Alaska

United States Physical Therapy Practice Acts

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Temporary License Requirements/Availability

Sec. 08.84.065. Temporary Permit 

(a) The board may issue a nonrenewable temporary permit to an applicant for licensure by acceptance of credentials or by examination who

  • Meets the requirements of the qualifications for licensing or foreign trained applicants
  • Pays the required fee.

(b) A temporary permit issued to an applicant for licensure by acceptance of credentials is valid for eight
months or until the board considers the applicant’s application for acceptance of credentials, whichever occurs first.

(c) A temporary permit issued to an applicant for licensure as a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant by examination is valid for eight months or until the results of the first examination for which the applicant is scheduled are published, whichever occurs first. If the applicant fails to take the first examination for which the applicant is scheduled the applicant’s temporary permit lapses on the day of the examination

(d) A temporary permit issued to an applicant who is a graduate of a foreign school of physical therapy located outside the United States is valid until the results of the first examination for which the applicant is scheduled are published following completion of the internship required


12 AAC 54.050. Physical Therapist Temporary Permits and Scope of Practice Under Those Permits

(a) The board or department will issue a temporary permit to an applicant for a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant license by examination, other than an applicant who is a graduate of a school of physical therapy that is located outside the United States, if the following are on file with the department:

  • A complete application on a form provided by the department
  • The temporary permit fee
  • All items required under 12 AAC 54.100.
  • A signed and notarized statement of responsibility from the supervising physical therapist; the statement must indicate that the supervising physical therapist will assume the full responsibility of supervising the applicant.

(b) The board or department will issue a temporary permit to an applicant applying for a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant license by credentials, other than an applicant who is a graduate of a school of physical
therapy that is located outside the United States, if the following are on file with the department:

  • A complete application on a form provided by the department
  • The temporary permit fee
  • All items required under 12 AAC 54.100

(c) The board or department will issue a temporary permit to an applicant for a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant license by examination who is a graduate of a school of physical therapy that is located outside the United States and demonstrates to the satisfaction of the board compliance with AS 08.84.032(a)(1) and AS 08.84.065(a). A temporary permit issued under this subsection expires on the date the scores are posted to the board. The following items documenting compliance with 12 AAC 54.040 must be on file with the department before the temporary permit is issued:

  • A complete application on a form provided by the department
  • An official copy of credentials evaluation from an agency approved by the board or transcript indicating compliance with AS 08.84.032(a)(1) if the degree was obtained from a foreign program accredited by a board-approved accrediting agency
  • A signed and notarized letter of professional reference on a form provided by the department from the head of a physical therapy school or an instructor, physician, supervising physical therapist, or supervisor
  • A signed and notarized statement of responsibility from the supervising physical therapist; the statement must indicate that the supervising physical therapist will assume the full responsibility of supervising the applicant
  • A copy of the confirmation from the testing center indicating the date that the applicant is scheduled to take the national physical therapy examination 
  • Verification from the preceptor attesting to the applicant’s satisfactory completion of the internship
  • The application, license, and temporary permit fees established in 12 AAC 02.320
  • Verification that the applicant has passed the English language proficiency examination approved by the
    board.

(d) The board or department will issue a temporary permit to an applicant for a physical therapist or physical
therapy assistant license by credentials who is a graduate of a school of physical therapy that is located outside the United States if the following are on file with the department:

  • A complete application on a form provided by the department
  • The temporary permit fee
  • All items required under 12 AAC 54.110.

(e) An applicant applying for a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant temporary permit will be reviewed in accordance with 12 AAC 54.915.
(f) An applicant applying for a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant license who is waiting to take the next scheduled examination and who has been issued a temporary permit under AS 08.84.065 may practice only under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist and may not act as a supervisor until a permanent license is issued.

(g) The holder of a temporary permit as a physical therapist, issued according to the provisions of AS 08.84.065(b), who is awaiting licensure by acceptance of credentials, may practice without supervision.
(h) The holder of a temporary permit as a physical therapy assistant, issued according to the provisions of AS 08.84.065(b), who is awaiting licensure by acceptance of credentials, shall practice in accordance with 12 AAC 54.510.

