The Physical Therapy Compact Commission (PTCC) is officially issuing PT Compact privileges in Iowa, Texas, New Hampshire, Tennessee, North Dakota, Missouri, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, Kentucky, Arizona, Nebraska, Colorado, North Carolina and Louisiana. The other member states are expected to begin issuing privileges in the very near future. We’ll explain what that means for travel Physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Assistants, and everything you need to know about the PT Compact.
The PT Compact is a solution to the headaches associated with having to obtain a license in every state in which Travel PTs and PTAs wish to take a contract job. Once all of the member states are actively issuing license privileges, you will only need to get licensed in your home state, and from there, it only takes a few clicks to extend your license to any one of the other participating states (although you will need to do this for each individual state in which you wish to practice). At the time of this writing (updated 7/25/2019), there were 4 states with legislation introduced (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Delaware), 25 total active member states, and the 15 listed above were the only ones currently issuing privileges. The member states that are not yet issuing privileges are: Washington, Montana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia and New Jersey.
Before we get into the nitty gritty, we’ll save a few of you some time, and disclose that not all licensed PTs and PTAs can take advantage of the compact. To be eligible, your permanent residence must be in a member state that is currently issuing compact privileges. You can view an interactive map of member states here. Eligibility will be verified during the application process, in which you will log in here with your Federal State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) ID and password, and be asked to provide your driver’s license information. There are certain exceptions for active military and their spouses, guidelines for which can be reviewed here.
Here’s the full list of eligibility requirements:
1. Hold a current, valid PT or PTA license in your home state.
2. Your home state must be a member of the PT Compact and actively issuing compact privileges.
3. You cannot have any active encumbrances against any PT or PTA license.
4. You cannot have any disciplinary action against any PT or PTA license for a period of two years.
5. The state where you are seeking a Compact Privilege must be a member of the PT Compact and actively issuing compact privileges.
Continuing Competence Requirements:
Each member state has different requirements for continuing competence to maintain your license. The good news is that you will only be required to comply with requirements of your home state, you will not need to meet the requirements of every state in which you plan to practice physical therapy using compact privileges.
Once again, each member state may have different jurisprudence requirements, in which case you will need to be sure to review them for the state in which you plan to practice. Some of requirements need to be completed before applying, and some of them afterward. Failure to adhere to these requirements may lead to loss of all compact privileges, so you will need to be diligent with this step. You can view a list of requirements in currently issuing states here.
Scope of Practice:
When practicing physical therapy in a remote state under a compact privilege, you will need to do so under the scope of practice of the state in which the patient/client is located. For complete information for each jurisdiction, you will need to check with the jurisdiction itself, but here is a list of resources comparing some high-level similarities and differences in physical therapy laws.
Pricing and Renewal:
The cost of compact privileges varies by state, and in some cases is waived for active military, spouses, and veterans. At the time of this writing, the state fees varied between $0-$150. The PTCC charges a flat fee of $45 for each commission privilege as well. Once you have been issued a privilege, it will remain valid until the date of expiration on your home state license. You must renew your home state license prior to renewing your compact privilege license. Current pricing for each state license can be viewed here.
This is not an exhaustive list of the rules, regulations, and requirements of the Physical Therapy Compact, but it does cover the majority of the key points. Information for this article was retrieved from ptcompact.org, where more detailed information is available.
P.S. a HUGE shout out is in order to James Spencer, DPT over at Hobo Health for graciously offering his knowledge and expertise.