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Alabama Physical Therapy Unprofessional Conduct

Conduct that leads to license suspension and revocation

The board shall refuse to issue a license to any person and, after notice and hearing in accordance with its regulations and rules, shall suspend or revoke the license of any person who has:

    • Practiced physical therapy other than upon the referral of a physician licensed to practice medicine or surgery, a dentist licensed to practice dentistry, a licensed chiropractor, a licensed assistant to a physician acting pursuant to a valid supervisory agreement, or a licensed certified registered nurse practitioner in a valid collaborative practice agreement with a licensed physician, except as provided in Section 34-24-210.1, or practiced as a physical therapist assistant other than under the direction of a licensed physical therapist;
    • Used drugs or intoxicating liquors to an extent which affects his or her professional competency;
    • Been convicted of a felony or of a crime involving moral turpitude;
    • Obtained or attempted to obtain a license by fraud or deception;
    • Been grossly negligent in the practice of physical therapy or in acting as a physical therapist assistant;
    • Been adjudged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction;
    • Been guilty of conduct unbecoming a person licensed as a physical therapist or licensed as a physical therapist assistant or of conduct detrimental to the best interest of the public;
    • Been convicted of violating any state or federal narcotic law;
    • Treated or undertaken to treat human ailments otherwise than by physical therapy as defined in this article;
    • Advertised unethically according to standards as set by the board; or
    • Failed or refused to obey any lawful order or regulation of the board.

Is there a law/rule against fee-splitting?

Directly or indirectly requesting, receiving or participating in the dividing, transferring, assigning, rebating or refunding of an unearned fee or profiting by means of a credit or other valuable consideration such as an unearned commission, discount or gratuity with a referral source in connection with the furnishing of physical therapy services. Such conduct shall include but not be limited to the following:

    • Paying a referral source to refer patients.
    • Paying a referral source compensation as a medical director when the payment is not usual and customary for the time required to perform the duties of the medical director.
    • Providing staff to a referral source without receiving compensation from the referral source consistent with fair market value for the labor provided.

What does the Alabama PT Board consider to be unprofessional conduct?

Willful or grossly negligent failure to comply substantially with provisions of laws, rules or regulations governing the practice of the profession.

Abandoning or neglecting a patient in need of immediate professional care without making reasonable arrangements for the continuation of such care.

Willfully harassing, abusing, or intimidating a patient, co-worker, student, volunteer, or any individual either physically or verbally while practicing physical therapy.

Suggesting to a patient referred by one practitioner that the patient seek the services of another practitioner without first consulting the referring practitioner.

Guaranteeing that satisfaction or a cure will result from the performance of professional services.

Administering excessive tests or treatment; use of treatment procedures or equipment not warranted by the condition of the patient.

Claiming that the quality of your services is greater than the quality of services performed by other physical therapists or other physical therapy assistants.

Using the word "doctor" in offering to perform professional services without also indicating the discipline in which the licensee holds a doctorate.

Accepting and undertaking the performance of responsibilities which the licensee knows or has reason to know that he or she is not qualified to perform, or performing without adequate supervision or direction, services which the licensee is authorized to perform only under the supervision or direction of licensed persons.

Delegating responsibilities to a person when thee licensee delegating such responsibilities knows or has reason to know that such person is not qualified by education, by experience or by licensure to perform them.

Failing to exercise appropriate supervision or direction over persons who are authorized to practice only under the supervision or direction of the licensed professional.

Failing to maintain appropriate records which accurately reflect the evaluation and treatment for each patient.

Revealing personally identifiable facts, data, or information obtained in a practitioner capacity without the prior consent of the patient or client, except as authorized or required by law.

Failing to make available to a patient, or, upon a patient's request, to another licensed health care practitioner consistent with that practitioner's authorized scope of practice, copies of reports, test records, or evaluations relating to the patient, or failing to complete forms or reports required for the reimbursement of a patient by a third party.

Engaging in sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct, for the purpose of this section, includes the following:

    • Engaging in or soliciting sexual relationships with a patient currently under your care.
    • Sexually harassing patients under your care.

Charging unreasonable or fraudulent fees for services performed or not performed.

Interfering with or refusing to cooperate in an investigation or disciplinary proceeding conducted by the Board or any other governmental agency where cooperation is required.

Citations

Ala. Admin. Code r. 700-X-3-.02



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