CHAPTER 376*
PHYSICAL THERAPISTS

      *See Sec. 19a-88b re renewal of certain professional and occupational licenses, certificates, permits or registrations which become void while the holder is on active duty in the armed forces of the United States.

      Chapters 369 to 381, inclusive, cited. 207 C. 674. Cited. 242 C. 1.


Table of Contents

Sec. 20-66. Definitions.
Sec. 20-67. Board of Examiners for Physical Therapists.
Sec. 20-68. Meetings. Powers and duties of board, its members and Department of Public Health.
Sec. 20-69. Salaries and expenses.
Sec. 20-70. Qualifications for examination for licensure. Practice pending examination results. Reexamination.
Sec. 20-70a. Practice pending examination results for graduates of foreign physical therapy schools.
Sec. 20-71. Licensure without examination. Physical therapists and physical therapy assistants.
Sec. 20-72. List of registrants.
Sec. 20-73. Licensure required for practice and use of title. Practice regulated. Fraud in obtaining licensure. Revocation of license.
Sec. 20-73a. Charges against licensee, verification, hearing. Grounds for disciplinary action. Appeal.
Sec. 20-73b. Continuing education requirements. Waivers and extensions.
Sec. 20-73c. Prohibited use of chiropractic terms.
Sec. 20-73d. Professional liability insurance required. Reports from insurance companies.
Sec. 20-74. Construction. Administration by commissioner.

      Sec. 20-66. Definitions. As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

      (1) "Physical therapist" means a person licensed to practice physical therapy in this state;

      (2) "Physical therapy" means the evaluation and treatment of any person by the employment of the effective properties of physical measures, the performance of tests and measurements as an aid to evaluation of function and the use of therapeutic exercises and rehabilitative procedures, with or without assistive devices, for the purpose of preventing, correcting or alleviating a physical or mental disability. "Physical therapy" includes the establishment and modification of physical therapy programs, treatment planning, instruction, wellness care, peer review, consultative services and the use of low-level light laser therapy for the purpose of accelerating tissue repair, decreasing edema or minimizing or eliminating pain, but does not include surgery, the prescribing of drugs, the development of a medical diagnosis of disease, injury or illness, the use of cauterization or the use of Roentgen rays or radium for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. As used in this section, "low-level light laser therapy" means low-level light therapy having wave lengths that range from six hundred to one thousand nanometers;

      (3) "Physical therapist assistant" means a person licensed to assist in the practice of physical therapy in this state under the supervision of a physical therapist. For purposes of this subdivision and subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 20-73, "supervision" means the overseeing of or the participation in the work of a physical therapist assistant by a licensed physical therapist, including, but not limited to: (A) Continuous availability of direct communication between the physical therapist assistant and a licensed physical therapist; (B) availability of a licensed physical therapist on a regularly scheduled basis to (i) review the practice of the physical therapist assistant, and (ii) support the physical therapist assistant in the performance of the physical therapist assistant's services; and (C) a predetermined plan for emergency situations, including the designation of an alternate licensed physical therapist in the absence of the regular licensed physical therapist;

      (4) "Assist in the practice of physical therapy" means the treatment of any person by the employment of the effective properties of physical measures and the use of therapeutic exercises and rehabilitative procedures, with or without assistive devices, for the purpose of preventing, correcting or alleviating a physical or mental disability, but does not include the interpretation of referrals, initial or discharge evaluation or assessment, or determination or modification of treatment or discharge plans; and

      (5) "Wellness care" means services related to conditioning, strength training, fitness, workplace ergonomics or injury prevention.

      (1949 Rev., S. 4398; 1953, S. 2201d; P.A. 73-579, S. 1; P.A. 80-336, S. 1; P.A. 82-472, S. 75, 183; P.A. 89-307, S. 1; P.A. 93-110, S. 4, 5; 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; 95-299, S. 2; P.A. 96-174, S. 1, 3; P.A. 99-249, S. 6, 10; P.A. 00-226, S. 12, 20; P.A. 03-209, S. 1, 2; P.A. 06-125, S. 1; P.A. 09-232, S. 17.)

