2023 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services
By: Representative Currie
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 73-23-33 AND 73-23-35, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE A PRESCRIPTION OR REFERRAL BY A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER FOR PHYSICAL THERAPY SERVICES TO REMAIN VALID FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR; 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
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 * * *
therapist" means a person licensed in this state to practice physical
therapy as defined in this chapter, and whose license is in good standing, or a
person who holds the privilege to practice * * *
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 * * *
"Referral" means the written or oral designation of physical therapy
services by a doctor of medicine, dentistry, osteopathy, podiatry or chiropractic,
or by a physician assistant or nurse practitioner, holding a license in good
standing; and the instruction * * *
for physical therapy services, which
must remain valid for a period of one (1) year from the date the referral is made,
may be as detailed or as general as the doctor, physician assistant or nurse
practitioner in his or her sound discretion deems necessary in the particular
case * * * .
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
or physical therapist who holds the privilege to practice at regular intervals,
as prescribed in regulations adopted by the board, of the services provided to
a patient by a licensed physical therapist assistant or physical therapist
assistant who holds the privilege to practice * * *
(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; however, a licensed physical therapist shall be authorized to have direct supervision over not more than four (4) physical therapist assistants at one time.
(h) "Privilege to practice" means the authorization to practice as a physical therapist in this state or work as a physical therapist assistant in this state under the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact provided for in Section 73-23-101.
(i) "Licensee" means a person who has been issued a license to practice physical therapy or work as a physical therapy assistant in the state or who holds the privilege to practice physical therapy or work as a physical therapy assistant in the state.
SECTION 2. Section 73-23-35, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-23-35. (1) A person, corporation, association or business entity shall not use in connection with that person's or party's name or the name or activity of the business the words "physical therapy," "physical therapist," "physiotherapy," "physiotherapist," "registered physical therapist," "doctor of physical therapy," "physical therapist assistant," the letters "PT," "DPT," "LPT," "RPT," "PTA," "LPTA," and/or any other words, abbreviations, or insignia indicating or implying directly or indirectly that physical therapy is provided or supplied unless such services are provided by or under the direction of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant, as the case may be, with a valid and current license issued pursuant to this chapter or with the privilege to practice. It shall be unlawful to employ an unlicensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant to provide physical therapy services.
(2) The board shall aid the state's attorneys of the various counties in the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter and the prosecution of any violations thereof. In addition to the criminal penalties provided by this chapter, the civil remedy of injunction shall be available to restrain and enjoin violations of any provisions of this chapter without proof of actual damages sustained by any person. For purposes of this chapter, the board, in seeking an injunction, need only show that the defendant violated subsection (1) of this section to establish irreparable injury or a likelihood of a continuation of the violation.
(3) A physical therapist
licensed under this chapter or privileged to practice shall not perform physical
therapy services without a prescription or referral * * *
that was written or orally made by a
person licensed as a physician, dentist, osteopath, podiatrist, chiropractor,
physician assistant or nurse practitioner within a one-year period preceding
the date on which the physical therapy services are to be performed.
However, a physical therapist licensed under this chapter or privileged to
practice may perform physical therapy services without a prescription or
referral under the following circumstances:
(a) To children with a diagnosed developmental disability pursuant to the patient's plan of care.
(b) As part of a home health care agency pursuant to the patient's plan of care.
(c) To a patient in a nursing home pursuant to the patient's plan of care.
(d) Related to conditioning or to providing education or activities in a wellness setting for the purpose of injury prevention, reduction of stress or promotion of fitness.
(e) (i) To an individual for a previously diagnosed condition or conditions for which physical therapy services are appropriate after informing the health care provider rendering the diagnosis. The diagnosis must have been made within the previous one hundred eighty (180) days. The physical therapist shall provide the health care provider who rendered the diagnosis with a plan of care for physical therapy services within the first fifteen (15) days of physical therapy intervention.
(ii) Nothing in this chapter shall create liability of any kind for the health care provider rendering the diagnosis under this paragraph (e) for a condition, illness or injury that manifested itself after the diagnosis, or for any alleged damages as a result of physical therapy services performed without a prescription or referral from a person licensed as a physician, dentist, osteopath, podiatrist, chiropractor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner, the diagnosis and/or prescription for physical therapy services having been rendered with reasonable care.
(4) Physical therapy services performed without a prescription or referral from a person licensed as a physician, dentist, osteopath, podiatrist, chiropractor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner shall not be construed to mandate coverage for physical therapy services under any health care plan, insurance policy, or workers' compensation or circumvent any requirement for preauthorization of services in accordance with any health care plan, insurance policy or workers' compensation.
(5) Nothing in this section shall restrict the Division of Medicaid from setting rules and regulations regarding the coverage of physical therapy services and nothing in this section shall amend or change the Division of Medicaid's schedule of benefits, exclusions and/or limitations related to physical therapy services as determined by state or federal regulations and state and federal law.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2023.