding new sections to chapter 18.74 RCW.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. RCW 18.74.010 and 1991 c 12 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
Unless the context otherwise requires, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "Board" means the board of physical therapy created by RCW 18.74.020.
(2) "Department" means the department of health.
(3) "Physical therapy" means the treatment of any bodily or mental condition of any person by the use of the physical, chemical, and other properties of heat, cold, air, light, water, electricity, sound, massage, and therapeutic exercise, which includes posture and rehabilitation procedures; the performance of tests and measurements of neuromuscular function as an aid to the diagnosis or treatment of any human condition; performance of treatments on the basis of test findings after consultation with and periodic review by an authorized health care practitioner except as provided in RCW 18.74.012; supervision of selective forms of treatment by trained supportive personnel; and provision of consultative services for health, education, and community agencies. The use of Roentgen rays and radium for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, the use of electricity for surgical purposes, including cauterization, and the use of spinal manipulation or manipulative mobilization of the spine and its immediate articulations, are not included under the term "physical therapy" as used in this chapter.
(4) "Physical therapist" means a person who practices physical therapy as defined in this chapter but does not include massage operators as defined in RCW 18.108.010.
(5) "Physical therapist assistant" means:
(a) A person under the indirect supervision of a licensed physical therapist who assists in the practice of physical therapy and who is licensed pursuant to this chapter;
(b) A person who has graduated from an approved school of physical therapy within the preceding twelve months; or
(c) A person who has graduated from an approved school of physical therapy and who has been a resident of this state less than twelve months.
(6) "Indirect supervision" of a physical therapist assistant means that a supervising physical therapist:
(a) Initially evaluates each patient;
(b) Interprets all referrals received from other health care providers;
(c) Plans each patient's treatment program and determines which elements can be delegated;
(d) Provides periodic reevaluation of the treatment program and the assistant's performance in relation to the patient;
(e) Performs discharge planning; and
(f) Provides either written or oral instructions for treatment of the patient by the assistant, but is not required to be on the physical premises.
(7) "Secretary" means the secretary of health.
(8) Words importing the masculine gender may be applied to females.
(9) "Authorized health care practitioner" means and includes
licensed physicians, osteopathic physicians, chiropractors, naturopaths, (( podiatrists))
podiatric physicians and surgeons, and dentists: PROVIDED, HOWEVER,
That nothing herein shall be construed as altering the scope of practice of
such practitioners as defined in their respective licensure laws.
Sec. 2. RCW 18.74.020 and 1991 c 3 s 174 are each amended to read as follows:
state board of physical therapy is hereby created. The board shall consist of
five)) seven members who shall be appointed by the governor.
Of the initial appointments, two shall be appointed for a term of two years,
two for a term of three years, and one for a term of four years. Thereafter,
all appointments shall be for terms of four years. (( Four)) Five
members of the board shall be physical therapists licensed under this chapter
and residing in this state, shall have not less than five years' experience in
the practice of physical therapy, and shall be actively engaged in practice
within two years of appointment. One member of the board shall be a
physical therapist assistant. The (( fifth)) seventh member
shall be appointed from the public at large, shall have an interest in the
rights of consumers of health services, and shall not be or have been a member
of any other licensing board, a licensee of any health occupation board, an
employee of any health facility nor derive his or her primary livelihood from
the provision of health services at any level of responsibility. In the event
that a member of the board for any reason cannot complete his or her term of
office, another appointment shall be made by the governor in accordance with
the procedure stated above to fill the remainder of the term. No member may
serve for more than two successive four-year terms. To the maximum extent
practicable, the members of the board shall reflect different practice
settings, physical therapy specialties, geographic regions of the state, and
diverse ethnic heritage.
The secretary of health shall furnish such secretarial, clerical and other assistance as the board may require. Each member of the board shall, in addition to travel expenses in accordance with RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060, be compensated in accordance with RCW 43.03.240.
Sec. 3. RCW 18.74.023 and 1991 c 12 s 3 and 1991 c 3 s 175 are each reenacted and amended to read as follows:
The board has the following powers and duties:
(1) To administer examinations to applicants for a license under this chapter.
(2) To pass upon the qualifications of applicants for a license and to certify to the secretary duly qualified applicants.
(3) To make such rules not inconsistent with the laws of this state as may be deemed necessary or proper to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
(4) To establish and administer requirements for continuing competency, which shall be a prerequisite to renewing a license under this chapter.
(5) To keep an official record of all its proceedings, which record shall be evidence of all proceedings of the board which are set forth therein.
(6) To adopt rules not inconsistent with the laws of this state, when it deems appropriate, in response to questions put to it by professional health associations, physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and consumers in this state concerning the authority of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to perform particular acts.
