PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
(Board of Physical Therapy)
Subject of Possible Rule Making: WAC 246-915-180 Professional conduct principles.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 18.74.023, 18.74.025.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The current rule does not prohibit a physical therapist to self-evaluate and self-direct treatment. The board finds this practice to be unethical, resulting in excessive and unnecessary treatment costs. Self-evaluation and self-directed treatment creates a financial motivation for physical therapists to over diagnose and/or provide lengthy or unnecessary treatments. In one instance, a physical therapist diagnosed and prolonged the treatment of a condition that did not require physical therapy care, billing the insurance company in excess of $4,000. The board was unable to protect the public by charging the physical therapist or taking corrective action to prevent the conduct from recurring because of the current rule language. Therefore, in order to protect the public from excessive charging and over-utilization of services, rules need to be established to prohibit self-evaluation and self-directed physical therapy treatment. Rules are also required to ensure that physical therapists only delegate physical therapy tasks to trained support personnel.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.
Process for Developing New Rule: Collaborative rule making.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Department of Health, Kris Waidely, Program Manager, P.O. Box 47868, Olympia, WA 98504-7868, (360) 236-4847, (360) 664-9077.
February 13, 2004