The PT Compact from an Administrator’s Perspective
Adrienne Price, Director, Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy; Director on the FSBPT Board of Directors
The Physical Therapy Compact benefits the public and member boards in a variety of ways. It enables physical therapy providers to become more mobile by creating an opportunity for them to practice in their home state as well other compact states without experiencing the burden of obtaining a license in each individual state. With increased mobility of eligible physical therapy providers comes improvements to public access to physical therapy services. It also helps reduce member board workload by reducing the amount of time member state staff will need to process out-of-state renewals, verification, and endorsements. Each individual state will no longer need to collect application fees, conduct their own background checks, process the application, and issue individual licenses. Instead, the PT Compact Commission collects the fees on behalf of each jurisdiction, issues privileges in accordance with the agreed upon statutes and rules, and maintains an online system by which member boards may verify that physical therapy providers meet PT Compact eligibility requirements.
Twenty-five states have enacted legislation to join the PT Compact and thirteen are actively issuing compact privileges. Once enacted, the state board is charged with making sure that the new requirements and processes specified by the PT Compact in its law and rules are implemented. Figuring out what needs to be done can seem daunting, but there are many resources at your disposal.
While there are several steps along the way, PT Compact staff provides member boards with a detailed “to-do” list. It includes actions such as identifying a delegate to serve on the PT Compact Commission, fulfilling data sharing requirements, adopting new rules, and providing training for board staff. PT Compact staff work closely with administrators and their boards to make sure boards understand the requirements and learn from the states that have already implemented the PT Compact.
For example, each jurisdiction must set its own fee for each compact privilege. The PT Compact Commission created a guidance document that provides information and important factors state boards should consider when establishing that fee. One such consideration may be whether lower fees in contiguous states may impact the demand for compact privileges in your state. Another could be whether the cost of your renewal fee encourages or discourages the purchase of a compact privilege. These are important considerations as they establish whether or not your state fee incentivizes the use of the PT Compact while also balancing other considerations.
No matter where you are on your own PT Compact journey, don’t forget that your fellow administrators are another great resource. Talking with your peers can help prepare you for any challenges and assist you with projecting and anticipating what the PT Compact could mean for your state.
So while daunting at first glance, I am confident that in light of the value to not only the PTs and PTAs but also the long-term benefits to state licensing boards the enactment and implementation of the PT Compact will be well worth it.
Adrienne D. Price RN, BA, MSN, obtained her associates of science in nursing from Macon State College, her bachelor of arts degree from Mercer University, and her masters of science in nursing from the University of Phoenix. As a registered nurse, she practiced in a number of different health care settings including obstetrics, gynecology, hospice and palliative care, pediatrics with a concentration in developmental disabilities, public health, and nursing regulation as a Legal and Disciplinary Nurse Consultant. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) appointed her as the Promising Practice Consultant for Discipline on the Committee for the Commitment to Ongoing Regulatory Excellence (CORE). She was also a member of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI). In 2013 she was instrumental in the development, editing, and the selection of content for the board of nursing’s quarterly magazine, The Georgian Nurse. She also served on the County Health Emergency Assistance Resource Team (CHEART), an affiliate of the Public Health Task Force for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) in the North Central Health District. Adrienne has been with the Professional Licensing Boards Division of the Georgia Office of Secretary of State for twelve years and has served in her present role as the Executive Director of seven licensing boards, including the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy, for five years. She has been involved with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy as a member of the FSBPT Membership Survey Task Force, a member of the FSBPT Resolutions Committee, the Chair of the FSBPT Re-entry to Practice Task Force, and an awardee of the FSBPT Outstanding Service Award in 2018.
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