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The analysis of any legal or medical billing is dependent on numerous specific facts — including the factual situations present related to the patients, the practice, the professionals and the medical services and advice. Additionally, laws and regulations and insurance and payer policies are subject to change. The information that has been accurate previously can be particularly dependent on changes in time or circumstances. The information contained in this web site is intended as general information only. It is not intended to serve as medical, health, legal or financial advice or as a substitute for professional advice of a medical coding professional, healthcare consultant, physician or medical professional, legal counsel, accountant or financial advisor. If you have a question about a specific matter, you should contact a professional advisor directly. CPT copyright American Medical Association. All rights reserved. CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.

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Louisiana Physical Therapy Definitions 

The Louisiana physical therapy legal and regulatory definitions. 

“Active Status”- The current state of a license which classifies the licensee as holding a current and valid license and being in good standing. Administrative Complaint ― a sworn statement of allegations prepared by board counsel and filed with the board which includes a statement of the matters asserted and reference the Sections of the statutes and rules involved, the filing of which initiates a contested disciplinary proceeding.

“APTA”- American Physical Therapy Association.

“Applicant”- A person who has applied to the board for a license to engage in the practice of physical therapy in the State of Louisiana.

“Applicant Review Committee”- The panel designated by board policy to review a license application and attached materials and evidence, including, but not limited to, a criminal history record, and to conduct interviews to examine whether an applicant has presented evidence satisfactory of his qualifications for licensure as required under the Practice Act and board rules and to recommend indicated action on an application. The applicant review committee acts on behalf of the board and shall be composed of one or more board members and the executive director, but may also include one or more advisory committee member(s) and legal counsel.

“Application” - A written request directed to and received by the board, upon forms approved and supplied by the board, for a license to practice physical therapy in the State of Louisiana, together with all information, certificates, documents, and other materials required by the board to be submitted with such forms.

“Board” - The Louisiana Physical Therapy Board (formerly the Louisiana State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners) created by R.S. 37:2403 within the Louisiana Department of Health, acting through its members as a body or through its executive director, staff, and agents carrying out the rules, policies and precedents established by the board. Board Order ― a final decision of the board issued in a contested proceeding or in lieu of such proceeding, which may include findings of fact and conclusions of law, separately stated.

“CAPTE”- The Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education

“Child or Children”- An individual or individuals under the age of 21 years.

“Client”- Recipient of services, advice, education and/or recommendations for activities related to wellness and preventive services including conditioning, injury prevention, reduction of stress, or promotion of fitness.

“Clinical Instructor”- A PT or a PTA supervising a student pursuing a career in the physical therapy profession.

“Clinical Supervisor”- A licensed PT or PTA in good standing and selected with approval of the board who directly supervises a CAPTE graduate pending examination holding a provisional license in the clinical environment. A clinical supervisor may directly supervise a foreign-educated physical therapist or foreign-educated physical therapist assistant while completing the period of supervised clinical practice requirements of §331.

“Competence”- The application of knowledge, skills, and professionalism required to function effectively, safely, ethically and legally within the context of the patient/client role and environment.

“Confidentiality”- All records of a PT or PTA who has successfully completed or is actively participating in the non–disciplinary alternative program (CRPTP) set forth herin §357 at shall not be subject to public disclosure, and shall not be subject to discovery in legal proceedings except as required by federal and state confidentiality laws and regulations, or order of a Court. However, the records of those participating in the CRPTP will be addressed with their employer as well as with members of the Board and those serving on committees of the Board, as necessary. The records of a PT or PTA who fails to comply with the program agreement or who leaves the program without enrolling in an alternative program in the state to which the practitioner moves, or who subsequently violates the Louisiana Physical Therapy Act or the board rules, shall not be deemed confidential except for those records protected by federal and state confidentially laws and regulations.

“Consent Order”- An order of the board that has been contractually entered into by the board and respondent, which shall include, in part, a factual basis for the consent order, the violations of law and rule related to the licensee’s conduct, and stipulations which may include revocation, suspension, other restrictions, or any combination thereof as mutually agreed between the parties. Consultative Services — information, advice, education and/or recommendations provided by a physical therapist with respect to physical therapy.

“Contact Hour”– Sixty (60) minutes of continuing education instruction.

“Contested Case”- A disciplinary proceeding in which the legal rights, duties, or privileges of a Respondent are to be determined by the board after an opportunity for an adjudicative hearing.

“Continuing Education Year”- Beginning April 1 and ending March 31 of the following year.

“Continuous Supervision”- Observation and supervision of the procedures, functions, and practice by a supervisor who is physically within the same treatment area.

