It has come to the Board’s attention that the Minnesota Chapter of the APTA is disseminating educational handouts regarding the new “direct access” language in the Physical Therapy Practice Act. Please be advised that these handouts constitute the interpretation of the Minnesota Chapter only, and do not constitute the official position of the Minnesota Board of Physical Therapy, the agency charged with interpreting and enforcing the statutes and rules governing licensed physical therapists and physical therapist assistants in the State of Minnesota. The Board does not approve, endorse or otherwise acknowledge the Minnesota Chapter’s interpretation, and it is not binding in any way on the Board. If the Board adopts a contrary interpretation, you may be subject to disciplinary or corrective action for engaging in the practice of physical therapy in accordance with the Minnesota Chapter’s interpretation.
Minnesota Statute 65B.54, subdivision 6 relating to "Unethical Practices", prohibits a licensed health care provider from initiating direct contact with "…any person that has suffered an injury arising out of the maintenance or use of an automobile, for the purpose of influencing that person to receive treatment or to purchase any good or item from the licensee or anyone associated with the licensee…" The complete text of MN Statute 65B.54 can be accessed from www.leg.mn.us.
• Moves the definition of a licensed health care professional or provider from rule to statute;
• Changes the time frame from 30 days to 90 days during which a patient may be treated by a physical therapist without an order or referral from a physician, chiropractor, dentist, podiatrist, or advanced practice nurse;
• Allows a physical therapist, who has been licensed for less than one year, to provide physical therapy without referral:
o when working in collaboration with a physical therapist who has more than one year of experience or
o under a physician's orders or referrals;
• Expands the requirement that a physical therapist refer a patient to a licensed health care professional at any time during the care if the patient's medical condition is beyond the scope of a physical therapist;
• Allows direct access without a time limitation for patients being treated by a physical therapist for prevention, wellness, education, or exercise; and
• Requires the Board of Physical Therapy to provide a report to the legislature regarding any disciplinary actions taken against physical therapists whose conduct resulted in physical harm to a patient, if that conduct was the result of the 2008 statutory changes.
The official version of the Minnesota Physical Therapy Practice Act (Statutes and Rules) is printable from this page.
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