      History: P.A. 73-579 redefined "physical therapist" and "physical therapy", clarifying terms and removed use of electricity for surgical purposes from exclusion; P.A. 80-336 deleted requirement that physical therapist practice under direction of person licensed to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathy in "physical therapist" definition and included tests and measurements as an aid to evaluation of function in "physical therapy" definition; P.A. 82-472 replaced alphabetic Subdiv. indicators with numeric indicators, revising internal references as necessary; P.A. 89-307 added Subdiv. (3) defining "physical therapist assistant"; P.A. 93-110 redefined "physical therapist assistant" to include persons with 20 years' employment experience prior to October 1, 1989, effective June 3, 1993; P.A. 93-381 replaced commissioner of health services with commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 95-299 amended Subdiv. (2) by redefining "physical therapy" to include peer review services; P.A. 96-174 amended Subdiv. (3), defining "physical therapist assistant", to change the requirements for the physical therapist assistant programs, effective May 31, 1996; P.A. 99-249 divided Subdiv. (3) into Subparas. and added Subpara. (B) re approved school, effective June 29, 1999; P.A. 00-226 made technical changes, redefined "physical therapist assistant" in Subdiv. (3) and added new Subdiv. (4) defining "assist in the practice of physical therapy", effective the later of October 1, 2000, or the date notice is published by the Commissioner of Public Health in the Connecticut Law Journal indicating that the licensing of athletic trainers and physical therapist assistants is being implemented by the commissioner, i.e. April 11, 2006; P.A. 03-209 added definition of "wellness care" and redefined "physical therapy" to include wellness care; P.A. 06-125 amended Subdiv. (2) by excluding surgery, the prescribing of drugs and the development of a medical diagnosis of disease, injury or illness from definition of "physical therapy"; P.A. 09-232 redefined "physical therapy" and defined "low-level light laser therapy" in Subdiv. (2).

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      Sec. 20-67. Board of Examiners for Physical Therapists. The Connecticut State Board of Examiners for Physical Therapists shall consist of one physician, two physical therapists and two public members, appointed by the Governor, subject to the provisions of section 4-9a. The Governor may appoint the physical therapist members of said board from a list of two names submitted by the Connecticut chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association and may appoint the physician member from a name submitted by the Connecticut State Medical Society. Vacancies in said board shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired portion of the term. All appointments shall be subject to the provisions of section 4-10. No member shall serve more than two consecutive full terms, commencing on and after July 1, 1981.

      (1949 Rev., S. 4399; 1953, S. 2203d; 1959, P.A. 575, S. 1; P.A. 77-614, S. 382, 610; P.A. 81-473, S. 38, 43; P.A. 82-472, S. 76, 183.)

      History: 1959 act changed membership of board from three physicians and two physical therapists to two physicians and three physical therapists and increased term from three to five years; P.A. 77-614 changed composition of board from two physicians and three therapists to one physician, two therapists and two public members, revised appointment procedure for general applicability rather than applicability to first appointments, limited number of names on lists submitted by the professional associations involved and deleted references to five-year terms, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 81-473 prohibited board members from serving more than two consecutive full terms commencing on and after July 1, 1981; P.A. 82-472 made a technical change.

      See title 2c re termination under "Sunset Law".

      See Sec. 4-9a for definition of "public member".

      See Secs. 19a-8 to 19a-12, inclusive, re powers and duties of boards and commissions within Public Health Department.


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      Sec. 20-68. Meetings. Powers and duties of board, its members and Department of Public Health. The Board of Examiners for Physical Therapists shall meet at least once during each calendar quarter and at such other times as the chairman deems necessary at a time and place to be designated by the board. The Department of Public Health shall administer the provisions of this chapter. The Commissioner of Public Health, with advice and assistance from the board, may adopt bylaws and regulations for the transaction of the business of the board and the management of its affairs and for the conduct of examinations. Three members of said board shall constitute a quorum and special meetings shall be called upon the request of any three members. The board shall keep a record of its proceedings under this chapter and of all persons licensed under the provisions of section 20-70 or 20-71. On request of said board, the Commissioner of Public Works shall provide a suitable room for its meetings. The place and time of examination shall be at the discretion of the department and held annually or more often as, in the discretion of the department, the need requires. Said board shall keep a list of all physical therapy schools which are approved by it, with the consent of the Commissioner of Public Health, as maintaining the standard for education in physical therapy as established by said board, with the consent of the Commissioner of Public Health. Members shall not be compensated for their services. Any member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings or who fails to attend fifty per cent of all meetings held during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned from office. Minutes of all meetings shall be recorded by the board. No member shall participate in the affairs of the board during the pendency of any disciplinary proceedings by the board against such member. No professional member shall be an elected or appointed officer of a professional society of physical therapists or have been such an officer during the year immediately preceding his appointment. Said board shall (1) hear and decide matters concerning revocation or suspension of licensure, (2) adjudicate complaints against practitioners and (3) impose sanctions where appropriate.