“Coursework Tool (CWT)”- A tool developed by the FSBPT as a standardized method to evaluate the educational equivalence of non-CAPTE graduates to CAPTE graduates. Each CWT reflects the general and professional educational requirements for substantial equivalence at the time of graduation with respect to a U.S. first professional degree in physical therapy.

“Criminal History Record Information”- Information collected by state and federal criminal justice agencies on applicants and licensees consisting of identifiable descriptions and notations of arrests, detentions, indictments, bills of information, or any formal criminal charges, and any disposition arising therefrom, including sentencing, criminal correctional supervision, and release, but does not include intelligence for investigatory purposes, nor does it include any identification information which does not indicate involvement of the individual in the criminal justice system.

“Disciplinary Action”- The imposition of a sanction by the board which may include reprimand, probation, suspension, or revocation of a license, and other appropriate requirements.

“Dry Needling”- A physical intervention which utilizes filiform needles for the treatment of neuromuscular pain and functional movement deficits. Dry Needling is based upon Western medical concepts and does not rely upon the meridians utilized in acupuncture and other Eastern practices. A physical therapy evaluation will indicate the location, intensity and persistence of neuromuscular pain or functional deficiencies in a physical therapy patient and the propriety for utilization of dry needling as a treatment intervention. Dry needling does not include the stimulation of auricular points.

“Foreign Educated PT Applicant”- A person whose education as a PT was obtained in a program not accredited by CAPTE.

“FSBPT”- The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

“Good Moral Character”- As applied to an applicant or licensee means the aggregate of qualities evidenced by past conduct, social relations, or life habits, which actually provide persons acquainted with the applicant or licensee a basis to form a favorable opinion regarding his ethics and responsibility to duty. In addition, to achieve and maintain Good Moral Character, an applicant or licensee shall provide accurate, complete and truthful information to the board and shall not, at any time, commit any act or omission which provides a basis for disciplinary actions or violations under R.S. 37:2420 or R.S. 37:2421.

“Graduated, Graduation or Graduate” - Having completed all requirements, including clinical experience, at a CAPTE accredited program for physical therapists or physical therapist assistants. If an educational program certifies that the degree is assured and will be conferred at a later date, an applicant will be considered to have graduated and become a graduate.

“HIPDB”- Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank, See National Practitioner Databank (NPDB).

“Impairment”- A condition that causes an infringement on the ability of an individual to practice, or assist in the practice, of physical therapy with reasonable skill and safety to patients. Impairment may be caused by, but is not limited to, alcoholism, substance abuse, addiction, mental and/or physical conditions.

“In Good Standing”- A person who holds a current, valid Louisiana license, who is not subject to a board order or consent order, and whose license is not restricted. The board is the ultimate arbiter of whether a licensee is in good standing.

“Inactive”- A license status indicating voluntary termination of the right or privilege to practice physical therapy in Louisiana. The board may allow a licensee who is not engaged in the practice of physical therapy in Louisiana to inactivate the license as an alternative to an expired license.

“Initial Physical Therapy Evaluation” - The physical therapy assessment and resulting interpretation of a patient's condition through use of patient history, signs, symptoms, objective tests, or measurements to determine neuromusculoskeletal and biomechanical dysfunctions to determine the need for physical therapy. The conclusions of such initial physical therapy evaluation may be reported to the patient and may be used to establish treatment goals. The results of an initial physical therapy evaluation or physical therapy consultation must be reported to the referring or treating physician, dentist, chiropractor, or podiatrist.

“Incompetence”- Lacking competence.

“Informal Conference”- A meeting held pursuant to R.S. 49:961.C with a Respondent and an Investigative Committee of the board to determine whether a disciplinary case should proceed.

“Investigative Committee”- The panel designated by board policy to investigate complaints and to conduct Informal Conferences in disciplinary matters, typically composed of one or more board members, the executive director, investigator and legal counsel.

“Jurisdiction of the United States” - Any state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any American territory.

“Jurisprudence”- The body of law applicable to the practice of physical therapy in Louisiana including the Practice Act and the rules promulgated by the board. Jurisprudence Examination ― an open book examination made up of multiple choice and/or true/false questions covering information contained in the Practice Act and board rules.

“Legend Drug”- Any drug intended for use by humans which carries on its label any of the following: "caution: Federal law prohibits dispensing without a prescription", "Rx," or "Rx only."

“Legend Device”- Any device intended for use by humans which carries on its label "Rx," "Rx Only," or a statement that federal law restricts the device to sale by or on the order of a licensed healthcare practitioner.

