1997 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Senator(s) Bean
Senate Bill 2178
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 73-23-33, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ADD THE DEFINITION OF DIRECT SUPERVISION FOR PURPOSES OF PHYSICAL THERAPIST LICENSURE; TO AMEND SECTION 73-23-41, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PLACE A PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT ON THE PHYSICAL THERAPY ADVISORY COUNCIL; TO AMEND SECTION 73-23-53, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE FOR ELECTRONIC EXAMINATIONS FOR PHYSICAL THERAPISTS AND PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANTS; TO AMEND SECTION 73-23-57, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE FOR RENEWAL OF PHYSICAL THERAPY LICENSES AND FEES; TO AMEND SECTION 73-23-63, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH TO INVESTIGATE LICENSURE COMPLAINTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 73-23-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-23-33. As used in this chapter unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires:
(a) "Physical therapy" or "physiotherapy," which terms are deemed identical and interchangeable, means the art and science of a health specialty concerned with the prevention of disability, and the physical rehabilitation for congenital or acquired physical or mental disabilities, resulting from or secondary to injury or disease. The "practice of physical therapy" means the practice of the health specialty and encompasses physical therapy evaluation, treatment planning, treatment administration, instruction and consultative services, including:
(i) Performing and interpreting tests and measurements as an aid to physical therapy treatment, for the purpose of correcting or alleviating any physical condition and to prevent the development of any physical or mental disability within the scope of physical therapy; and the performance of neuromuscular-skeletal tests and measurements as an aid in diagnosis, evaluation or determination of the existence of and the extent of any body malfunction;
(ii) Planning initial and subsequent treatment programs, on the basis of test findings; and
(iii) Administering treatment by therapeutic exercise, neurodevelopmental procedures, therapeutic massage, mechanical devices and therapeutic agents which employ the physical, chemical and other properties of air, water, heat, cold, electricity, sound and radiant energy for the purpose of correcting or alleviating any physical condition or preventing the development of any physical or mental disability. The use of roentgen rays and radium for any purpose, and the use of electricity for surgical purposes including cauterization, are not part of physical therapy;
(b) "Physical therapist" means a person licensed in this state to practice physical therapy as defined in this chapter, and whose license is in good standing;
(c) "Physical therapist assistant" means a health care worker who assists a physical therapist in the provision of physical therapy under the direct, on-site supervision of the physical therapist. The physical therapist assistant may perform physical therapy procedures and related tasks that have been selected and delegated by the supervising physical therapist, but shall not perform the following physical therapy activities: interpretation of referrals; physical therapy initial evaluation and reevaluation; identification, determination or modification of plans of care (including goals and treatment programs); final discharge assessment/evaluation or establishment of the discharge plan; or therapeutic techniques beyond the skill and knowledge of the physical therapist assistant;
(d) "Referral" means the written or oral designation of physical therapy services by a doctor of medicine, dentistry, osteopathy or podiatry, holding a license in good standing; and the instruction therefor may be as detailed or as general as the doctor in his sound discretion deems necessary in the particular case;
(e) "Board" means the State Board of Health established in Section 41-3-1;
(f) "Department" means the State Department of Health established in Section 41-3-15;
(g) "Council" means the Physical Therapy Advisory Council established in Section 73-23-41;
(h) "Direct on-site supervision" means face-to-face oversight by a licensed physical therapist at regular intervals, as prescribed in regulations adopted by the board, of the services provided to a patient by a licensed physical therapist assistant.
(i) "Direct supervision" means face-to-face oversight of a physical therapist issued a temporary license under Section 73-23-53(1) by a licensed physical therapist. Said direct supervision shall be in accordance with the regulations adopted by the board.
SECTION 2. Section 73-23-41, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-23-41. The board shall appoint a physical therapy advisory council to aid the board in administering the provision of this chapter. The council shall consist of three (3) licensed physical therapists, one (1) physical therapist assistant, two (2) licensed physicians and one (1) person who is not a health care professional and who has expressed a continuing interest in the field of physical therapy. Within sixty (60) days after July 1, 1990, the board shall appoint two (2) members of the council for (1) year, one (1) member for two (2) years, one (1) member for three (3) years, one (1) member for four (4) years and one (1) member for five (5) years. After the expiration of the original terms, the board shall appoint members of the council for terms of five (5) years, beginning on July 1 of the year of appointment. No person shall serve more than two (2) full consecutive terms. The physical therapist appointments may be made from a list of at least three (3) qualified physical therapists furnished by the Mississippi Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association for each vacancy on the council, who have practiced and resided for three (3) years in the state and who represent different geographical regions with the state. Appointments to the council to fill a vacancy occurring for other than the expiration of a term shall only be made for the remainder of the unexpired term. The council shall designate one (1) of its members as chairman, one (1) of its members as vice-chairman and one (1) of its members as secretary-treasurer. Members of the council shall receive no salary for service performed on the council but may be reimbursed for their reasonable and necessary actual expenses incurred in the performance of the same, from funds provided for such purpose. The council shall assist and advise the board in the development of regulations and standards governing the licensure of physical therapists.
