1998 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Representative Scott (80th)
House Bill 1408
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE LICENSURE AND REGULATION OF KINESICAL THERAPISTS BY THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH; TO PROVIDE QUALIFICATIONS AND ELIGIBILITY THEREFOR; TO PROVIDE FOR THE SUSPENSION AND REVOCATION OF SUCH LICENSES; TO CREATE AND EMPOWER A MISSISSIPPI ADVISORY COUNCIL IN KINESICAL THERAPY; TO AUTHORIZE FEES; TO PROVIDE CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Mississippi Kinesical Therapy Practice Act of 1998."
SECTION 2. The following words and phrases shall have the following meanings, unless the context requires otherwise:
(a) "Association" means the Mississippi Association of Kinesical Therapists.
(b) "Board" means the State Board of Health.
(c) "Council" means the Mississippi Advisory Council in Kinesical Therapy.
(d) "Kinesical therapy" or "kinesiotherapy" used interchangeably in this act means a medical service or the art and practice of an auxiliary medical specialty concerned with the exhaustive modifiability of human efforts for the purpose of assessment, measurement, interpretation, treatment, planning and administering treatment in order to establish or reestablish mobility in situations in which the normal functional capacity in people is impaired because of the effects of some sort of disease, disability or injury. The practice of kinesical therapy encompasses assessment, treatment and consultation services (i) to restore the use of the body motor system; (ii) to meet the demands confronting the muscular system; (iii) to develop those systems through a selected conditioning and training program; and (iv) to improve any abnormal condition for the purpose of reversing the effects of disability to a pre-disease or injury status, applying a lifelong exercise regimen as a protective measure against the diseases or its sequels. These services are to be provided to individuals, groups, hospitals, schools, nursing and care facilities.
(e) "Kinesical therapist" means a person licensed to practice kinesical therapy and whose license is in good standing.
(f) "Person" means any individual, partnership, unincorporated organization or corporate body, except that only an individual may be licensed under this act.
SECTION 3. The State Board of Health, established and empowered by Section 41-3-1 et seq., shall discharge the provisions of this act in the examination, licensure and regulation of persons who provide services of kinesical therapy.
SECTION 4. From and after July 1, 1998, no person shall practice kinesical therapy or hold himself or herself out as a kinesical therapist or as being able to practice kinesical therapy or to render kinesical therapy services in the state unless he or she is licensed in accordance with the provisions of this act.
SECTION 5. Nothing in this act shall be construed as preventing or restricting the services or activities of:
(a) Any person licensed or registered in this state under another law carrying out the therapy or practice for which he or she is duly licensed or registered.
(b) Schools, YMCA's, athletic clubs and similar organizations furnishing services to their players and members, provided they do not represent themselves as providing kinesical therapy services.
(c) Any person who is employed as a kinesical therapist by the United States Armed Services, Public Health Service, Veterans Administration or other federal agencies, if such person engages in the practice of kinesical therapy solely within the confines or under the jurisdiction of the organization by which he or she is employed, and does not practice kinesical therapy outside of the scope of his or her official duty. Such person also may elect to be subject to this act.
(d) Any person pursuing a course of study leading to a degree or specialization in kinesical therapy in an approved educational program, if such activities and services constitute a part of the supervised course of study requirements, provided that such person shall be designated by a title which clearly indicates the "student" or "trainee" status and his or her practice must be performed under the direction and on-site supervision of a kinesical therapist or physician whose license is in good standing.
(e) Any person engaged in completing supervised training experience requirements for graduation, if such activities and services constitute a part of the experience necessary to meet the requirement of Section 10 of this act.
(f) Any person performing kinesical therapy services in the state, if:
(i) Those services are performed for no more than one hundred twenty (120) days in a calendar year in association with a kinesical therapist licensed under this act; or
(ii) The person is licensed under the law of another state which has licensure requirements at least as stringent as the requirement of this act; or
(iii) The person meets the requirements as a kinesical therapist registered (KTR) and such requirement is established by an educational institution accredited by the United States Department of Education and the Mississippi Association of Kinesiotherapists, Inc., in collaboration with the American Kinesiotherapy Association.
SECTION 6. (1) There is established the Mississippi Advisory Council in Kinesical Therapy under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Health. The council shall consist of five (5) members appointed by the board, four (4) of whom shall be appointed from a list of names submitted by the Mississippi Association of Kinesical Therapists, all of whom shall be residents of this state at the time of their appointment. The persons appointed from the list submitted by the association shall have been engaged in rendering kinesical therapy services to the public, and at least three (3) of those members shall be kinesical therapists.
These four (4) members shall at all times be holders of valid licenses for the practice of kinesical therapy in this state, except for the member of the first council, who shall fulfill the licensure requirements of this act. The remaining member shall be a physician of another health profession or member of the public with an interest in the rights of the consumers of health services.