      (1949 Rev., S. 4400; 1953, S. 2204d; P.A. 77-614, S. 73, 383, 610; P.A. 81-472, S. 134, 159; 81-473, S. 15, 43; P.A. 87-496, S. 86, 110; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 91-12, S. 19, 55; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 96-180, S. 70, 166.)

      History: P.A. 77-614 replaced public works commissioner with commissioner of administrative services and, effective January 1, 1979, deleted provision for election of president and secretary/treasurer of board, transferred power to make bylaws and regulations from board to commissioner of health services, retaining board as advisor and required commissioner's consent for approval of schools; P.A. 81-472 made technical changes; P.A. 81-473 amended section to conform with restructuring of boards and commissions within department of health services under the sunset review process begun in 1980; P.A. 87-496 substituted "public works" for "administrative services" commissioner; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 91-12 eliminated expense reimbursement for board members; P.A. 93-381 replaced department and commissioner of health services with department and commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-180 made technical changes, effective June 3, 1996.

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      Sec. 20-69. Salaries and expenses. Section 20-69 is repealed.

      (1949 Rev., S. 4401; 1953, S. 2205d; 1959, P.A. 616, S. 20.)

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      Sec. 20-70. Qualifications for examination for licensure. Practice pending examination results. Reexamination. (a)(1) Any person who is a graduate of a school of physical therapy approved by the Board of Examiners for Physical Therapists, with the consent of the Commissioner of Public Health, or has successfully completed requirements for graduation from such school, shall be eligible for examination for licensure as a physical therapist upon the payment of a fee of two hundred eighty-five dollars. The Department of Public Health, with the consent of the board, shall determine the subject matter of such examination, which shall be designed to show proficiency in physical therapy and related subjects, and shall determine whether such examination shall be written, oral or practical, or a combination thereof. Passing scores shall be established by the department with the consent of the board. Warning of such examination shall be given by the department not less than two weeks in advance of the date set for the examination. If the applicant passes such examination, the department shall issue to such applicant a license to practice physical therapy.

      (2) Any person who is a graduate of a physical therapy or physical therapy assistant program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy shall be eligible for examination for licensure as a physical therapist assistant upon the payment of a fee of one hundred ninety dollars. The department, with the consent of the board, shall determine the subject matter of such examination, which shall be designed to show proficiency in physical therapy and related subjects, and shall determine whether such examination shall be written, oral or practical, or a combination thereof. Passing scores shall be established by the department with the consent of the board. Warning of such examination shall be given by the department not less than two weeks in advance of the date set for the examination. If the applicant passes such examination, the department shall issue to such applicant a physical therapist assistant license. Any applicant for examination for licensure as a physical therapy assistant whose application is based on a diploma issued to such applicant by a foreign physical therapy school shall furnish documentary evidence, satisfactory to the department, that the requirements for graduation are similar to or higher than those required of graduates of approved United States schools of physical therapy.

      (b) (1) Any person who is a graduate of an approved United States physical therapy school and who has filed an application with the department may practice as a physical therapist under the direct and immediate supervision of a licensed physical therapist in this state for a period not to exceed one hundred twenty calendar days after the date of application. If the person practicing pursuant to this subdivision fails to pass the licensure examination, all privileges under this subdivision shall automatically cease.

