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News & Press: Regulations & Policy

Multistate Licensure Compact Set to Begin in 2018

Monday, May 8, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Robin Childers
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The possibility that physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) could one day gain practice privileges in multiple states without having to obtain multiple state licenses is now a reality. This week, Washington signed on to the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact (PTLC), bringing the number of participating states to 10, the magic number of states needed to officially establish the system. Next up, actual implementation and an ongoing press for more states to join.

On April 25, Washington Gov Jan Inslee signed the bill that added Washington to Arizona, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, and Utah as states that have agreed to join a system that will allow PTs and PTAs to apply for privilege to practice in any of the participating states without having to be licensed in each state. It's a milestone for the physical therapy profession that opens the door for increased mobility.

The PTLC is based on the establishment of a commission—a governing body comprising representatives from every state that participates in the compact—that oversees rules, applications, and the issuing of privileges to practice in other participating states. Once the system is up and running, PTs and PTAs will be able to select the additional participating states in which they'd like to practice and apply for privileges, all while maintaining licensure in only their "home" state (for a more in-depth look at the system, check out this 2016 PT in Motion magazine article).

Compact arrangements exist in a few other professions, but it was the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) that got the ball rolling for PTs and PTAs. APTA joined FSBPT in a collaborative effort to work out a system that would both protect the public and make sense for the profession. Once the architecture of the system was created, it was time to build the compact through work with individual state APTA chapters, state licensing boards, and the legislatures themselves.

The hurdle? A minimum of 10 states were necessary to establish the commission and get the ball rolling. Last year, Oregon, Arizona, Tennessee and Missouri adopted PTLC legislation. This year, the addition of 6 more states brought that number to 10. And away we go. READ MORE in PT in Motion.

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