(2) Within sixty (60) days after July 1, 1998, the board shall appoint two (2) council members for a term of one (1) year, two (2) for a term of two (2) years and one (1) for a term of three (3) years. Appointments made thereafter shall be for terms of three (3) years, with no person being eligible to serve more than two (2) full consecutive terms. Terms shall begin on the first day of the calendar year and end on the last day of the calendar year or until successors are appointed, except for the first appointed members, who shall serve through the last calendar day of the year in which they are appointed before commencing the term prescribed by this section.
(3) Within thirty (30) days after any vacancy on the council, the association may recommend at least two (2) and not more than three (3) persons to fill that vacancy. The board shall appoint, as soon as practicable, one (1) of those persons whom the council recommends, to fill the unexpired term. If the association does not provide a recommendation, the board shall appoint a person to the unexpired term.
(4) The council shall meet during the first month of each calendar year to select a chairperson and for other appropriate reasons. Further meetings may be convened at the call of the chairperson, or at the written request of any two (2) members of the council. Three (3) members of the council shall constitute a quorum for all purposes. All meetings of the council shall be open to the public, except that the council may hold executive sessions under the Mississippi Open Meetings Law, Section 25-41-1 et seq., or upon request of an applicant who fails an examination, to prepare a response indicating any reason for his or her failure.
(5) (a) It shall be grounds for removal from the council if a member:
(i) Does not have at the time of appointment the qualifications required for appointment to the council;
(ii) Violates a prohibition established by this act; or
(iii) Fails to attend council meetings for a period of one (1) year.
(b) If grounds for removal of a member from the council exist, the council's actions taken during the existence of the ground for removal shall be valid.
SECTION 7. (1) The board shall administer, coordinate and enforce the provisions of this act, evaluate the qualifications and approve the examinations for licensure under this act, and may issue subpoenas, examine witnesses, administer oaths and investigate allegations for practices violating the provisions of this act.
(2) The board shall adopt such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the laws of this state, as may be necessary to effectuate the provisions of this act, and may amend or repeal the same as may be necessary for such purposes, with the advice of the council. Such rules and regulations shall be adopted in accordance with the provisions of Section 25-43-1 et seq.
(3) The board shall conduct hearings and keep such records and minutes as are necessary to carry out its functions. It shall provide reasonable public notice to the appropriate persons as to the time and place of all hearings authorized under this act in such a manner and at such times as it may determine by its rules and regulations.
(4) The conferral or enumeration of specific powers elsewhere in this act shall not be construed as a limitation of the general functions by this section.
SECTION 8. (1) The administration of the provisions of this act shall be financed from income accruing from fees, licenses and charges assessed and collected by the board and from such other funds available to the board. In addition, the board shall receive and account for all funds received and shall keep such funds in a special fund which is hereby created in the State Treasury. Funds collected under provisions of this act shall be used solely for the expenses incurred in the administration of the provisions of this act, which may include full or partial financing of the continuing professional education program provided for under subsection (1) of Section 13 of this act. Such funds shall be subject to audit by the State Auditor.
(2) Members of the council shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for their expenses actually incurred in the execution of their powers and duties, including mileage, as provided in Section 25-3-41.
SECTION 9. (1) The board shall issue licenses and notices of renewal, revocation, suspension or reinstatement, and shall publish annually the names of persons licensed under this act.
(2) The board shall publish and disseminate to all licensees, in an appropriate manner, the license standards prescribed by this act, any amendments thereto, and such rules and regulations as the board may adopt under the authority of Section 7 of this act, within sixty (60) days of their adoption.
SECTION 10. (1) An applicant applying for a license as a kinesical therapist shall file a written application on forms provided by the board, showing to the satisfaction of the board that he or she:
(a) Is of good moral character;
(b) Has successfully completed the academic requirements of an education program in kinesical therapy recognized by the board, with a concentration of instruction in the biological, behavior and applied sciences in addition to clinical application of a movement health science, kinesicaliological training, activities, health and neuromuscular education relevant to illness, the handicapped and the relationship to a variety of disabling clinical conditions, kinesical therapy theory and practice. For a kinesical therapist, a minimum of one thousand two hundred fifty (1,250) hours or one (1) year of supervised fieldwork experience under the direct supervision of a licensed kinesical therapist or a licensed physician whose license is in good standing shall be required.
(2) The board shall approve an examination that will be used for the licensure of kinesical therapists.
(3) Any person applying for licensure, in addition to demonstrating his eligibility in accordance with the requirements of this section, shall make application to the board for review of proof of his eligibility on a form and in such a manner as the board shall prescribe. The application shall be accompanied by the fee fixed in accordance with the provisions of Section 14 of this act.
