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Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Supervision and Delegation

Supervision Definitions

"Direct on-premises supervision" means the physical presence of a licensed physical therapist in the facility, including affiliated buildings in immediate proximity, who is immediately available to exercise supervision, direction and control.

Actions that Cannot be Delegated

A physical therapist may not assign or delegate to physical therapist assistants or supportive personnel functions which require the formal education or training and the skill and knowledge of a licensed physical therapist, including the following functions:

    • Interpretation of referrals.
    • Initial patient contact and initial evaluation or reevaluation.
    • Determination or modification of a patient plan of care.
    • Final discharge assessment/evaluation or establishment of discharge plan.
    • Therapeutic techniques and procedures beyond the skill and knowledge of the physical therapist assistant.
    • Duties, the delegation of which is inconsistent with minimum standards of acceptable physical therapy practice embraced by the physical therapy community in this Commonwealth.
    • Mobilization. Mobilization is defined as a group of techniques comprising a continuum of skilled passive movements to the joints or related soft tissues, or both, throughout the normal physiological range of motion that are applied at varying speeds and amplitudes, without limitation.
    • The performance of consultations.

A physical therapist may not assign or delegate to a physical therapist assistant or supportive personnel screenings to determine the need for the following:

    • Primary, secondary or tertiary services.
    • Further examination or intervention.
    • Consultation by a physical therapist.
    • Referral to another health care practitioner.


63 P. S. § 1

49 Pa. Code §40.53

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