Forum - Winter 2015
Table of Contents
We’ve been focusing on the licensure compact since 2010, when Mississippi and Texas brought forth a motion that was passed by the Delegate Assembly. The motion recommended that the Federation explore the feasibility of establishing a licensure compact similar to what the nurses were doing. In 2013, the delegate assembly passed a motion supporting the concept.
Since then, multiple FSBPT groups have worked on this concept: the Ethics and Legislation Committee, Compact Advisory Task Force and Compact Drafting Team. APTA representatives were a part of the advisory task force and drafting team. And we had significant assistance from the Council of State Governments and colleagues from other professions who were moving forward for compacts in their profession.
The Council of Board Administrators was created by the FSBPT bylaws to provide its members a forum to share information relevant to board functions, regulatory practices, practice standards and issues, licensing processes and security, and enforcement issues in the practice of physical therapy.
In February 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling in North Carolina State Dental Board v. Federal Trade Commission, concluding that state regulatory boards composed of a “controlling number” of “active market participants” are not immune from federal antitrust laws unless they can demonstrate “active supervision” by the state. The ruling has been celebrated by some and condemned by others.
How do boards assure that a licensed physical therapist or assistant is competent? Currently boards rely on two main mechanisms, continuing competence requirements and complaints from consumers and others. The latter is a reactive mechanism and requires that the consumer understands what effective care is. This session explored these issues as well as what boards can do to enhance current mechanisms and identify other ways boards can meet their charge of assuring competent care. The interactive session also presented some of the new initiatives the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has been working on to increase consumer awareness and possible ways licensing boards can collaborate in these endeavors.
The presentation began with a story about Martin and Elaine Bromley. Martin is an airline pilot, an important distinction because the airline industry culture focuses on solving problems when they occur instead of assessing blame. The flying public generally believes all accidents are preventable. The aviation industry, however, realizes that human error is inevitable and when errors occur, it’s best to find ways to ensure a repetition of the error is minimized.
Martin’s wife, Elaine, was a fit, healthy woman with no major medical problems. She was admitted to London hospital for a minor and routine procedure. She did not survive. Elaine died from a wholly preventable anesthetic mishap.
This presentation reviewed the most recent research in the field of telerehabilitation, implications of research findings, and areas of research still needed.
In addition, current federal legislation containing telehealth language and novel applications of telehealth in post-acute care rehabilitation settings was presented, including teleconsultation and workflow design, and how these applications meet healthcare reform goals.
For several years, jurisdictions have sought information from FSBPT regarding the ability of physical therapists to perform dry needling; however, no publically available studies have explicitly examined what PTs must know and be able to do to perform dry needling safely and effectively.
To provide its members with objective, professionally developed guidance, FSBPT sponsored a practice analysis of the competencies required of physical therapists to perform dry needling. The primary objective was to first identify knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that are specifically needed for competency in dry needling. The second objective was to identify where PTs acquire these KSAs: entry-level PT education or specialized training.
This presentation included a “deep dive” into some of FSBPT’s key continuing competence (CC) tools and services — aPTitude and ProCert. An in-depth technical exploration of these products and services and how they manage and share information and support the Federation’s shared mission of public protection were explored.
This presentation explored the benefits, challenges, and opportunities from international collaboration and connectivity of physiotherapy regulators. It examined the strong international influences shaping the development of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) in Australia, including the integration of best practice approaches to health practitioner regulation.
Whether board member or staff, there is a growing trend that any emails discussing official public business, whether originating from a public or private email account, is subject to public inspection. This presentation discussed what board members and staff need to know about using their private and public email accounts to avoid negative media attention or legal liability.
This session highlighted the legislative strategies for implementing the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact (PTLC). Topics included how to evaluate your potential for success in your state, the importance of collaboration, what assistance is available, and how to get started. It also covered considerations in talking to legislators and what their concerns might be.
If regulators are concerned about the availability of healthcare providers for their citizens, then collecting minimum data elements is a regulatory issue. The lack of timely, relevant data on the workforce is a barrier to developing workforce programs and policies to support improvements in healthcare delivery. Policy makers and potential patients need to know what physical therapy is and where the providers are so that physical therapy can be easily available to those who need it.
The Minimum Data Set provides jurisdictions with knowledge as to whether there is a shortage of PTs or PTAs or if there is a mal-distribution based on population needs. Jurisdictions can then ascertain if there are current or potential future gaps in access to physical therapy providers in certain locations.
This column addresses the legislative and regulatory activity and topics of interest currently being addressed in various jurisdictions. Specific topics discussed in this article are direct access, telehealth and actions taken by specific jurisdictions.