SECTION 3. Section 73-23-53, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-23-53. (1) A temporary license to practice as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant may be granted to those persons meeting the requirements stated in Section 73-23-47 and who (a) have not taken the approved examination, or (b) have taken the approved examination but have not received the results of the examination. The temporary license shall be granted for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days * * *. Any physical therapist granted a temporary license under the provisions of this subsection shall restrict his practice to the State of Mississippi and shall be under the direct supervision of a physical therapist licensed in Mississippi (physical therapy assistants shall be under the direct on-site supervision of a Mississippi licensed physical therapist). Documentation verifying said supervision shall be on file with the department before a temporary license is granted.
(2) A temporary license to practice physical therapy or to act as a physical therapist assistant may be granted to a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant licensed in another state who is moving into the state, provided the application for Mississippi licensure is pending and the current license is in good standing. This temporary license will be granted for a period not to exceed sixty (60) days.
(3) Any person granted a temporary license who is required to take the approved examination and fails to take the exam as required by the board or does not pass the required exam shall have the temporary license revoked and a license of any type shall not be issued until such person has passed an approved examination.
(4) Any person who has taken but not passed the required examination in this or another jurisdiction shall not be eligible for a license of any type until an approved examination is passed.
(5) Any person who has been trained as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in a foreign country and desires to be temporarily licensed under this subsection shall demonstrate proficiency in the English language and meet the other requirements of Section 73-23-51(2) before such temporary license shall be issued.
SECTION 4. Section 73-23-57, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-23-57. (1) Every licensed physical therapist and physical therapist assistant shall * * * apply to the department for a renewal of licensure in a manner prescribed by the rules and regulations of the board, and pay the prescribed fee, not to exceed Seventy-five Dollars ($75.00) per year, or One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00) every two (2) years. Licenses that are not so renewed shall automatically lapse.
(2) The manner in which lapsed licenses shall be revived or extended shall be established by the department.
SECTION 5. Section 73-23-63, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-23-63. (1) Any person whose application for a license is denied shall be entitled to a hearing before the board if he submits a written request to the board. Such hearing shall be conducted at the earliest possible date. A subcommittee of the council shall attend and may offer relevant evidence at any such hearing. The board shall fix a time and place for the hearing and shall cause a written copy of the * * * reason for denial of the license, together with a notice of the time and place fixed for the hearing to be served on the applicant requesting the hearing * * * and shall serve notice of such hearing on the council. Service of * * * and notice of the hearing may be given by certified mail to the last known address of the licensee or applicant. For purposes of the hearing, the board, acting by and through the Executive Director of the State Board of Health shall have the power to subpoena persons and compel the production of records, papers and other documents.
(2)(a) All complaints concerning a licensee's business or professional practice shall be received by the board. Each complaint received shall be logged, recording at a minimum the following information: (i) licensee's name; (ii) name of the complaining party, if known; (iii) date of complaint; (iv) brief statement of complaint; and (v) disposition.
(b) Following the investigative process, the board may file formal charges against the licensee. Such formal complaint shall, at a minimum, inform the licensee of the facts which are the basis of the charge and which are specific enough to enable the licensee to defend against the charges.
(c) Each licensee whose conduct is the subject of a formal charge which seeks to impose disciplinary action against the licensee shall be served notice of the formal charge at least thirty (30) days before the date of the hearing, which hearing shall be presided over by the board or the board's designee. Service shall be considered to have been given if the notice was personally received by the licensee or if the notice was mailed certified, return receipt requested, to the licensee at the licensee's last known address as listed with the state agency.
(d) The notice of the formal charge shall consist at a minimum of the following information:
(i) The time, place and date of the hearing;
(ii) That the licensee shall appear personally at the hearing and may be represented by counsel;
(iii) That the licensee shall have the right to produce witnesses and evidence in the licensee's behalf and shall have the right to cross-examine adverse witnesses and evidence;
(iv) That the hearing could result in disciplinary action being taken against the licensee's license;
(v) That rules for the conduct of these hearings exist and it may be in the licensee's best interest to obtain a copy; and
(vi) That the board or its designee shall preside at the hearing and following the conclusion of the hearing shall make findings of facts, conclusions of law and recommendations, separately stated, to the board as to what disciplinary action, if any, should be imposed on the licensee.
(vii) The board or its designee shall hear evidence produced in support of the formal charges and contrary evidence produced by the licensee. At the conclusion of the hearing, the board shall issue an order.
(viii) All proceedings pursuant to this section are matters of public record and shall be preserved pursuant to state law.
(3) In addition to other remedies provided by law or in equity, any applicant or licensee aggrieved by any action of the board may appeal the action of the board to the chancery court of the county of his residence, if he be a resident of this state, or the Chancery Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi, if he be a nonresident of this state, and the court after a hearing may modify, affirm or reverse the judgment of the board or may remand the case to the board for further proceedings. An appeal shall be filed within thirty (30) days immediately following the mailing or delivery to the applicant or licensee of a copy of the order of judgment of the board, unless the court, for good cause shown, extends the time. Appeals may be had to the Supreme Court of the State of Mississippi as provided by law from any final judgment of the chancery court. If the board appeals from any judgment of the chancery court, no bond shall be required of it in order to perfect its appeal. Any appeal of a license suspension that is required by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 shall be taken in accordance with the appeal procedure specified in Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be, rather than the procedure specified in this section.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.