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Important updates and timely information for FSBPT members and stakeholders.

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December 2019
Volume 21, Number 12

Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy

In this News Brief:

FSBPT Forgives the PT Compact's Debt

The FSBPT Board of Directors has approved forgiveness of the PT Compact's debt to FSBPT/LCASO with the amount determined as of December 31, 2019. The approximate amount is $375,000. The line-of-credit will remain reduced by this amount. Because of FSBPT’s good financial performance in investments, additional funds were available to allow for this step.

Trauma’s Impact on Boundary Violation Investigations Training

Justice 3D is a leading educator in issues related to investigating and prosecuting sexual assault, child abuse, and domestic violence cases. At the 2019 FSBPT Annual Meeting, Nancy Oglesby, a career sexual assault prosecutor, and Michael Milnor, a retired Chief of Police, shared an overview of how the brain reacts when experiencing trauma and the impact this has on memory, emotions, and behavior. They also discussed communications and interview techniques for working with victims of trauma.

Based on the level of interest expressed at the 2019 Annual Meeting, FSBPT has arranged to offer a two-day training by Justice 3D for board members, administrators, investigators, and attorneys.

Based on the presenters' availability and feedback from membership, the event will be held March 26-27 in Arlington, Virginia, at the Crowne Plaza Crystal City. FSBPT will cover lunch for all participants on both days of the workshop. 

The FSBPT Board has also approved funds to help support ONE board or staff member from each jurisdiction to attend this training.

  • FSBPT will cover air travel and hotel.
  • The State Board’s selected participant will cover a $50 registration fee, travel incidentals, meals while traveling, and all breakfasts and dinners.

Additionally, the training will be open to all other members who would like to attend. The registration fee will be $300 and all travel costs will be the responsibility of the participant. Register Now!

Express Your Interest in Running for Office in 2020

At the 2020 Delegate Assembly in Orange County, California, elections will be held for the following positions on the Board of Directors and the Nominating Committee.

DIRECTOR POSITION #1 (three-year term):
Must be a current administrative staff member of a Member Board.

DIRECTOR POSITION #2 (three-year term):
Must be a member of a Member Board, administrator of a Member Board, or an Associate Member* at the time of election.

Must be member of a Member Board, administrator of a Member Board, an Associate Member*, or an individual with expertise to facilitate the task of the committee. 

Are you interested in running for a position? View the job descriptions and email before December 31, 2019. (Please include the position(s) for which you are interested.) You’ll hear about next steps in early 2020. 

*An Associate Member is a former member or administrator of a Member Board, a former member of the Board of Directors, a former committee or task force member, or a member of the Academy of Advanced Item Writers.

The Nominating Committee will hold a Candidate Forum at the 2020 Leadership Issues Forum to introduce 2020 candidates for the Board of Directors and the Nominating Committee, in addition to the Candidate Forum at the Annual Meeting. Further, the Nominating Committee will be seeking candidates interested in being slated for the 2021 elections. These positions will include: Secretary, Treasurer, and Director. The qualifications for these positions can be found in the Board and Committee Job Descriptions.

Topics at the Leadership Issues Forum

FSBPT strives to be a deliberative organization and seeks to present new approaches and changes in a purposeful manner before our Leadership Issues Forum (LIF). Providing topics in advance allows the board an opportunity to carefully prepare topics for consideration. Bringing topics to LIF where our members have plenty of time to engage in thoughtful dialogue allows us to truly get member input into important topics. A number of topics have been presented at consecutive LIF meetings to make sure they are vetted properly, like the most recent bylaw changes or the disciplinary action guidelines. We welcome your input into future topics for LIF and look forward to hearing from you all!  We already have some potential topics in the pipeline for this year’s meeting so stay tuned for more information in future News Briefs.

Call for Presentation Proposals and Ideas for the 2020 Annual Meeting

We are accepting presentation ideas and proposals for the 2020 Annual Meeting!
Please submit your proposal by March 3, 2020.

If your proposal is chosen, two presenters will be funded to attend the FSBPT Annual Meeting in Orange County, California, October 22-24.

If you have a topic of interest but you do not have suggested speakers or an official proposal, please share the topic with us. We welcome ideas!

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The Professional Licensing Coalition

The Professional Licensing Coalition has modified their earlier bill previously introduced to the US House and Senate.

