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Illinois Physical Therapy Unprofessional Conduct


The Department may refuse to issue or to renew, or may revoke, suspend, place on probation, reprimand, or take other disciplinary action as the Department deems appropriate, including the issuance of fines not to exceed $5000, with regard to a license for any one or a combination of the following:

    • Material misstatement in furnishing information to the Department or otherwise making misleading, deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent representations in violation of this Act or otherwise in the practice of the profession;
    • Violations of this Act, or of the rules or regulations promulgated hereunder;
    • Conviction of any crime under the laws of the United States or any state or territory thereof which is a felony or which is a misdemeanor, an essential element of which is dishonesty, or of any crime which is directly related to the practice of the profession; conviction, as used in this paragraph, shall include a finding or verdict of guilty, an admission of guilt or a plea of nolo contendere;
    • Making any misrepresentation for the purpose of obtaining licenses, or violating any provision of this Act or the rules promulgated thereunder pertaining to advertising;
    • A pattern of practice or other behavior which demonstrates incapacity or incompetency to practice under this Act;
    • Aiding or assisting another person in violating any provision of this Act or Rules;
    • Failing, within 60 days, to provide information in response to a written request made by the Department;
    • Engaging in dishonorable, unethical or unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public. Unprofessional conduct shall include any departure from or the failure to conform to the minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing physical therapy practice, in which proceeding actual injury to a patient need not be established;
    • Unlawful distribution of any drug or narcotic, or unlawful conversion of any drug or narcotic not belonging to the person for such person's own use or benefit or for other than medically accepted therapeutic purposes;
    • Habitual or excessive use or addiction to alcohol, narcotics, stimulants, or any other chemical agent or drug which results in a physical therapist's or physical therapist assistant's inability to practice with reasonable judgment, skill or safety;
    • Revocation or suspension of a license to practice physical therapy as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant or the taking of other disciplinary action by the proper licensing authority of another state, territory or country;
    • Directly or indirectly giving to or receiving from any person, firm, corporation, partnership, or association any fee, commission, rebate or other form of compensation for any professional services not actually or personally rendered. Nothing contained in this paragraph prohibits persons holding valid and current licenses under this Act from practicing physical therapy in partnership under a partnership agreement, including a limited liability partnership, a limited liability company, or a corporation under the Professional Service Corporation Act or from pooling, sharing, dividing, or apportioning the fees and monies received by them or by the partnership, company, or corporation in accordance with the partnership agreement or the policies of the company or professional corporation. Nothing in this paragraph affects any bona fide independent contractor or employment arrangements among health care professionals, health facilities, health care providers, or other entities, except as otherwise prohibited by law. Any employment arrangements may include provisions for compensation, health insurance, pension, or other employment benefits for the provision of services within the scope of the licensee's practice under this Act. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to require an employment arrangement to receive professional fees for services rendered;
    • A finding by the Board that the licensee after having his or her license placed on probationary status has violated the terms of probation;
    • Abandonment of a patient;
    • Willfully failing to report an instance of suspected child abuse or neglect as required by the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act;
    • Willfully failing to report an instance of suspected elder abuse or neglect as required by the Elder Abuse Reporting Act;
    • Physical illness, including but not limited to, deterioration through the aging process, or loss of motor skill which results in the inability to practice the profession with reasonable judgement, skill or safety;
    • The use of any words (such as physical therapy, physical therapist physiotherapy or physiotherapist), abbreviations, figures or letters with the intention of indicating practice as a licensed physical therapist without a valid license as a physical therapist issued under this Act;
    • The use of the term physical therapist assistant, or abbreviations, figures, or letters with the intention of indicating practice as a physical therapist assistant without a valid license as a physical therapist assistant issued under this Act;
    • Willfully violating or knowingly assisting in the violation of any law of this State relating to the practice of abortion;
    • Continued practice by a person knowingly having an infectious, communicable or contagious disease;
    • Having treated ailments of human beings otherwise than by the practice of physical therapy as defined in this Act, or having treated ailments of human beings as a licensed physical therapist independent of a documented referral or a documented current and relevant diagnosis from a physician, dentist, advanced practice registered nurse, physician assistant, or podiatric physician, or having failed to notify the physician, dentist, advanced practice registered nurse, physician assistant, or podiatric physician who established a documented current and relevant diagnosis that the patient is receiving physical therapy pursuant to that diagnosis;
    • Being named as a perpetrator in an indicated report by the Department of Children and Family Services pursuant to the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, and upon proof by clear and convincing evidence that the licensee has caused a child to be an abused child or neglected child as defined in the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act;
    • Interpretation of referrals, performance of evaluation procedures, planning or making major modifications of patient programs by a physical therapist assistant;
    • Failure by a physical therapist assistant and supervising physical therapist to maintain continued contact, including periodic personal supervision and instruction, to insure safety and welfare of patients;
    • Violation of the Health Care Worker Self-Referral Act.


Unprofessional conduct in the practice of physical therapy shall include, but not be limited to:

    • The promotion of the sale of services, goods, appliances or drugs in such manner as to exploit the patient or client for the financial gain of the practitioner or of a third party.
    • Directly or indirectly offering, giving, soliciting, or receiving, or agreeing to receive any fee or other consideration to or from a third party for the referral of a patient or client.
    • Revealing of personally identifiable facts, data or information about a patient or client obtained in a professional capacity without the prior consent of the patient or client, except as authorized or required by law.
    • Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope permitted by law, or accepting and performing professional responsibilities which the licensee knows or has reason to know that he or she is not competent to perform.
    • Delegating professional responsibilities to a person when the licensee delegating such responsibilities knows or has reason to know that the person to whom the responsibilities were delegated is not qualified by training, experience, or licensure to perform them.
    • Failing to exercise appropriate supervision over persons who are authorized to practice only under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
    • Overutilizing services by providing excessive evaluation or treatment procedures not warranted by the condition of the patient or by continuing treatment beyond the point of possible benefit.
    • Making gross or deliberate misrepresentations or misleading claims as to professional qualifications or of the efficacy or value of the treatments or remedies given or recommended, or those of another practitioner.
    • Gross and willful and continued overcharging for professional services, including filing false statements for collection of fees for which services are not rendered.
    • Failing to maintain a record for each patient that accurately reflects the evaluation and treatment of the patient.
    • Advertising or soliciting for patronage in a manner that is fraudulent or misleading.  Examples of advertising or soliciting which is considered fraudulent or misleading shall include, but not be limited to:
    • Advertising by means of testimonials, anecdotal reports of physical therapy practice successes or claims of superior quality of care to entice the public; or
    • Advertising which contains false, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading materials, warranties or guarantees of success, statements which play upon vanities or fears of the public or statements which promote or produce unfair competition.


225 ILCS 90/17

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