“Letter of Concern”- Is non-disciplinary and notifies the licensee that while evidence found does not merit formal disciplinary action, the board believes that the licensee should become educated about the requirements of the Practice Act and board rules. A letter of concern shall be placed in the permanent record of a licensee following the conclusion of a complaint or upon the granting or renewal of a license. A letter of concern shall not be reportable to NPDB, shall not be published with board disciplinary actions, and shall be deemed confidential pursuant to R.S. 37:2406(B). A letter of concern may be utilized as evidence in subsequent disciplinary actions.

“License”- The lawful authority of a PT or PTA to engage in the practice of physical therapy in the state of Louisiana, as evidenced by a license duly issued by and under the official seal of the board.

“Louisiana Physical Therapy Practice Act” – The Practice Act

“Minimal Standards of Acceptable and Prevailing Physical Therapy Practice”- Include, but are not limited to, those set forth in the Code of Ethics and related documents of APTA.

“Moral Turpitude”- Baseness, vileness, or dishonesty of a high degree and contrary to community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals.

“National Physical Therapy Examination” - A national examination administered by the FSBPT and approved by the board for the licensure of a physical therapist or the licensure of a physical therapist assistant.

“National Practitioner Databank (NPDB)” - A web-based repository of reports containing information on medical malpractice payments and certain adverse actions related to health care practitioners, providers, and suppliers, preventing practitioners from moving state-to-state without disclosure or discovery of previous damaging performance and promoting quality health care and deterring fraud and abuse within health care delivery systems created by the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 (HCQIA), as amended, title IV of Public Law 99-660 (42 U.S.C. 11101 et seq.). Section 1921 of the Social Security Act, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 1396r-2) mandates reporting to the NPDB of adverse licensure actions taken against licensees.

“Notice”- A statement of the intended date, time, place, and nature of a meeting or hearing, and the legal authority and jurisdiction under which a hearing is to be held. Notice may include a formal complaint filed to initiate a contested disciplinary proceeding.

“NPTE”- The National Physical Therapy Examination administered by FSBPT.

“On Premises”- The supervising PT of record is physically present in the treating facility and immediately available to the treatment area.

“Participate”- A Supervising PT of Record assumes responsibility for the care which he and those under his supervision provide to patients, provides appropriate treatment and that, at a minimum, the PT will:

  • Perform the initial evaluation and document the patient’s plan of care;
  • Treat and reassess the patient at least every sixth treatment day or every 30 days, whichever occurs first;
  • Treat the patient for the final treatment session unless the patient is physically unavailable; and
  • Write the discharge summary.

“Passive Manipulation”- Manipulation or movement of muscular tissue or joints other than by the spontaneous function of the body or active effort on the part of a patient.

“Patient”- The recipient of physical therapy services pursuant to a plan of care, treatment plan or program.

“Per Diem”- Compensation to a board member or committee member for each day during which he is participating in or carrying out an official board approved activity pursuant to R.S. 37:2404(C).

“Person”- Includes a natural person, partnership, corporation, association, or other entity having legal existence, unless the context requires a more limited meaning.

“Physical Therapist”- Includes equally physiotherapist, physical therapist, and P.T. and is a person who is a graduate of an accredited school of physical therapy, which school, at the time of graduation was approved by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education or the board and who practices physical therapy.

“Physical Therapist Assistant”- Includes equally physical therapist assistant, physiotherapist assistant, and P.T.A., and is a person who is a graduate of an accredited school of physical therapist assisting, which school, at the time of graduation, was approved by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education or the board. A physical therapist assistant assists in the practice of physical therapy in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter, and works under the supervision of a physical therapist by performing such patient-related activities assigned by a physical therapist which are commensurate with the physical therapist assistant's education, training, and experience.

“Physical Therapy Technician”- A worker not licensed by the board who operates under the direction and control of a licensed physical therapist and functions in a physical therapy clinic, department or business and assists with preparation of the patients for treatment and with limited patient care.

“Practice of Physical Therapy”- The health care profession practiced by a licensed physical therapist and means the holding out of one's self to the public as a physical therapist and as being engaged in the business of, or the actual engagement in, the evaluation and treatment of any physical or medical condition to restore normal function of the neuromuscular and skeletal system, to relieve pain, or to prevent disability by use of physical or mechanical means, including therapeutic exercise, mobilization, passive manipulation, therapeutic modalities, and activities or devices for preventative, therapeutic, or medical purposes, and further shall include physical therapy evaluation, treatment planning, instruction, consultative services, and the supervision of physical therapy supportive personnel, including physical therapist assistants

“Plan of Care”- Documentation created and signed by the physical therapist specifying the measurable goals, specific treatments to be used and the proposed duration and frequency of specified treatment. It is an integral component of a PT evaluation and must be created by the physical therapist prior to delegating appropriate treatment to a PTA or PT technician and incorporating documentation standards provided for in §341.