The impact of these changes is to limit private (not FTC or government antitrust actions) antitrust damages against occupational licensing boards that meet appropriate oversight standards (state required license, adhere to standards of practice and ethical standards, public need, potential harm or endangerment to the health, safety, or public welfare, along with appointment by elected state officer, public member on the board, and the right to appeal).

Adverse Action and the National Practitioner Database

The National Practitioner Data Base (NPDB) was established by Congress in 1986. It is a workforce tool that prevents practitioners from moving state to state without disclosure or discovery of previous damaging performance. Its mission is to improve health care quality, protect the public, and reduce health care fraud and abuse in the United States. NPDB offers a potentially rich depository of adverse actions from professional liability carriers, state licensing boards, and health care organizations.

One challenge is the lack of definitions for the basis for action codes. Terminology between member jurisdictions/professions/legal entities are very different. NPDB basis for action codes and descriptors are repetitive and have very large categories (e.g., “unprofessional conduct”). There are currently no definitions or delineation of when to use one code over the other.

FSBPT along with other professional regulatory bodies (the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, Association of Social Work Boards, National Council of State Boards of Nursing, and Federation of State Medical Boards) have reached out to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and have agreed to begin work on an interdisciplinary taxonomy for basis for action codes. We will share more information after the group convenes in early 2020.

Ethics & Legislation Committee Completes Resource on Criminal History Record Information

Criminal History Record Information (CHRI), unofficially known as the criminal background check (CBC) and more informally known as a Record of Arrests and Prosecutions (RAP) Sheet, means a search of the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database using an individual’s fingerprints. By law, the FBI may exchange information with officials of state and local governments for noncriminal justice purposes, such as licensing, given that the state has proper statutory authority. With more and more jurisdictions adding a review of an individual’s CHRI prior to issuing an initial license as a PT or PTA, FSBPT’s members voiced a need for assistance in this area.  

The Ethics & Legislation Committee developed this resource for member boards to help understand, handle, and use CHRI appropriately. The goals of this resource are to share foundational information, assist the membership, and help boards gain a basic understanding of the CHRI process. The paper contains information on the following topics:

  • Use of CHRI in other professions
  • Use of CHRI in the physical therapy community
  • Current legislative environment
  • Starting out: CHRI as a licensure requirement
  • Implications for the board requiring CHRI        
  • Limitations of the FBI CHRI
  • Liability of the board member
  • Creating a potential evidence base

The profession of physical therapy has moved to a higher level of accountability and access, increasing the level of responsibility on the board to screen applicants as appropriate for licensure. 

Boards have a duty to ensure, to the best of their ability, that PTs and PTAs are safe, competent practitioners who meet certain qualifications for licensure, thus increasing the public’s trust and security in the physical therapy profession and providers. Having a comprehensive report that provides the board with knowledge of incidents from an applicant’s history may help identify appropriate pre-licensure remediation or post-licensure restrictions. However, the CHRI cannot be the only item considered in a licensure decision and each case should be evaluated individually and in the totality of the application.

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education

Accreditation of physical therapist and physical therapist assistant educational programs is a quality assurance process under which the educational programs are evaluated by an external organization to determine if objective standards are met. If the educational program meets the standards, accredited status is granted.

Since 1983, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) has been the only agency nationally recognized to accredit first professional (entry-level) education programs for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. CAPTE does not accredit transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (tDPT) or post-graduate (non-entry-level) physical therapy educational programs. An individual applying to a jurisdiction with a tDPT should NOT be considered a graduate of a CAPTE accredited education program. The education requirement for licensure is for an entry-level education program that leads to the first professional degree in the field. A tDPT does not fulfill that requirement, nor does a post-licensure physical therapy graduate education program. A graduate of a non-CAPTE program would need to complete a CAPTE accredited PT or PTA program to no longer be considered a foreign educated graduate. However, tDPT coursework is often valuable as a means to help an individual meet deficits identified on their educational credentials review. 

Jurisdiction licensing boards may take assurance that individuals completing an accredited program of study meet a consistent standard and quality of education to safely practice physical therapy. Most commonly, the following individual will not have completed a CAPTE accredited program:

  • US Military-trained PTA
  • Foreign Educated PT
  • Foreign Educated PTA

Jurisdiction licensing boards can find many resources on the CAPTE website:

  • A Directory of Programs includes all physical therapist and physical therapist assistant programs accredited by CAPTE across the world.
  • A Directory of Developing Programs lists educational programs that are working towards CAPTE accreditation and includes the current status of the program.
  • The Master Lists of Accredited Education Programs for the PT and PTA are sources of more in-depth information about each CAPTE accredited program, such as degrees offered, date first accredited, most recent accreditation visit, first and last graduating classes, and other notes.

