Physical Therapy Licensure Compact is Coming Soon
Physical Therapists (PTs) and Physical Therapy Assistants (PTAs) have long waited for legislation allowing them to practice in multiple states without having to apply for individual state licenses. Like their healthcare professional counterparts, Registered Nurses, a multi-state licensure compact is both a necessity and difficult journey. The first state signed a health care compact into law in 2000, and since only half of the states have followed suit. For PTs and PTAs the road has taken longer to travel as this past year, ten states agreed to the parameters of a PT Compact and the process was set in motion.
Coming in 2018, the PT Licensure Compact should be rolled out in at least 15 states, with another 5 states having some form of legislation in process. The states that have enacted legislation include New Hampshire, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, North Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Washington, and Oregon.
Having an interstate licensure compact serves many purposes, the most important of which is to increase access to physical therapy services through an overall reduction in regulatory barriers. This means that licensed PTs and PTAs, who meet eligibility requirements, will be allowed to practice in Compact member states without going through the additional process of acquiring licensure in the state outside of their home state. Eligibility for Compact Privileges include holding a valid PT or PTA license in your home state (which MUST be a member of the PT Compact). Another eligibility requirement includes having a record that is clear of any encumbrances or disciplinary action against your license for at least two years.
Practicing PTs and PTAs who meet those eligibility requirements can begin the process of purchasing a Compact Privilege. The costs for this will be determined in the first half of 2018 and will vary from state to state.
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