      (2) Any person who is a graduate of an approved United States physical therapist assistant school or an approved physical therapy school and who has filed an application with the department may practice as a physical therapist assistant under the direct and immediate supervision of a licensed physical therapist in this state for a period not to exceed one hundred twenty calendar days after the date of application. If the person practicing pursuant to this subdivision fails to pass the licensure examination, all privileges under this subdivision shall automatically cease.

      (c) Any applicant under this section who fails to pass the examination prescribed by the department with the consent of the board may take a subsequent examination on payment of an additional application fee.

      (1949 Rev., S. 4402; 1953, S. 2206d; 1959, P.A. 575, S. 2; 616, S. 21; June, 1971, P.A. 8, S. 48; P.A. 73-579, S. 2; P.A. 77-614, S. 323, 384, 610; P.A. 81-473, S. 16, 43; P.A. 89-251, S. 79, 203; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 00-226, S. 13, 20; P.A. 04-221, S. 2, 3; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 189.)

      History: 1959 acts made one who has completed requirements for graduation eligible for examination and increased fee from $20 to $25; 1971 act increased examination fee to $30; P.A. 73-579 allowed practice of therapy under direction of person licensed to practice osteopathy and added Subsecs. (b) and (c) re practice before taking examination and reexamination of those who fail on first examination; P.A. 77-614 replaced department of health with department of health services and required consent of health services commissioner for contents of examination, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 81-473 changed criteria for licensure and powers of board and department to conform with changes made with respect to other health professions under the sunset review process begun in 1980 and deleted reference to practice as a physical therapist under the supervision of a licensed physician; P.A. 89-251 set the examination fee at $225, where previously fee was determined by department with board's consent; P.A. 93-381 replaced department and commissioner of health services with department and commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 00-226 made technical changes and added provisions re physical therapy assistant examination, licensure and practice, effective the later of October 1, 2000, or the date notice is published by the Commissioner of Public Health in the Connecticut Law Journal indicating that the licensing of athletic trainers and physical therapist assistants is being implemented by the commissioner, i.e. April 11, 2006; P.A. 04-221 amended Subsec. (b) by limiting the time allowed for practice pending examination results to 120 days and making conforming changes; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 amended Subsec. (a) to increase fee from $225 to $285 in Subdiv. (1) and to increase fee from $150 to $190 in Subdiv. (2).

      See Sec. 19a-88 re annual renewal of licenses.

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      Sec. 20-70a. Practice pending examination results for graduates of foreign physical therapy schools. Any applicant for examination for licensure as a physical therapist whose application is based on a diploma issued to the applicant by a foreign physical therapy school shall furnish documentary evidence, satisfactory to the department that the requirements for graduation are similar to or higher than those required of graduates of approved United States schools of therapy. Any applicant under this section whose application has been filed and approved by said department may practice as a physical therapist under the continuous direction and immediate supervision of a physical therapist licensed to practice in this state, in a licensed health care facility, for a period not to exceed one hundred twenty calendar days after the date of application, provided this privilege shall automatically cease on failure of an applicant to pass the examination.

      (P.A. 73-579, S. 6; P.A. 80-336, S. 2; P.A. 81-473, S. 17, 43; P.A. 82-472, S. 77, 183; P.A. 97-15, S. 1; P.A. 04-221, S. 4.)

      History: P.A. 80-336 replaced requirements that evidence be produced that school attended is recognized by member organization of world confederation for physical therapy and that courses taken comply with those required by council on medical education of American Medical Association with statement that "requirements for graduation are equal to those required of graduates of approved United States schools of therapy"; P.A. 81-473 substituted term "licensure" for "registration" and modified application procedure and requirements for licensure to conform with changes made in other health professions under process of sunset review begun in 1980; P.A. 82-472 made a technical change; P.A. 97-15 deleted the requirement of continuous supervision for first year after passing examination; P.A. 04-221 limited period of practice pending examination results to 120 days and made a technical change for purposes of gender neutrality.

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      Sec. 20-71. Licensure without examination. Physical therapists and physical therapy assistants. (a) The Department of Public Health may issue a license to practice physical therapy without examination, on payment of a fee of two hundred twenty-five dollars, to an applicant who is a physical therapist registered or licensed under the laws of any other state or territory of the United States, any province of Canada or any other country, if the requirements for registration or licensure of physical therapists in such state, territory, province or country are deemed by the department to be equivalent to, or higher than those prescribed in this chapter.