FSBPT maintains a list of school codes that correspond to non-CAPTE and CAPTE-accredited education programs inside and outside of the United States; these codes do not change even if the name of the school changes.

The NPTE Receives Buros Accreditation

The National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) has once again received Stage One accreditation from the Buros Center for Testing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Stage One accreditation reviews all aspects of a testing program, including candidate information and registration materials, test construction processes, qualifications of staff and volunteers, psychometric test quality, test security, administration, and scoring procedures. Receiving the accreditation supports the defensibility of the NPTE in its role supporting the overall mission of FSBPT. The evaluation was very positive, lauding the NPTE program for improving the quality of the exam, candidate communications, and the services we provide.

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Cooperation Among Credentialing Agencies

Although market competitors, representatives from three educational credentials agencies—FCCPT, the International Consultants of Delaware, and the International Education Research Foundation—met at FSBPT offices on November 22 to collaborate on industry best practices and discuss items of mutual interest and concern. Agenda items for this year’s meeting included the following topics:

  • Credits claimed by the university for a physical therapist education program in the Philippines
  • Coursework Tool 6
  • Eligibility requirements for the NPTE
  • Confusion for foreign-educated PTs with transitional DPT programs
  • Duke University’s online education program for foreign-educated PTs
  • FSBPT’s Coursework Tool (CWT) Licensing Agreement

The current CWT licensing agreements between the agencies and FSBPT expire December 31, 2019. Agencies will now be required to disclose any potential conflict of interest and also provide the FSBPT ID of each graduate of a non-CAPTE accredited program found to be substantially equivalent. The FSBPT ID will allow for the collection of better quality data without the need to share protected personal information. Better quality data regarding performance of those individuals evaluated on CWT6 allows FSBPT to provide the best possible recommendation to member jurisdictions regarding requirements for access to the NPTE and licensure. The agencies may gather the FSBPT ID through their choice of means. However, FSBPT will provide instructions on how to obtain FSBPT ID numbers, which agencies can share with applicants.  

These agencies have met annually either in person or electronically for the last several years to improve their service to the physical therapy community.

New CQ Modifier to Denote when Outpatient Physical Therapy is Furnished in Whole or in Part by PTA

Licensees are required to comply with the reimbursement requirements of the insurance companies with which they are affiliated; failure to do so may result in a complaint being filed with the physical therapy regulatory board and action being taken under the improper billing processes, submitting fraudulent claims, or insurance fraud basis for action codes. Proactive education by regulatory boards providing information on resources available to licensees may decrease the risk of the licensee unintentionally, or intentionally, billing improperly. Therefore, boards may consider sharing information regarding policy changes that impact significant numbers of licensees such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requiring use of CQ Modifier for most services provided by a PTA.

Based on a requirement of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, beginning January 1, 2020, outpatient therapy providers across almost all settings (private practices, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, outpatient hospitals, rehabilitation agencies, and comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities) are required to use a modifier to denote when outpatient therapy services are furnished in whole or part by a PTA or an OTA; the modifier is CQ for PTAs. Beginning on or after January 1, 2022, reimbursement rates for services provided by a PTA or OTA under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) will be at a rate equal to 85 percent of the amount of payment otherwise applicable. 

To help understand the CMS requirements, APTA has developed a Quick Guide to Using the PTA Modifier for licensees, available to both members and non-members. The quick guide was developed based on the policy in the 2020 PFS final rule and APTA plans to make updates as more guidance is released from CMS. 

The FSBPT resource Basis for Disciplinary Action Definitions and Descriptions provides more information on basis for action codes. It includes definitions and guidelines to help state licensing authorities understand how to report the disciplinary actions they take. FSBPT encourages anyone reporting physical therapy disciplinary actions to use these definitions. This will establish a level of consistency that will allow the data to be used to determine trends, focus on prevention, and evaluate the effectiveness of remedial actions.

John Young Re-Appointed as Public Member

The FSBPT Board of Directors has re-appointed John Young as the Public Member on the board. John is on the full-time faculty as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Research and Leadership at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. John joined the FSBPT Board in 2016.