Requirements for License

Sec. 08.84.030. Qualifications for Licensing

To be eligible for licensure by the board as a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, an applicant, unless a graduate of a foreign school of physical therapy located outside the United States, shall

  • Have graduated from a school of physical therapy approved by the Council on Medical Education and Hospitals of the American Medical Association, or the American Physical Therapy Association
  • Pass to the satisfaction of the board an examination prepared by a national testing service approved by the board to determine the applicant’s fitness for practice as a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, or be entitled to licensure without examination as provided in AS 08.84.060
  • Meet qualifications for licensure established in regulations adopted by the board under AS 08.84.010(b).



Sec. 08.84.040. Application for License

To be licensed under this chapter to practice physical therapy or occupational therapy, an applicant shall apply to the board on a form prescribed by the board. An applicant shall include in the application evidence under oath that the applicant possesses the qualifications required by AS 08.84.030 or 08.84.032.


Sec. 08.84.080. Examinations

The board shall examine applicants for licensure under this chapter at the times and places it determines.


Sec. 08.84.090. Licensure

The board shall license an applicant who meets the qualifications for licensure under this chapter. It shall issue a license certificate to each person licensed. A license certificate is prima facie evidence of the right of the person to hold out as a licensed physical therapist, licensed physical therapy assistant, licensed occupational therapist, or licensed occupational therapy assistant.


12 AAC 54.030. Requirements for Physical Therapy License By Examination

(a) An applicant for a physical therapist or a physical therapy assistant license by examination, other than an applicant who is a graduate of a school of physical therapy that is located outside the United States, shall submit a completed application on a form prescribed by the board with

  • Payment of the fees
  • The applicant’s certified transcript from a physical therapy school meeting the requirements of AS 08.84.030(a)(1)
  • A letter of professional reference from the head of the physical therapy school or an instructor, physician, supervising physical therapist, or supervisor
  • The jurisprudence questionnaire prepared by the board covering the provisions of AS 08.84 and this chapter.

(b) An application must be reviewed and approved by a majority of the board members before an applicant may take the examination. The board will not review an application until all documents required under (a) of this section have been received by the department.
(c) An applicant who has applied for, but not yet received, licensure in another state and who has passed the national physical therapy examination in that state may have the examination scores transferred to the board and may apply for licensure by examination under (a) of this section.

Supervision

12 AAC 54.510. Supervision of Physical Therapy Assistants

(a) A physical therapy assistant shall work under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
(b) A licensed physical therapist is responsible for and shall participate in the patient’s care.
(c) Except as specified in 12 AAC 54.500(e), a physical therapist may supervise a maximum of three physical therapy assistants.
(d) A licensed physical therapy assistant shall have in possession written treatment plans formulated by the licensed physical therapist for each patient under the care of the physical therapy assistant. Treatment plans must be revised following periodic evaluations by the licensed physical therapist.
(e) The supervising physical therapist shall give the physical therapy assistant periodic supervision on site at least once every month. The physical therapist shall be available for consultation with the physical therapy assistant that may be provided by telephone, verbally, or in writing.
(f) Nothing in this chapter restricts public health service or military personnel engaged in the practice of physical therapy in programs administered by federal agencies.
(g) If the licensed physical therapist agrees to supervise a physical therapy assistant, the supervising physical therapist shall

  • Determine the frequency and manner of consultations with the physical therapy assistant, taking into consideration the treatment settings being used, patient rehabilitation status, and the competency of the physical therapy assistant
  • Fully document the supervision provided, including a record of all consultations provided, and maintain those records at the physical therapy assistant’s place of employment
  • Countersign the patient treatment record each time the supervising physical therapist is physically present and directly supervises the treatment of a patient by the physical therapy assistant being supervised.


12 AAC 54.520. Supervision of Non-Licensed Personnel

(a) Regardless of the practice setting, a licensed physical therapist is solely responsible for the treatment and management of all aspects of physical therapy care of the patient.
(b) A licensed physical therapist or physical therapy assistant may use non-licensed personnel in the delivery of patient-related duties and non-patient related duties. Patient-related duties performed by non-licensed personnel are not considered the practice of physical therapy.
(c) A licensed physical therapist shall assure the training of non-licensed personnel under the supervision of the physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, and shall document that training.
(d) The supervising physical therapist or physical therapy assistant shall provide continual on-site supervision of non-licensed personnel who are performing patient-related duties.