      (b) The department may issue a physical therapist assistant license without examination, on payment of a fee of one hundred fifty dollars, to an applicant who is a physical therapist assistant registered or licensed under the laws of any other state or territory of the United States, any province of Canada or any other country, if the requirements for registration or licensure of physical therapist assistants in such state, territory, province or country are deemed by the department to be equivalent to, or higher than those prescribed in this chapter.

      (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 20-70, prior to April 30, 2007, the commissioner may issue a physical therapist assistant license to any applicant who presents evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of having completed twenty years of employment as a physical therapist assistant prior to October 1, 1989, on payment of a fee of one hundred fifty dollars.

      (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 20-70, the commissioner may issue a physical therapist assistant license to any applicant who presents evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of having registered as a physical therapist assistant with the Department of Public Health on or before April 1, 2006, on payment of a fee of one hundred fifty dollars.

      (1949 Rev., S. 4404; 1953, S. 2207d; 1959, P.A. 575, S. 3; 616, S. 22; P.A. 77-614, S. 323, 385, 610; P.A. 81-473, S. 18, 43; P.A. 89-251, S. 80, 203; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6, S. 21, 117; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-271, S. 27, 40; P.A. 00-226, S. 14, 20; P.A. 06-195, S. 47; P.A. 07-252, S. 26, 27.)

      History: 1959 acts increased fee in Subsec. (a) from $10 and added Subsec. (b); P.A. 77-614 replaced department of health with department of health services and required that qualifying examination be acceptable to commissioner of health services as well as to board of examiners in Subsec. (b), effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 81-473 amended section to permit the department, with the consent of the board, to set fees for licensure by endorsement and to conform licensing procedures with those of other health professions under sunset review process begun in 1980; P.A. 89-251 set the application fee at $150, where previously fee was set by department with board's consent; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6 raised license fee from $150 to $225; P.A. 93-381 replaced commissioner of health services with commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-271 deleted the requirement that the foreign state, etc., grant reciprocity, deleted former Subsec. (b) re licensure without examination based on certain schooling and made a technical change; P.A. 00-226 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a), making technical changes therein, and added new Subsec. (b) re issuance of physical therapist assistant license without examination, effective the later of October 1, 2000, or the date notice is published by the Commissioner of Public Health in the Connecticut Law Journal indicating that the licensing of athletic trainers and physical therapist assistants is being implemented by the commissioner, i.e. April 11, 2006; P.A. 06-195 deleted former Subsec. (b)(2) and (3) re conditions for granting physical therapist assistant licenses without examination and added Subsecs. (c) and (d) re physical therapist assistant licensure without examination for applicants who have either completed 20 years of employment as a physical therapist assistant before October 1, 1989, or registered as a physical therapist assistant with Department of Public Health on or before April 1, 2006, effective June 7, 2006; P.A. 07-252 amended Subsecs. (a) and (b) to give department complete discretion in determining whether the qualifications of applicants for licensure without examination who are licensed or registered in another jurisdiction are equivalent to, or higher than, those prescribed in chapter.

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      Sec. 20-72. List of registrants. Section 20-72 is repealed.

      (1953, S. 2211d; 1963, P.A. 143, S. 2.)

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      Sec. 20-73. Licensure required for practice and use of title. Practice regulated. Fraud in obtaining licensure. Revocation of license. (a)(1) No person may practice as a physical therapist unless licensed pursuant to this chapter. No person may use the term "Registered Physical Therapist", "Licensed Physical Therapist" or "Physical Therapist" or the letters "R.P.T.", "L.P.T." or any other letters, words or insignia indicating or implying licensure as a physical therapist in this state unless the person is so licensed.

      (2) No person may practice as a physical therapist assistant unless such person is licensed pursuant to this chapter and is under the supervision of a physical therapist licensed pursuant to this chapter. No person may use the term "Registered Physical Therapist Assistant", "Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant" or "Physical Therapist Assistant", or the letters "P.T.A." to represent or imply the term "Physical Therapist Assistant", or any other letters, words or insignia indicating or implying licensure as a physical therapist assistant in this state unless the person is so licensed.