Become an Associate Member

Associate Membership is open to former members or administrators of member boards, former members of the Board of Directors, former committee and task force members, and members of the Academy of Advanced Item Writers.

As a member, you’ll

  • receive the monthly News Briefs and other newsflashes,
  • be eligible for member rates at the Annual Meeting,
  • be considered for appointment to FSBPT committees, and
  • have access to the Members' Area of the website.

Membership is free! We encourage your continued interest and involvement in FSBPT. Please email if you'd like to become an associate member.

Educators' Satisfaction Survey

FSBPT strives to provide the most effective and useful tools for educators. If you are an educator, we are interested in your opinion on the services and products that we offer to you.

Please take a moment to complete the survey. Your input is extremely valuable and it helps to ensure that we are providing the best tools for now and into the future.

FSBPT Forum: The National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is taking multiple approaches to address clinician well-being. This article is based on a presentation by Charlee Alexander at the 2018 FSBPT Annual Meeting.

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Spotlight on Member Resources: NPTE Development

FSBPT is responsible for developing, maintaining and updating the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE®) for physical therapists and for physical therapist assistants. Find general information about the exam, including how the exam is developed.

Our Gratitude for Volunteers

This month, we thank the generous volunteer members of these groups for their support of our mission:

Finance Committee
Ruggiero Canizares
Renee Compton
Nancy Kirsch
Timothy McIntire 
Brian Miller 
David Reed 
Steve Scherger
Jeffrey Vinzant

In the News

"A Change in Medicare Has therapists Alarmed," Paula Span, November 30, 2019, New York Times

"Professional organizations, including the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Occupational Therapy Association, report that the new Medicare policy has prompted some nursing home chains and rehab companies to scale back the treatment they provide to patients, and to lay off therapists or switch them to part-time status."

Modernizing the provincial health profession regulatory framework: A paper for consultation

Following the report on British Columbia Dentists by Harry Cayton, the Steering Committee on the Modernization of Health Professional Regulation has made some recommendations. It is open for comment until Jan 10, 2020.

Here are the main takeaways:

  • Twenty regulatory colleges would merge, leaving only five.
  • Physical therapy would be regulated under a new College: The College of Health and Care Professions of British Columbia
  • This college would cover chiropractors, dietitians, massage therapists, naturopathic physicians, occupational therapists, opticians, optometrists, physical therapists, psychologists, speech-language pathologists, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, and acupuncturists.
  • Sub-committees with profession-specific knowledge would be used to create clinical standards for the profession.
  • Board members would be compensated (a move away from volunteerism).
  • An oversight body would be created to oversee the five colleges.
  • Duties include creating model bylaws, auditing college performances, guidance on regulatory policy and practice, and overseeing the board member appointment process.
  • Boards would investigate complaints, but an independent discipline panel would determine the discipline.

"Texas Woman Found Guilty for Role in $5.5 Million Federal Worker’s Compensation Overbilling Scheme,"<," December 13, 2019, US Department of Justice

"A federal jury found a Texas woman guilty today for her role in a $5.5 million scheme to overbill the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation Program for physical therapy and other services."

Board of Directors Report

Recently, to advance the business of FSBPT, the board approved the motions listed.

Motion adopted
To approve the 2020 organizational goals.

Rationale: The Board of Directors annually adopts organizational goals.
Fiscal Impact: None

Motion adopted
To adopt the 2020 operating budget of $1,905,806.

Rationale: The Board of Directors annually adopts an operating budget.
Fiscal Impact: As indicated in the motion.

Motion adopted
To adopt the 2020 capital budget in the amount of $711,200

Rationale: The Board of Directors annual adopts a capital budget.
Fiscal Impact: As indicated in the motion.

Motion adopted
To adopt the 2020 reserve funding in the following amounts.
Reserve Fund $24,569,078

The Board of Directors annually adopts reserve fund amounts.
Fiscal Impact: As indicated in the motion.

Motion adopted
Approve forgiveness of the Compact debt to FSBPT/LCASO with amount determined as of December 31, 2019. The line-of-credit would remain reduced by this amount. 

Rationale: Due to FSBPT’s good financial performance in investments, additional funds were available. 
Fiscal Impact: Approximate $375,000

Motion adopted
Approve a $2.5M donation to HRRI in furtherance of fact based research. 
Rationale: Due to FSBPT’s good financial performance in investments, additional funds were available. 
Fiscal Impact: Approximate $2,500,000

Motion adopted
To adopt the 2020 Policies Manual.

