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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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Oregon Physical Therapy Definitions

The Oregon physical therapy legal and regulatory definitions.  

“Authentication” - The process by which the licensee reviews and validates the accuracy of the record entry. By authenticating a record entry, the licensee certifies that the services described were performed by the authenticating licensee or performed by a person under that licensee's supervision.

“Domiciled” - A person is domiciled in this state if the person’s place of abode is in the state and the person intends to remain in the state or, if absent, to return to it.

“IDEA” - Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act.

“IEP” - An Individualized Education Plan developed for a child/student qualified under the IDEA program.

“IFSP” - An Individualized Family Services Plan developed for a child qualified under the IDEA Early Intervention Program.

“Licensee”- A physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant and includes a temporary permit holder and an Oregon Compact Privilege holder.

“Non-Treatment, Patient-Related Task” - A task related to preparation of treatment areas, transport of patients, preparation of patients for treatment and other patient-related tasks.

“Patient” - One who seeks and receives physical therapy services. For purposes of these rules, patient may include a person receiving services in a home, by telehealth or clinical setting, a student in a school setting, a child receiving early intervention services, a resident of a care facility, or an animal.

“Permanent Record”- The final version of the record of each evaluation, reassessment or treatment provided to a patient which becomes part of the patient's medical record.

“Physical Therapist Assistant” - A person who assists a physical therapist in the administration of physical therapy. The physical therapist assistant's function is to assist the physical therapist in patient-related activities and to perform delegated procedures that are commensurate with the physical therapist assistant's education, training, experience, and skill.

“Physical Therapy Intervention” - A treatment or procedure and includes but is not limited to: therapeutic exercise; gait and locomotion training; neuromuscular reeducation; manual therapy techniques (including manual lymphatic drainage, manual traction, connective tissue and therapeutic massage, mobilization/manipulation of soft tissue or spinal or peripheral joints, and passive range of motion); functional training related to physical movement and mobility in self-care and home management (including activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL)); functional training related to physical movement and mobility in work (job/school/play), community, and leisure integration or reintegration (including IADL, work hardening, and work conditioning); prescription, application, and, as appropriate, fabrication of devices and equipment (assistive, adaptive, orthotic, protective, or supportive); airway clearance techniques; integumentary repair and protective techniques; electrotherapeutic modalities; physical agents and mechanical modalities; and patient related instruction and education.

“Plan of Care” - A written course of physical therapy treatment established by a physical therapist following an initial evaluation which integrates the evaluation data collected to determine the degree to which physical therapy interventions are likely to achieve anticipated goals and expected outcomes.

“Physical Therapist” - A person who is licensed in Oregon to practice physical therapy.

“Physical Therapist Aide” - A person who is not licensed as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant, who aids a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant by performing treatment-related tasks or by performing non-treatment, patient-related tasks. Although they may be providing services to a patient pursuant to direction or instruction from a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant, the following persons are not considered physical therapist aides:

    • Educational or instructional aides or assistants working in a school setting; or
    • Nurses aides, restorative aides or personal care assistants. Persons performing facility maintenance, equipment assembly and maintenance, housekeeping, clerical, or other similar tasks are not considered aides.

“Physical Therapist Assistant” - A person who assists a physical therapist in the administration of selected components of physical therapy intervention. A physical therapist assistant works under the supervision and direction of the physical therapist.

“Physical Therapy” - The care and services provided by a physical therapist or by a physical therapist assistant under the supervision and direction of a physical therapist.

“Practice of Physical Therapy”:

    • Examining, evaluating and testing for mechanical, physiological and developmental impairments, functional limitations and disabilities or other neuromusculoskeletal conditions in order to determine a physical therapy diagnosis or prognosis or a plan of physical therapy intervention and to assess the ongoing effects of physical therapy intervention.
    • Alleviating impairments and functional limitations by designing, implementing, administering and modifying physical therapy interventions.
    • Reducing the risk of injury, impairment, functional limitation and disability by physical therapy interventions that may include as a component the promotion and maintenance of health, fitness and quality of life in all age populations.
    • Consulting or providing educational services to a patient.

“Supervising Physical Therapist” - Either the last physical therapist to see the patient, or the physical therapist designated as in charge of the patient on the day the patient is being treated.

“Record” - A written or electronic account of the detailed information gathered from each evaluation, reassessment, and the treatment provided to a patient. This documentation may be used to create the separate, permanent record, or it may serve as the permanent record.

“Supervise” - To provide the amount of personal direction, assistance, advice and instruction necessary to reasonably assure that the supervisee provides the patient competent physical therapy services, given the supervisor’s actual knowledge of the supervisee’s ability, training and experiences.

“Student” - A child ages 3 to 21 who are enrolled in an educational institution and who qualifies for services under IDEA or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or other designated plan of care, or child ages 0-2 who qualifies under the IDEA Early Intervention Program.

“Student PT or Student PTA”- A person enrolled in a CAPTE accredited physical therapist or physical therapist assistant program and who is providing patient care as part of the required clinical education.

“Telehealth Service” - A physical therapy intervention, including assessment or consultation, that can be safely and effectively provided using synchronous two-way interactive video conferencing, or asynchronous video communication, in accordance with generally accepted healthcare practices and standards. For purposes of these rules, “telehealth service” also means, or may be referred to, as “telepractice, teletherapy, or telerehab.”

“Treatment-Related Task”- A physical therapy service rendered directly to a patient.


ORS 688.010

OAR 848-015-0010

OAR 848-020-0000

OAR 848-040-0100

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