2005 Regular Session

To: Public Health and Human Services

By: Representative Holland, Gibbs

House Bill 1176



     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)  * * *

          (e)  "Board" means the State Board of Physical Therapy established in Section 73-23-41;

          (f)  "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;

          (g)  "Direct supervision" means face-to-face oversight at regular intervals of a physical therapist issued a temporary license under Section 73-23-53(1) by a licensed physical therapist.  Such direct supervision shall be in accordance with the regulations adopted by the board.

     SECTION 2.  Section 73-23-59, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     73-23-59.  (1)  Licensees subject to this chapter shall conduct their activities, services and practice in accordance with this chapter and any rules promulgated pursuant hereto.  Licensees may be subject to the exercise of the disciplinary sanction enumerated in Section 73-23-64 if the board finds that a licensee is guilty of any of the following:

          (a)  Negligence in the practice or performance of professional services or activities;

          (b)  Engaging in dishonorable, unethical or unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public in the course of professional services or activities;

          (c)  Perpetrating or cooperating in fraud or material deception in obtaining or renewing a license or attempting the same;

          (d)  Being convicted of any crime which has a substantial relationship to the licensee's activities and services or an essential element of which is misstatement, fraud or dishonesty;

          (e)  Being convicted of any crime which is a felony under the laws of this state or the United States;

          (f)  Engaging in or permitting the performance of unacceptable services personally or by others working under the licensee's supervision due to the licensee's deliberate or negligent act or acts or failure to act, regardless of whether actual damage or damages to the public is established;

          (g)  Continued practice although the licensee has become unfit to practice as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant due to:  (i) failure to keep abreast of current professional theory or practice; or (ii) physical or mental disability; the entry of an order or judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction that a licensee is in need of mental treatment or is incompetent shall constitute mental disability; or (iii) addiction or severe dependency upon alcohol or other drugs which may endanger the public by impairing the licensee's ability to practice;

          (h)  Having disciplinary action taken against the licensee's license in another state;

          (i)  Making differential, detrimental treatment against any person because of race, color, creed, sex, religion or national origin;

          (j)  Engaging in lewd conduct in connection with professional services or activities;

          (k)  Engaging in false or misleading advertising;

          (l)  Contracting, assisting or permitting unlicensed persons to perform services for which a license is required under this chapter;

          (m)  Violation of any probation requirements placed on a license by the board;

          (n)  Revealing confidential information except as may be required by law;

          (o)  Failing to inform clients of the fact that the client no longer needs the services or professional assistance of the licensee;

          (p)  Charging excessive or unreasonable fees or engaging in unreasonable collection practices;

          (q)  For treating or attempting to treat ailments or other health conditions of human beings other than by physical therapy as authorized by this chapter;

          (r) * * *  For acting as a physical therapist assistant other than under the direct, on-site supervision of a licensed physical therapist;

          (s)  Violations of the current codes of conduct for physical therapists and physical therapy assistants adopted by the American Physical Therapy Association;

          (t)  Violations of any rules or regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter.

     (2)  The board may order a licensee to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if the licensee's physical or mental capacity to practice safely is at issue in a disciplinary proceeding.

     (3)  Failure to comply with a board order to submit to a physical or mental examination shall render a licensee subject to the summary suspension procedures described in Section 73-23-64.

     (4)  In addition to the reasons specified in subsection (1) of this section, the board shall be authorized to suspend the license of any licensee for being out of compliance with an order for support, as defined in Section 93-11-153.  The procedure for suspension of a license for being out of compliance with an order for support, and the procedure for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, and the payment of any fees for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, shall be governed by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be.  If there is any conflict between any provision of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 and any provision of this chapter, the provisions of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be, shall control.

     SECTION 3.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.