Rationale: As a matter of procedure, the policy manuals are reviewed and approved each year.
Fiscal Impact: None. 

Motion adopted
To adopt the 2020 Personnel Policy Manual.

Rationale: As a matter of procedure, the policy manuals are reviewed and approved each year.
Fiscal Impact: None. 

Motion adopted
To adopt the 2020 Salary Administration Manual.

Rationale: As a matter of procedure, the policy manuals are reviewed and approved each year.
Fiscal Impact: None. 

Motion adopted
To adopt the 2020 NPTE Policies.

Rationale: The 2020 NPTE Policies will become effective 60 days after they have been sent to the member jurisdictions for review.
Fiscal Impact: None.

Motion adopted
The FSBPT supports the Professional Licensing Coalition’s anti-trust bill.  

Motion Adopted
To appoint, reappoint, or extend the following people to the exam committees listed.

[Please note, we are still considering appointments for task forces. We will announce the task forces in early 2020.]


  • Stephanie Thurmond, PT (TX): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022
  • Emelia Exum, PT (TX): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022
  • Lucinda (Cindy) Bouillon, PT (OH): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022
  • Sean Griech, PT (PA): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022
  • Nancy Smith, PT (NC): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020
  • Amy Bayliss, PT (IN): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021
  • Ruth Maher, PT (GA): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021


  • Susan Callanan, PT (IA): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022
  • Ronald (Ron) Meade, PT (KY): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022
  • Jonathan Bird, PT (ID): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022

Item Writing Coordinator PT

  • Bryce Woodfield, PT (ID): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022
  • Erica Peterson, PT (AZ): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022

Item Writing Coordinators PTA

  • Mayra Eschbach, PT (FL): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022
  • Christine Melius, PT (TX): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022

Continuing Competence Committee

  • Sandra Levi (IL): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021
  • Missy Anthony (OH): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022
  • Jennifer Nash (NV): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022
  • Anne Thompson (GA): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022

Education Committee

  • Bruce Wessman (ND) CBA Chair
  • Erica Sherman (MI): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022
  • Bonnie O'Rourke-Barr (VI): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022
  • Martha Hinman (TX): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022

Ethics and Legislation

  • Michelle Sigmund-Gaines (OR): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022
  • Arkena Dailey, (VA) January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020
  • Paula Smith (VT): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021


  • Dorothy (Dorie) Gaskin (GA): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022


  • Joel Hemphill (DC): January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022

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Board Liaisons to Jurisdictions

Members of the Board of Directors serve as liaisons to multiple jurisdictions. Current liaison relationships are listed here for your reference.

Tom Caldwell
Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas

Ruggie Canizares
Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah

Ellen Donald
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina

Joni Kalis
Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming

Nancy Kirsch
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont

Adrienne Price
Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia

David Relling
Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

John Young
The public member of the board does not serve as a liaison to jurisdictions.

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Staff Contact Information

Staff Contact Information
If you have questions, challenges or ideas, we want to hear from you!
(703) 299-3100




Point of Contact/Email Address

ADA accommodations

Christine Sousa

Assessment or examination development questions

Lorin Mueller, PhD
Susan Layton

Continuing competence

Jeffrey M. Rosa

Credentials review

Jaime Nolan, FCCPT

ELDD- Exam, Licensure and Disciplinary Database participation

Exam registration processing

Christine Sousa

Foreign educated issues

Leslie Adrian


Jamie Nolan

JAM- Jurisprudence Assessment Module

Legislation or Model Practice Act

Leslie Adrian

Meeting arrangements

Paul Delaney

NPDB reports/questions

Angela Burnham

PTC- Physical Therapy Compact

PEAT®- Practice Exam & Assessment Tool

Reimbursement of expenses
Other financial matters

Bill Aronson
Linda Michelsen

School reports

Score transfer & reporting

Christine Sousa

SCP PET- Supervised Clinical Practice Performance Evaluation Tool

Security issues

Susan Layton

Anything else, including news to share with members

William A. Hatherill
Francois Marjorie
Caitlin Jennings



Sign off:
That’s all the news today from rainy, cooling, and please…please soon to be snowy banks banks of the Potomac, where the fish are faster, the fishing boats are longer, and the fishermen are still full of stories.

  • William A. Hatherill, CEO


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