Physical Therapy Students

12 AAC 54.535. Physical Therapy Internship Standards

(a) This section establishes the standards for a physical therapy internship required under 12 AAC 54.100(5)(C), 12 AAC 54.405(a)(2)(D), or 12 AAC 54.950(e).
(b) An internship must be served

  • Under the continual on-site supervision of a physical therapist licensed under this chapter
  • In an institution that ordinarily provides physical therapy, has a varied caseload, and has on staff at least one physical therapist licensed under this chapter.

(c) A licensed physical therapist serving as a preceptor to an intern is responsible for the intern's experience and
for the safety and welfare of the patient.

(d) Upon an intern's completion of the internship, the preceptor shall submit, on a form provided by the board, a
statement attesting to the intern's

  • Satisfactory or unsatisfactory completion of the internship
  • Level of skill in completion of evaluation, program planning, therapeutic practice, potential ability to practice safely while unsupervised with sound professional judgment and ethics related to the practice of physical therapy.

(e) The board will not accept internship hours claimed before the date that the internship was approved by the board. To be approved by the board, internship hours must be completed no more than six months after the date the internship begins.
(f) In this section, "preceptor" means a physical therapist licensed under this chapter who provides on-site supervision for an intern serving an internship.

Continued Competence

12 AAC 54.405. Physical Therapy Continuing Professional Practice Requirements and Alternatives to Those Requirements

(a) An applicant for renewal of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant license shall document completion of the jurisprudence questionnaire prepared by the board, covering the provisions of AS 08.84 and this chapter, and shall also document having provided physical therapy services for at least 60 hours during the concluding licensing period or successful completion during the concluding licensing period of at least one of the following:

  •  The national physical therapy examination sponsored by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy
  •  In addition to the contact hours of continuing education required under 12 AAC 54.410 and 12 AAC 54.420, 40 contact hours of continuing education consistent with the requirements of 12 AAC 54.410 and 12 AAC
    54.420
  •  A review course sponsored by a school of physical therapy approved by the American Physical -10-
    Therapy Association
  • A physical therapy internship of 150 hours approved by the board.

(b) If an applicant for renewal is uncertain whether the applicant’s work or volunteer experience will constitute physical therapy services under this section, the applicant may request board approval before submitting the application for license renewal.
(c) In this section, “physical therapy services” includes work and volunteer service under a position title other than physical therapist or physical therapy assistant if the applicant documents that the position required the use of physical therapy skills recognized by the board.

12 AAC 54.410. Physical Therapy Continuing Education Requirements

(a) Except as provided in 12 AAC 54.435, an applicant for renewal of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant license who has been licensed for 12 months or more of the concluding licensing period shall have completed during that period 24 contact hours of continuing education directly related to patient care. An applicant for renewal of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant license who has been licensed for less than 12 months of the concluding licensing period shall have completed during that period 12 contact hours of continuing education directly related to patient care
passed the national physical therapy examination within 12 months immediately before the date that the applicant’s license is due to lapse.
(b) An applicant shall complete at least one-half of the required contact hours in courses or programs offered by an accredited academic institution or a professional organization approved by the board under 12 AAC 54.420(a).
(c) For the purposes of this section,

  • One “contact hour” equals a minimum of 50 minutes of instruction
  • One continuing education unit awarded by a professional health care association equals 10 contact hours
  • One academic semester credit hour equals 15 contact hours
  • One academic quarter credit hour equals 10 contact hours

(d) An applicant for renewal is responsible for maintaining adequate and detailed records of all continuing education contact hours claimed and shall make the records available to the board upon request under 12 AAC 54.430. Records must be retained for three years from the date the contact hours were obtained.
(e) The following activities will not be accepted for continuing education contact hours under this section:

  • Routine staff meetings attended by the applicant
  • Rounds conducted by the applicant
  • Routine courses required for employment, including courses on cardiopulmonary resuscitation, first aid,and training related to Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements. 


