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Arizona Physical Therapy Supervision and Delegation

Supervision Definitions

"General supervision" means that the supervising physical therapist is on call and is readily available via telecommunications when the physical therapist assistant is providing treatment interventions.

"On-site supervision" means that the supervising physical therapist is on site and is present in the facility or on the campus where assistive personnel or a holder of an interim permit is performing services, is immediately available to assist the person being supervised in the services being performed and maintains continued involvement in appropriate aspects of each treatment session in which a component of treatment is delegated.

Which services can only be performed by a licensed physical therapist?

A physical therapist is responsible for the scope of patient management in the practice of physical therapy. 

For each patient, the physical therapist shall:

    • Perform and document an initial evaluation;
    • Perform and document periodic reevaluation;
    • Document a discharge summary and the patient’s response to the course of treatment at discharge;
    • Ensure that the patient’s physical therapy record is complete and accurate; and
    • Ensure that services reported for billing, whether billed directly to the patient or through a third party, are accurate and consistent with information in the patient’s physical therapy record.

What are the therapist’s obligations to the patient’s rights?

A physical therapist shall respect a patient’s right to make decisions regarding examination and the recommended plan of care including the patient’s decision regarding consent, modification of the plan of care, or refusal of examination or treatment. To assist the patient in making these decisions, the physical therapist shall:

    • Communicate to the patient:
      • Examination findings,
      • Evaluation of the findings, and
      • Diagnosis and prognosis,
    • Collaborate with the patient to establish the goals of treatment and the plan of care, and
    • Inform the patient that the patient is free to select another physical therapy provider.

What are the responsibilities of the PT when delegating?

A physical therapist is responsible for patient care given by assistive personnel under the physical therapist's supervision. A physical therapist may delegate to assistive personnel and supervise selected acts, tasks or procedures that fall within the scope of physical therapy practice but that do not exceed the education or training of the assistive personnel.

On each date of service, a physical therapist shall:

    • Perform and document each therapeutic intervention that requires the expertise of a physical therapist; and
    • Determine, based on a patient’s acuity and treatment plan, whether it is appropriate to use assistive personnel to perform a selected treatment intervention or physical therapy task for the patient.

Reference

A.R.S. § 32-2001

A.R.S. § 32-2043

A.A.C. R4-24-301

A.A.C R4-24-303


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