SB 51
Modifies provisions relating to physical therapists
LR Number:
Last Action:
4/27/2023 - Signed by Governor
Journal Page:
SS SB 51
Effective Date:
August 28, 2023
House Handler:

Current Bill Summary

SS/SB 51 - This act modifies provisions relating to the practice of physical therapy. Under this act, physical therapists with a doctorate of physical therapy or 5 years of clinical experience may evaluate and initiate treatment on a patient without a prescription or referral from an approved health care provider. Physical therapists may provide certain educational information, fitness or wellness programs, screenings, and consultations without a prescription or referral regardless of whether a patient is symptomatic.

This act repeals provisions limiting the ability of a physical therapist to examine and treat certain conditions or injuries without a prescription or referral. Under this act, physical therapists shall refer to an approved health care provider patients with certain conditions, including those with conditions beyond the scope of practice of physical therapy, as well as any patient who does not demonstrate measurable or functional improvement within ten visits or 30 days, whichever occurs first.

A physical therapist shall consult with an approved health care provider after ten visits or 30 days, whichever occurs first, before continuing physical therapy if a patient's condition has improved and the physical therapist believes that continued physical therapy is reasonable and necessary. The physical therapist shall provide the provider certain information specified in the act during such consultation and continued physical therapy shall proceed in accordance with input from the provider. The physical therapist shall notify the provider of continuing physical therapy every 10 visits or 30 days unless the provider directs otherwise.

This act allows the Board of Registration for the Healing Arts to file a complaint against a physical therapist for evaluating or treating a patient in a manner inconsistent with provisions of the act and existing law governing the scope of practice for physical therapists, rather than allowing the Board to file a complaint for practicing or offering to practice independent of a prescription and the direction of certain health care providers listed in current law.

This act is substantially similar to HB 1555 (2022) and provisions in HCS/SB 330 (2021).