Maine

United States Physical Therapy Practice Acts

Original Editor - Jaclyn Marie Muenchow

Top Contributors - Jaclyn Marie Muenchow and Elaine Lonnemann  



Temporary License Requirements/Availability

Nothing in this chapter prohibits the supervised practice of a graduate physical therapist or graduate physical therapist assistant, who is approved by the board to sit for examination, until the results of the examination have been published. The graduate must work in a facility employing at least one physical therapist licensed to practice in this State who assumes responsibility for patient-related activities of the applicant.  [1]

Requirements for License

To qualify for a license as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

A. Demonstrate that the applicant is trustworthy and competent to engage in practice as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in such manner as to safeguard the interests of the public; [1999, c. 386, Pt. K, §3 (AMD).]

B. Be a graduate of an educational program for the physical therapist or the physical therapist assistant that is accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Commissioner of Education or the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation, or both, and approved by the board; or if the applicant has been trained in another country, present satisfactory evidence that the applicant has graduated from a school of physical therapy approved or accredited in the country where the school is located and have educational credentials equivalent to those of the United States trained physical therapist or physical therapist assistant; and [1999, c. 386, Pt. K, §3 (AMD).]

C. Pass an examination, approved by the board, to determine the applicant's fitness to practice as a physical therapist or to act as a physical therapist assistant. [2007, c. 402, Pt. N, §5 (AMD).]

Applicants trained in another country must demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken English.

2. Application. To apply for a license as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant, an applicant shall:

A. Submit a written application with supporting documents to the board on forms provided by the board; and [1983, c. 413, §134 (RPR).]

B. Pay an application fee as set under section 3116-A. [2003, c. 250, Pt. A, §2 (AMD).]

In case the application is denied and permission to take the examination refused, the examination fee only must be returned to the applicant. An applicant who fails to pass the examination is entitled to a reexamination within 6 months upon repayment of the examination fee only. If an applicant fails one section of the examination, that applicant must repeat the entire examination. An applicant may not take any part of the examination more than 3 times, unless that applicant submits evidence of having acquired additional formal education related to the previously failed examination section or sections

The board may waive the examination requirement for an applicant who is currently licensed in another state or other jurisdiction by virtue of having previously passed a qualifying examination acceptable to the board, if the passing standards for the examination are equivalent to those then required by the law of this State.

The board shall license an applicant who meets the requirements of this chapter and pays the biennial licensure fee as set under section 3116-A. Licensure as a physical therapist entitles the person to whom it is granted to engage in the practice of physical therapy anywhere in this State and to use the words "physical therapist" or letters "P.T." to indicate that the person is licensed in this State. Licensure as a physical therapist assistant entitles the person to whom it is granted to act as a physical therapist assistant and to use the words "physical therapist assistant" or letters "P.T.A." to indicate that the person is licensed in this State.[1]

Supervision

1. Supervision of Physical Therapist Assistants

A. Unless specifically authorized by the board, a licensed physical therapist may not directly supervise more than two assistants at any given time.

“Supervisor” means frequent oral communications between the supervising physical therapist and the physical therapist assistant about the substantive care and treatment of patients. The communication between the physical therapist and the physical therapist assistant must occur after the physical therapist has re-assessed or evaluated the patient within 10 patient visits or every 30 days whichever comes first. The results of the re-assessment shall be documented and communicated to the physical therapist assistant prior to the assistant seeing the patient again.

B. The physical therapist shall be present whenever new patients are admitted to the physical therapy service in order to evaluate the patient and establish the treatment program.


2. Supervision of Physical Therapy Aides

A. A “physical therapy aide” is a person neither licensed or certified who is specifically trained on-site under the direct supervision of a physical therapist to perform designated routine tasks related to the operation of a physical therapy service. The physical therapy aide, when providing direct services to patients, may function only with the continuous on-site supervision of the physical therapist or the physical therapist assistant. The physical therapist or the physical therapist assistant must be present in the same building and be immediately available to the physical therapy aide.

B. A “physical therapist of record” is the person who is directly responsible for the actions of the physical therapy aide. The extent to which the physical therapy aide participates in operational activities, including maintenance and transportation and in patient-related activities, will be dependent upon the discretion of the physical therapist and training of the physical therapy aide.

C. The physical therapy aide shall not:

1. Interpret referrals;

2. Perform evaluation procedures;

3. Initiate or adjust treatment programs; or

4. Assume responsibility for planning patient care.

The fact that a particular task is not prohibited in this section does not necessarily imply that the task is permitted.

D. Physical therapy aides may only document subjective reports by patients and actual treatment given to the patient. The physical therapy aide may not document a patient’s assessment or a patient’s plan. All documentation must be cosigned by a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant.


3. Supervision of graduate physical therapist or assistant

The licensed physical therapist who supervises the graduate physical therapist or assistant must sign and submit a supervisor’s affidavit on a board-prescribed form.[1]

Physical Therapy Students

Nothing in this chapter prohibits the supervised practice of physical therapy by a student enrolled in an accredited physical therapist or physical therapist assistant program who indicates that that person is a "student".[1]

Continued Competence

All license renewal must be renewed on or before March 31 on even-numbered years. [1]


 This practice act does not specify the number of continuing education credits that are needed for license renewal.


Does the Act appear restrictive? Why/Why not?

The only restrictions to physical therapists in Maine are as followed,

Physical therapists may not apply manipulative thrust to the vertebrae of the spine except upon consultation with, and referral by, a duly licensed doctor of medicine, surgery, chiropractic or osteopathy. [1]

Is there anything unusual about this act?

I am not sure if this is considered unusual but I did find it intresting, 

 When treating a patient without a referral, if that patient does not improve within 30 days of initial treatment, the physical  therapist shall refer the patient to a licensed doctor of medicine, osteopathy, podiatry, dentistry or chiropractics. If treating patients without referral for greater than 120 days, the physical therapist shall consult with or refer the patients to a licensed doctor of medicine, osteopathy, podiatry, dentistry or chiropractics.  [1]

Recent Related Research (from Pubmed)

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References

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Physical Therapy Board of Maine. Business and Professions Code: Physical Therapy Practice Act. http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/32/title32ch45-Asec0.html (Accessed 20 Apr 2012)

Disclaimer:  All copyrights and other rights to statutory text are reserved by the State of Maine. The text included in this
publication reflects changes made through the First Special Session of the 125th Maine Legislature, is current
through December 31, 2011, and is subject to change without notice. It is a version that has not been officially
certified by the Secretary of State. Refer to the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated and supplements for certified text.


Informational Content is assimilated from the state practice act is a resource only and should not be considered a  substitute for the content within the state practice act.  All state practice acts can change and it is recommended that you refer to the original resource in the link above.