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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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Texas Physical Therapy Definitions 

The Texas physical therapy legal and regulatory definitions. 

Accredited Curriculum in Physical Therapy Education - A body of courses in a physical therapy program at a school, college, or university which has satisfied the accreditation standards of the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education.

Accredited Physical Therapist Assistant Program - A body of courses at a school, college, or university which has satisfied the accreditation standards of the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education.

Asymptomatic - Without obvious signs or symptoms of disease.

Board - The Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.

Board-Approved Organization or Entity - An organization or entity to which the board has formally delegated a role in the licensure, regulation or enforcement functions of the Physical Therapy Practice Act and board rules.

Coordinator of Physical Therapy Programs - The person employed in that position under Section 452.101.

Endorsement - The process by which the board issues a license to a person currently licensed in another state, the District of Columbia, or territory of the United States that maintains professional standards considered by the board to be substantially equivalent to those set forth in the Act.

Emergency Circumstances - Instances where emergency medical care is called for, including first aid.

Emergency Medical Care - Bona fide emergency services provided after the sudden onset of a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, including severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in placing the patient's health in serious jeopardy, serious impairment to bodily functions, or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

Evaluation - A dynamic process in which the physical therapist makes clinical judgments based on data gathered during the examination.

Evidence Satisfactory to the Board - Should all official school records be destroyed, sworn affidavits satisfactory to the board must be received from three persons having personal knowledge of the applicant's physical therapy education. These affidavits will not be used when official school records are available.

Examination - A comprehensive screening and specific testing process leading to diagnostic classification or, as appropriate, to a referral to another practitioner. The examination has three components: the patient/client history, the systems review, and tests and measures.

Executive Council - The Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners.

Foreign-Trained Applicant - Any applicant whose entry-level professional physical therapy education was obtained at a physical therapy program outside the U.S., its territories, or the District of Columbia.

Hearing - An adjudicative proceeding concerning the issuance, denial, suspension, reprimand, revocation of license, after which the legal rights of an applicant or licensee are to be determined by the board.

Jurisprudence Exam - An open-book examination made up of multiple-choice and/or true/false questions covering information contained in the Texas Physical Therapy Practice Act and Board rules.

On-site Supervision- The PT or PTA on the premises and readily available to respond.

Physical Therapist - A person who is licensed by the board as a PT and practices physical therapy. The term includes a hydrotherapist, physiotherapist, mechanotherapist, functional therapist, physical therapy practitioner, physical therapist specialist, physical therapy specialist, physiotherapy practitioner, kinesiotherapist, physical rehabilitation specialist, and myofunctional therapist.

Physical Therapist Assistant - A person licensed by the board as a PTA who assists and is supervised by a physical therapist in the practice of physical therapy and whose activities require an understanding of physical therapy.

Physical Therapy - The evaluation, examination, and utilization of exercises, rehabilitative procedures, massage, manipulations, and physical agents including, but not limited to, mechanical devices, heat, cold, air, light, water, electricity, and sound in the aid of diagnosis or treatment. PTs may perform evaluations without referrals. Physical therapy practice includes the use of modalities, procedures, and tests to make evaluations. Physical therapy practice includes but is not limited to the use of: Electromyographic (EMG) Tests, Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) Tests, Thermography, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), bed traction, application of topical medication to open wounds, sharp debridement, provision of soft goods, inhibitive casting and splinting, Phonophoresis, Iontophoresis, and biofeedback services.

Physical Therapy Aide - A person who aids in the practice of physical therapy under the on-site supervision of a PT or a PTA whose activities require on-the-job training.

Supervision - The delegation and continuing direction by a person or persons responsible for the practice of PT, PTA, or aide as specified in the Physical Therapy Practice Act.

Referring Practitioner - A qualified licensed health care professional who, within the scope of professional licensure, may refer a person for health care services. The term includes:

    • A physician licensed to practice medicine by a state board of medical examiners;
    • A dentist licensed by a state board of dental examiners;
    • A chiropractor licensed by a state board of chiropractic examiners; and
    • A podiatrist licensed by a state board of podiatric medical examiners.


Tex. Occ. Code 453.001

3 Tex. Admin. Code §321.1

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