“Practice Setting”- Unless otherwise defined, the physical location where patient care is performed or client services provided. Practice setting may also refer to the type of organization which provides physical therapy services, such as an outpatient clinic, hospital, nursing home, rehab facility, school or the delivery of home healthcare.

“Prescription”- A request for diagnostic or therapeutic physical therapy procedures or regimen subscribed by an individual lawfully authorized to make or give such an order or directive.

“Preventive Services”- The use of physical therapy knowledge and skills by a PT or PTA to provide education or activities in a wellness setting for the purpose of injury prevention, reduction of stress and/or the promotion of fitness and for conditioning. This does not include the administrations of physical therapy treatment.

“Probation”- License status in which the licensee may practice physical therapy in Louisiana, but may be required to work under certain conditions and/or restrictions as specified and made public in a board order or board agreement.

“Provisional License”- A temporary license issued to practice physical therapy in Louisiana. Three types of provisional licenses issued include:

  • CAPTE Graduate Pending Examination — applicant pending results of a fixed-date examination;
  • Foreign-Educated Provisional License — physical therapist or physical therapist assistant applicant pending completion of the supervised clinical practice requirement of §137;
  • Temporary Reciprocal Provisional License — applicant licensed elsewhere and working temporarily in Louisiana under the provisions of §147.

“Reciprocity” - The acknowledgment and licensure by the board of a PT or PTA licensed by another state pursuant to procedures established by the board. Referral ― a request for physical therapy evaluation or treatment made by an individual lawfully authorized to make such request.

“Reprimand” - A form of censure by the board of a licensee for violation of the Practice Act or Rules.

“Respondent” - A licensee who is the subject of an informal complaint, as addressed in §381, or a formal administrative complaint, as addressed in §387, alleging violation of the Practice Act or board rules.

“Restricted” - License status indicating that the board has placed restrictions or conditions on a license including, but not limited to, scope of practice, place of practice, supervision of practice, or patient demographic.

“Revocation” - The withdrawal of a license issued by the board, terminating the right and privilege of practicing physical therapy in Louisiana.

“Revoked” - License status indicating annulment of a license by an action of the board pursuant to formal disciplinary action which terminates the right to practice physical therapy in Louisiana.

“RPTP” - The Recovering Physical Therapy Program adopted by the board.

“RPTP Agreement” - A document approved by the board containing provisions which identify requirements for successful participation in the RPTP, including, but not limited to, evaluation, treatment, after care, testing, monitoring, supervision reports, meeting attendance, and practice restrictions.

“RPTP Compliance” - Conforming to the requirements of the Recovering Physical Therapist Program Agreement.

“Student” - A person who is pursuing a course of study leading to a degree in physical therapy or physical therapist assisting from a professional education program certified by CAPTE and approved by the board, and who is pursuing supervised clinical education requirements related to his physical therapy education.

“Subversion” - Engaging in any activity contrary to honesty, justice, or good morals in an attempt to undermine the integrity of the examination or to receive a passing score on the examination.  Subversion also includes any unauthorized use or reproduction of copyrighted materials.

“Summary Suspension” - The suspension of a license by emergency board action which requires a licensee to immediately cease practice pending disciplinary proceedings provided by law.

“Supervising PT of Record” - The PT who performs the initial evaluation and establishes a plan of care for a patient or a PT who has most recently reevaluated or treated the patient.

“Suspended License” - Restricting the licensee’s privilege to practice physical therapy or physical therapist assisting for a specified period of time.

“Topical Agents/Aerosols” - Medications used in physical therapy treatment which are applied to the skin and obtained over–the– counter, by prescription or order, or from a licensed distributor.

“Treatment Plan or Program” - Documentation created by a PT specifying the measurable goals, specific treatments to be used and the proposed duration and frequency of treatment; is an integral component of a PT evaluation and must be completed by the PT prior to delegating appropriate treatment to a PTA or PT technician.

“Week” - Any consecutive seven days.

“When Feasible” - Whenever the patient is still physically available to receive treatment and assessment.

“Wound Debridement” - Patient care provided by a PT, provisionally licensed PT, or student PT, which removes non–living tissue from pressure ulcers, burns and other wounds as part of wound management, including but not limited to, sharps debridement, debridement with other implements or agents and application of topical agents including enzymes.

“Written Record of Physical Therapy” - Documentation including the prescription or referral (if such exists), the initial evaluation, treatment notes, notes of patient care conferences, progress notes, reevaluations or reassessments, referral to an appropriate healthcare provider pursuant to R.S. 37:2418(B)(2)(b) (if such exists), and patient status at discharge documenting the complete course of patient care.


La. Stat. Ann. § Ch. 29: 2407

La. Admin. Code tit. 46 Part LIV §123

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