(4) Foreign trained kinesical therapists shall satisfy the examination requirements of this section. The board shall require foreign trained applicants to furnish proof of good moral character and completion of educational and supervised fieldwork requirements substantially equal to those contained in this section before taking the examination.
(5) The board shall waive the educational, experience and examination requirements for licensure in subsections (1), (2), (3) and (4) of this section for applicants for licensure who present evidence to the board that they have been engaged in the practice of kinesical therapy on and prior to July 1, 1998. Such proof of actual practice shall be presented to the board in such manner as it may prescribe by rule or regulation. To obtain the benefit of this waiver, an applicant shall file an application for licensure no later than six (6) months from July 1, 1998, and meet the requirements outlined in subsections (1), (2), (3) and (4) of this section.
SECTION 11. (1) The board shall issue a license to any person who meets the requirements of this act upon payment of the license fee.
(2) The board shall issue a temporary license to persons who have completed the education and experience requirements of this act upon payment of the temporary license fee. This license shall allow the person to practice kinesical therapy under the supervision of a kinesical therapist who holds a current license in this state, and shall be valid until the date on which the results of the next qualifying examination have been made public. The temporary license may be renewed one (1) time if the applicant has failed the examination.
(3) Any person who is issued a license as a kinesical therapist under this act may use the words "Registered Kinesical Therapist" or "Kinesical Therapist Registered" or the letters "RKT" or "KTR" in connection with his or her name or place of business to denote licensure under this act.
SECTION 12. (1) The board, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, has the power to deny, refuse to renew, suspend or revoke the license of, or impose probationary conditions upon, any licensee who has been guilty of unprofessional conduct which has endangered or is likely to endanger the health, welfare or public safety of the public. Such unprofessional conduct includes:
(a) Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license by fraud, misrepresentation or concealment of material facts;
(b) Being guilty of unprofessional conduct as defined by the rules and regulations established by the board, or violating the code of ethics adopted and published by the board;
(c) Being convicted of a crime in any court, except for minor offenses defined as "minor misdemeanors," "violations" or "offenses" in any court, if the acts which he or she was convicted are found by the board to have a direct bearing on whether he or she should be entrusted to serve the public in the capacity of kinesical therapist;
(d) Violating any lawful order, rule or regulation rendered or adopted by the board; and
(e) Violating any provision of this act.
(2) A denial of, refusal to renew, suspension or revocation of the license of, or imposition of probationary conditions upon, a license may be ordered by the board after a hearing in the manner provided by the rules and regulations adopted by the board. An application for reinstatement may be made to the board after one (1) year from the date of the revocation of a license. The board may accept or reject an application for reinstatement and hold a hearing to consider such reinstatement.
SECTION 13. (1) Any license issued under this act shall be subject to annual renewal, and shall expire unless renewed in the manner prescribed by the rules and regulations of the board, upon the payment of a renewal fee and demonstration of completion of continuing professional education. The board may provide for the late renewal of a license upon the payment of a late fee in accordance with its rules and regulations, but no late renewal of a license may be granted more than two (2) years after its expiration.
(2) Upon request and payment of the license fee required, the board shall grant inactive status to a licensee who:
(a) Does not practice as a kinesical therapist; or
(b) Does not hold himself or herself out as a kinesical therapist; or
(c) Does not maintain the continuing education requirements.
(3) A suspended license is subject to expiration and may be renewed as provided in this section, but such renewal shall not entitle the suspended licensee to engage in the licensed activity or in any other conduct or activity in violation of the order or judgment by which the license was suspended. If a license revoked on disciplinary grounds is reinstated, the licensee, as a condition of reinstatement, shall pay the renewal fee and any late fee that may be applicable.
SECTION 14. (1) The board is empowered to prescribe and publish reasonable fees for the following purposes:
(a) Application fee, which is nonrefundable;
(b) Initial license fee;
(c) Renewal of license fee;
(d) Late renewal fee;
(e) Temporary license fee;
(f) Reinstatement of license fee;
(g) Inactive license fee.
(2) Such fees shall be commensurate to the extent feasible with the cost of fulfilling the duties of the board and council as defined by this act. However, no individual fee shall exceed One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00).
SECTION 15. (1) It is unlawful for any person who is not licensed as a kinesical therapist under this act, or any person whose license has been suspended or revoked, to use in connection with his or her name or place of business the words "Registered Kinesical Therapist," or "Kinesical Therapist Registered," or the letters "RKT," "KTR" or any other words, letters, abbreviations or insignia indicating or implying that he or she is a kinesical therapist or to show in any way, orally, in writing, in print or by sign, directly or by implication, or to represent himself or herself as a kinesical therapist.
(2) Any person who violates any provision of Section 4 of this act and subsection (1) of this section shall upon conviction be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).
SECTION 16. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.