1997 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Representative Moody
House Bill 820
(As Passed the House)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 73-24-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE EXEMPTION FROM OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST LICENSURE FOR STUDENTS IN SPECIALTY CERTIFICATION TRAINING IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY; TO DECREASE THE NUMBER OF DAYS A NONLICENSED OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST MAY PRACTICE UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A LICENSED OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST AND TO CONFORM TO AN ORGANIZATIONAL NAME CHANGE; TO AMEND SECTION 73-24-19, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM TO AN ORGANIZATIONAL NAME CHANGE FOR OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST LICENSURE PURPOSES; TO AMEND SECTION 73-24-23, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE ISSUANCE OF A TEMPORARY LICENSE TO OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANTS; TO AMEND SECTION 73-24-27, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE FOR BIENNIAL LICENSURE OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS; AND TO CHANGE THE NAME OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT TO OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 73-24-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-24-9. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as preventing or restricting the practice, services or activities of:
(a) Any person, licensed in this state by any other law, from engaging in the profession or occupation for which he or she is licensed;
(b) Any person who is employed as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant by the United States armed services, the United States Public Health Service, the Veteran's Administration or other federal agencies, if such person provides occupational therapy solely under the direction or control of the organization by which he is employed;
(c) Any person pursuing a course of study leading to a degree or certificate in occupational therapy in an accredited, recognized or approved educational program, or advanced training in a specialty area, if such activities and services constitute a part of the supervised course of study, and if such person is designated by a title which clearly indicates his status as a trainee or student;
(d) Any person fulfilling the supervised fieldwork experience requirements of Section 73-24-19, if such activities and services constitute a part of the experience necessary to meet the requirements of that section;
(e) Any person employed as an occupational therapy aide or who works under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist; or
(f) Any person performing occupational therapy services in the state, if these services are performed for no more than ninety (90) days in a calendar year under the supervision of an occupational therapist licensed under this chapter, if:
(i) The person is licensed under the law of another state which has licensure requirements at least as stringent as the requirements of this chapter, or
(ii) The person is certified as an Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) or a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA), established by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT), or its successor organization.
(g) Any person certified by the American Board of Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics as a Certified Orthotist, C.O., Certified Prosthetist, C.P., Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist, C.P.O., or anyone working under their direct supervision.
SECTION 2. Section 73-24-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-24-19. (1) An applicant applying for a license as an occupational therapist or as an occupational therapy assistant shall file a written application on forms provided by the board, showing to the satisfaction of the board that he meets the following requirements:
(a) Is of good moral character;
(b) Has successfully completed the academic requirements of an education program in occupational therapy recognized by the board, with a concentration of instruction in basic human sciences, the human development process, occupational tasks and activities, the health-illness-health continuum, and occupational therapy theory and practice:
(i) For an occupational therapist, such program shall be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association or its successor organization;
(ii) For an occupational therapy assistant, such a program shall be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association or its successor organization.
(c) Has successfully completed a period of supervised fieldwork experience at a recognized educational institution or a training program approved by the educational institution where he or she met the academic requirements:
(i) For an occupational therapist, the required supervised fieldwork experience shall meet current national standards that are published annually by the board;
(ii) For an occupational therapy assistant, the required supervised fieldwork experience shall meet national standards that are published annually by the board.
(2) The board shall approve an examination for occupational therapists and an examination for occupational therapy assistants that will be used as the examination for licensure.
(3) Any person applying for licensure shall, in addition to demonstrating his eligibility in accordance with the requirements of this section, make application to the board for review of proof of his eligibility for certification by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT), or its successor organization, 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 73-24-29. The board shall establish standards for acceptable performance on the examination. A person who fails an examination may apply for re-examination upon payment of the prescribed fee.
(4) Applicants for licensure shall be examined at a time and place and under such supervision as the board may require. The board shall give reasonable public notice of these examinations in accordance with its rules and regulations.
(5) An applicant may be licensed as an occupational therapist if he or she: (a) has practiced as an occupational therapy assistant for four (4) years, (b) has completed the requirements of a period of six (6) months of supervised fieldwork experience at a recognized educational institution or a training program approved by a recognized accredited educational institution before January 1, 1988, and (c) has passed the examination for occupational therapists.
SECTION 3. Section 73-24-23, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-24-23. (1) The board shall issue a license to any person who meets the requirements of this chapter and upon payment of the license fee.
(2) The board shall issue a limited permit to persons who have completed the education and experience requirements of this act upon payment of the limited permit fee. This permit shall allow the person to practice occupational therapy or assist in the practice of occupational therapy, as the case may be, under the supervision of an occupational 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 limited permit can be renewed one (1) time if the applicant has failed the examination.
(3) Any person who is issued a license as an occupational therapist under this chapter may use the words "occupational therapist registered," or he may use the letters "O.T.R.," "L.O.T." OR "O.T." in connection with his or her name or place of business to denote licensure under this chapter.
(4) Any person who is issued a license as an occupational therapy assistant under this chapter may use the words "occupational therapy assistant," "licensed occupational therapy assistant" or "certified occupational therapy assistant," or may use the letters "O.T.A.," "L.O.T.A." OR "C.O.T.A.," in connection with his name or place of business to denote licensure under this chapter.
SECTION 4. Section 73-24-27, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-24-27. (1) Any license issued under this chapter shall be subject to * * * 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 an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant, (b) does not hold himself or herself out as an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant, and (c) does not maintain any 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 of 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. The procedure for the reinstatement of a license that is suspended for being out of compliance with an order for support, as defined in Section 93-11-153, shall be governed by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.