12 AAC 54.420. Approved Physical Therapy Courses and Activities

(a) The following continuing education activities are approved for continuing education credit if they meet the requirements of (c) of this section:

  • Courses recognized by
    • The Alaska Physical Therapy Association
    • The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
    • The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT)
    • Other state physical therapy associations
    • Other state physical therapy licensing boards
  • American Medical Association category one and two continuing education courses that involve physical therapy;
  • Continuing education activities sponsored by a professional organization or university approved by the Alaska Physical Therapy Association or the American Physical Therapy Association.

(b) If an applicant for renewal is uncertain whether a particular continuing education opportunity will meet the standards of this section, the applicant may request board approval before claiming those contact hours.
(c) To be accepted by the board, a continuing education course or activity must contribute directly to the professional competency of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant and must be directly related to the skills and knowledge required to implement the principles and methods of physical therapy, as that term is defined in AS 08.84.190.

12 AAC 54.430. Audit of Physical Therapy Continuing Competency Requirements
(a) After each renewal period the board will, in its discretion, audit renewal applications to monitor compliance with the continuing competency requirements of 12 AAC 54.400 - 12 AAC 54.430.
(b) A licensee selected for audit shall, within 30 days after the date of notification, submit documentation of completion of contact hours required by 12 AAC 54.410 and physical therapy service hours or an alternative required by 12 AAC 54.405.
(c) Refusal to cooperate with an audit will be considered an admission of an attempt to obtain a license by material misrepresentation under AS 08.84.120(a)(1).

12 AAC 54.435. Exemption from Continuing Education Requirements for Active Duty Military Service

(a) A physical therapist or physical therapy assistant who meets the requirements of this section is exempt from the continuing education requirements of 12 AAC 54.400 – 12 AAC 54.430 as specified in this section for renewal of the physical therapist or physical therapy assistant license for the biennial licensing period immediately following a period of service by the physical therapist or physical therapy assistant during which the physical therapist or physical therapy assistant was engaged in active duty military service in the armed forces of the United States.
(b) To obtain an exemption under this section, the physical therapist or physical therapy assistant must submit official documentation satisfactory to the board of active duty military service.
(c) The board will waive half of the continuing education hours required in 12 AAC 54.410, if the board determines that the applicant was engaged in active duty military service in the armed forces of the United States for at least six consecutive months during the concluding licensing period.
(d) The board will waive all continuing education hours required in 12 AAC 54.410, if the board determines that the applicant was engaged in active duty military service in the armed forces of the United States for 12 or more months during the concluding licensing period.
(e) In this section, "engaged in active duty military service" means military personnel serving in an active capacity, including

  • Active duty personnel in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard
  • Reservists and National Guard personnel in a combat zone for a named United States military conflict. (In this paragraph, "combat zone" means an area that the President of the United States designates by executive order as an area in which the armed forces of the United States are engaging or have engaged in combat.)

Does the Act appear restrictive? Why/Why not?

Alaska's act does appears to be both restrictive and non-restrictive. It seems restrictive because all of the stipulations are listed explicitly if they are present. There are other sections however, such as examination which is open ended (it states that there will be an exam where ever and when ever the board chooses.)

Is there anything unusual about this act?

12 AAC 54.530. Standards for Practice of Telerehabilitation by Physical Therapist

(a) The purpose of this section is to establish standards for the practice of telerehabilitation by means of an interactive telecommunication system by a physical therapist licensed under AS 08.84 and this chapter in order to provide physical therapy to patients who are located at distant sites in the state which are not in close proximity of a physical therapist.
(b) A physical therapist licensed under AS 08.84 and this chapter conducting telerehabilitation by means of an interactive telecommunication system

  • Must be physically present in the state while performing telerehabilitation under this section
  • Must interact with the patient maintaining the same ethical conduct and integrity required under 12 AAC 54.500(c) and (d)
  • Must comply with the requirements of 12 AAC 54.510 for any licensed physical therapist assistant providing services under this section
  • May conduct one-on-one consultations, including initial evaluation, under this section
  • Must provide and ensure appropriate client confidentiality and HIPAA compliance, establish secure connections, activate firewalls, and encrypt confidential information.

Recent Related Research (from Pubmed)

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References

Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.Statutes and Regulations Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy
[Internet]. Alaska; [updated 2000 Apr; cited 2005 Apr]. Available from: http://www.commerce.state.ak.us/occ/pub/PT-OTStatutes.pdf#AAC54400


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