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Physical Therapy Services Provided in a Nursing Facility


 “Physical therapy service” means those services ordered by a physician for a patient or upon a physician's referral and provided to a patient by or under the supervision of a physical therapist.

Physical therapy services shall include but are not limited to:

    • Assisting the physician in an evaluation of the patient's rehabilitation potential.
    • Applying muscle, nerve, joint and functional ability tests.
    • Treating patients to relieve pain and to develop or restore function.
    • Assisting patients to achieve and maintain maximum performance using physical means such as exercise, massage, heat, sound, water, light or electricity.
    • Establishing and modifying a treatment program by the physical therapist, as needed, based upon initial and continuing assessment of the patient.
    • Maintaining patient health records which contain pertinent information and signed orders for treatment.
      • Notes shall be written and entered in the patient's health record after completion of each procedure. The note shall indicate the procedure(s) and shall be signed by the physical therapist.
      • Initial and continuing assessment, development of a treatment plan and discharge summary shall be written and entered in each patient's health record.
      • Individual progress notes shall be written and signed at least weekly by the physical therapist.

Policies and Procedures

Each physical therapy service Unit shall have written policies and procedures for the management of the physical therapy service.

The policies and procedures shall be established and implemented by the patient care policy committee in consultation with a physical therapist.


The physical therapy service unit shall be under the direction of a physical therapist.

A physical therapist assistant shall treat patients only under the supervision of a physical therapist in accordance with the Physical Therapy Practice Act.

A physical therapy aide shall work only under the direct supervision of a physical therapist.

There shall be physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and physical therapy aides to meet the identified needs of the patients.


Equipment shall be sufficient to provide the physical therapy services offered. The equipment shall include but not be limited to:

    • Parallel bars.
    • Full view mirror.
    • Overhead pulley and weights.
    • Set of training stairs.
    • Treatment table enclosed by cubicle curtains for privacy.
    • Availability of wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches and other ambulation aids.


Adequate space shall be maintained for the necessary equipment needed to provide physical therapy service. The minimum floor area for physical therapy service shall be 28 square meters (300 square feet), no dimension of which shall be less than 3.7 meters (12 feet).

A sink shall be provided in the treatment area and shall have controls other than hand controls.

The toilet facilities shall be located nearby and equipped with grab bars on both sides of the commode and the space shall be of sufficient size to allow for patient transfer activities.


22 CCR § 72403

22 CCR § 72405

22 CCR § 72407

22 CCR § 72409

22 CCR § 72411

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