The Physical Therapy Licensure Compact introduced in 2014 has just met the requirements it needs to allow licensed PTs to provide care across these state boundaries.
These are the ten states currently in the compact:
– Oregon (The first state to join!)
– North Dakota
When this was first introduced, the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) attributed state boundaries as well as differences in licensure and practice requirements as barriers to accessing healthcare. What PTLC does is open the doors between those state boundaries by removing those differences in requirements. As a result, qualified PTs and PTAs in the above states would gain “compact privileges” allowing them to practice in any or all of these participating compact states. All they have to do is manage the one license in their home state.
It’s important to note that patient safety and protection is still a main priority. Allowing providers to practice across state lines will not reduce the quality of care because the states signing the compact are working together and committing to the same set of standards for their PTs. The signing states should be aware of this and know that the compact agreements will supersede other conflicting statutes in the interest of patient protection.
The FSBPT also states that the potential positive impacts on public protection with increasing licensure portability include:
- Increased patient access to qualified providers
- Continuity of care for patients as they relocate or vacation
- Enhanced disciplinary data and improve notification
- Improved information sharing between jurisdictions
When more states sign the compact down the line, physical therapists in those locations could branch out their practice even more. Patients too would benefit because they’d have greater options in finding the best provider for them. With the practice of Telehealth growing, PTs can easily meet patients face-to-face with crystal clear quality, anywhere.
In the end, these ten states have made a huge breakthrough for physical therapy and it should be seen as a catalyst for other major areas of healthcare.