Sec. 4. RCW 18.74.027 and 1983 c 116 s 5 are each amended to read as follows:
board shall elect from its members a chairperson and vice
chairperson-secretary, who shall serve for one year and until their successors
are elected. The board shall meet at least once a year and upon the call of
the chairperson at such times and places as the chairperson designates. ((
Four members constitute a quorum of the full board for the transaction
of any business. Meetings of the board shall be open and public, except the
board may hold executive sessions to the extent permitted by chapter 42.30 RCW.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. A new section is added to chapter 18.74 RCW to read as follows:
An applicant for a license as a physical therapist assistant shall have the following qualifications:
(1) Be of good moral character; and
(2) Have successfully completed a board-approved program of study for physical therapist assistants or an equivalent educational program that meets criteria established by the board and that has been approved by the board.
Applications for licensure must be submitted on forms provided by the board. The board may require any information and documentation which reasonably relates to the need to determine whether the applicant meets the criteria for licensure provided for in this chapter and chapter 18.130 RCW. Each applicant shall pay a fee determined by the secretary as provided in RCW 43.70.250, which shall accompany the application.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. A new section is added to chapter 18.74 RCW to read as follows:
All qualified applicants for a license as a physical therapist assistant shall be examined by the board at such time and place within the state as the board may determine. The examination shall include subjects as the board deems useful to test the applicant's fitness to be licensed as a physical therapist assistant. Examinations shall be held at least twice a year. Applicants who fail the examination may apply for reexamination upon payment of a reexamination fee determined by the secretary.
The secretary of health shall license as a physical therapist assistant each applicant who successfully passes the examination for licensure as a physical therapist assistant and shall furnish a license to those applicants.
Sec. 7. RCW 18.74.060 and 1991 c 3 s 179 are each amended to read as follows:
the recommendation of the board, the secretary shall license as a physical
and shall furnish a license to)) or as a physical
therapist assistant any person who is a physical therapist (( registered
or licensed)) or physical therapist assistant under the laws of
another state or territory, or the District of Columbia, if the qualifications
(( for such registration or license)) required of the applicant were
substantially equal to the requirements under this chapter. At the time of
making application, the applicant shall pay to the state treasurer a fee
determined by the secretary as provided in RCW 43.70.250.
Sec. 8. RCW 18.74.070 and 1991 c 3 s 180 are each amended to read as follows:
licensed physical therapist and physical therapist assistant shall apply
to the secretary for a renewal of the license and pay to the state treasurer a
fee determined by the secretary as provided in RCW 43.70.250. The license of a
physical therapist or of a physical therapist assistant who fails to
renew the license within thirty days of the date set by the secretary for
renewal shall automatically lapse. Within three years from the date of lapse
and upon the ((
recommendation)) approval of the board, the
secretary may revive a lapsed license upon the payment of all past unpaid
renewal fees and a penalty fee to be determined by the secretary. The board
may require reexamination of an applicant whose license has lapsed for more
than three years and who has not continuously engaged in lawful practice in
another state or territory, or waive reexamination in favor of evidence of
continuing education satisfactory to the board.
Sec. 9. RCW 18.74.090 and 1991 c 3 s 181 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) A person who is not licensed with the secretary of health as a physical therapist under the requirements of this chapter shall not represent him or herself as being so licensed and shall not use in connection with his or her name the words or letters "P.T.", "R.P.T.", "L.P.T.", "physical therapy", "physiotherapy", "physical therapist" or "physiotherapist", or any other letters, words, signs, numbers, or insignia indicating or implying that he or she is a physical therapist. No person may practice physical therapy without first having a valid license.
(2) A person who is not licensed with the secretary as a physical therapist assistant and not working under the indirect supervision of a licensed physical therapist under the requirements of this chapter shall not represent him or herself as being so licensed and shall not use in connection with his or her name the words or letters "P.T.A.," "L.P.T.A.," "physical therapist assistant," "physical therapy assistant," "physical therapy technician," "physiotherapy assistant," "physiotherapist assistant," or any other letters, words, signs, numbers, or insignia indicating or implying that he or she is a physical therapist assistant or licensed physical therapist assistant.
(3) Nothing in this chapter prohibits any person licensed in this state under any other act from engaging in the practice for which he or she is licensed. It shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney of each county to prosecute all cases involving a violation of this chapter arising within his or her county. The attorney general may assist in such prosecution and shall appear at all hearings when requested to do so by the board.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 10. A new section is added to chapter 18.74 RCW to read as follows:
The board shall waive the examination requirements and grant a license to a person engaged in practice as a physical therapist assistant on the effective date of this act if the person meets the education requirements as established by rule of the board.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 11. If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.