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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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North Carolina Physical Therapy Definitions 

Board - The North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.

Computer Based Testing - The Federation approved National Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant Examinations administered by a testing agency approved by the Federation.

Credentials - The materials related to educational background and professional experience that an applicant for licensure must present to the Board.

Educational Programs - Physical therapy and physical therapist assistant educational programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Endorsement - Granting a license in this State based upon the applicant possessing an active license in another State.

Federation - Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

Graduated - The completion of all requirements, including clinical experience, from an accredited program for PTs or PTAs 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 been graduated.

Inappropriate Touching - The unwelcome or unwanted laying of hands by a licensee for a purpose inconsistent with a physical therapy evaluation or treatment of a patient.

Note - The physical therapy progress note that documents each patient visit.

On-Site Supervision - The supervising licensee is present in the department or facility where services are provided, is immediately available to the person being supervised and maintains continued involvement in aspects of treatment sessions in which students completing clinical requirements or physical therapy aides are involved in components of care.

Patient - Any recipient of physical therapy services and includes the term "client".

PT - A Physical Therapist.

PT Exam - A Federation approved licensing examination for physical therapists.

PTA - A Physical Therapist Assistant.

PTA Exam - A Federation approved licensing examination for physical therapist assistants.

Physical Therapist - Any person who practices physical therapy in North Carolina.

Physical Therapist Assistant - Any person who assists in the practice of physical therapy in North Carolina, and who works under the supervision of a PT by performing such patient-related activities assigned by a PT which are commensurate with the PTA’s education and training, but an assistant's work shall not include the interpretation and implementation of referrals from licensed medical doctors or dentists, the performance of evaluations, or the determination or major modification of treatment programs.

Physical Therapy - The evaluation or treatment of any person by the use of physical, chemical, or other properties of heat, light, water, electricity, sound, massage, or therapeutic exercise, or other rehabilitative procedures, with or without assistive devices, for the purposes of preventing, correcting, or alleviating a physical or mental disability. Physical therapy includes the performance of specialized tests of neuromuscular function, administration of specialized therapeutic procedures, interpretation and implementation of referrals from licensed medical doctors or dentists, and establishment and modification of physical therapy programs for patients.

Physical Therapy Aide - Any non-licensed person who aids in the practice of physical therapy in North Carolina, and who at all times acts under the orders, direction, and on-site supervision of a licensed PT or PTA. An aide may perform physical therapy related activities which are assigned and are commensurate with an aide's training and abilities, but an aide's work shall not include the interpretation and implementation of referrals from licensed medical doctors or dentists, the performance of evaluations, the determination and modification of treatment programs, or any independent performance of any physical therapy procedures.


N.C.G.S. § 90-270.90

21 NCAC 48A .0105

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