      (b) (1) The treatment of human ailments by physical therapy shall only be performed by a person licensed under the provisions of this chapter as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. Except as otherwise provided in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection, such treatment may be performed by a licensed physical therapist without an oral or written referral by a person licensed in this state to practice medicine and surgery, podiatry, natureopathy, chiropractic or dentistry, or an advanced practice registered nurse licensed to prescribe in accordance with section 20-94a or a physician assistant licensed to prescribe in accordance with section 20-12d, provided the licensed physical therapist (A) was admitted to a bachelor's degree program prior to January 1, 1998, and has practiced physical therapy for at least four out of the most recent six years of his or her clinical practice, or earned a master's degree or higher in physical therapy from an accredited institution of higher education, (B) requires any person receiving such treatment to disclose or affirmatively confirm the identity of such person's primary care provider or health care provider of record upon each initial visit for treatment without an oral or written referral, (C) provides information to any person seeking such treatment regarding the need to consult with such person's primary care provider or health care provider of record regarding such person's underlying medical condition if the condition is prolonged, does not improve within a thirty-day period, or continues to require ongoing continuous treatment, and (D) refers any person receiving such treatment to an appropriate licensed practitioner of the healing arts if, upon examination or reexamination, the same condition for which the person sought physical therapy does not demonstrate objective, measurable, functional improvement in a period of thirty consecutive days or at the end of six visits, whichever is earlier.

      (2) In any case in which a person seeking such treatment requires a Grade V spinal manipulation, such treatment shall only be performed (A) upon the oral or written referral of a person licensed in this state, or in a state having licensing requirements meeting the approval of the appropriate examining board in this state, to practice medicine and surgery, podiatry, natureopathy, chiropractic or dentistry, or an advanced practice registered nurse licensed to prescribe in accordance with section 20-94a or a physician assistant licensed to prescribe in accordance with section 20-12d, and (B) by a licensed physical therapist who (i) was admitted to a bachelor's degree program prior to January 1, 1998, and has practiced physical therapy for at least four out of the most recent six years of his or her clinical practice, or earned a master's degree or higher in physical therapy from an accredited institution of higher education, and (ii) holds a specialist certification in orthopedic physical therapy from the American Physical Therapy Association, or proof of completion of forty hours of course work in manual therapy, including Grade V spinal manipulation. Nothing in this section shall prevent a physical therapist from providing wellness care within the scope of physical therapy practice to asymptomatic persons without a referral. Nothing in this section shall require an employer or insurer to pay for such wellness care.

      (3) In any case involving an injury, as described in section 31-275, such treatment shall only be performed upon the oral or written referral of a person licensed in this state or in a state having licensing requirements meeting the standards set by the Department of Public Health and the appropriate examining board in this state to practice medicine and surgery, podiatry, natureopathy, chiropractic or dentistry, or an advanced practice registered nurse licensed to prescribe in accordance with section 20-94a or a physician assistant licensed to prescribe in accordance with section 20-12d.

      (c) Any person who violates the provisions of this section or who obtains or attempts to obtain licensure as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant by any wilful misrepresentation or any fraudulent representation shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. A physical therapist, physical therapist assistant or dentist who violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to licensure revocation in the same manner as is provided under section 19a-17, or in the case of a healing arts practitioner, section 20-45. For purposes of this section each instance of patient contact or consultation in violation of any provision of this section shall constitute a separate offense. Failure to renew a license in a timely manner shall not constitute a violation for the purposes of this section.

      (d) Nothing in this section shall prohibit or limit the ability of a person licensed or certified in a field other than physical therapy from providing wellness care that is within the scope of such person's practice.

      (1949 Rev., S. 4407, 4409; 1953, S. 2209d, 2210d; 1959, P.A. 575, S. 5; P.A. 73-579, S. 3; P.A. 76-276, S. 18, 22; P.A. 77-614, S. 323, 610; P.A. 80-336, S. 3; P.A. 81-473, S. 19, 43; P.A. 84-526, S. 6; P.A. 93-55, S. 2; 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 94-213, S. 3; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; 95-299, S. 3; P.A. 99-102, S. 24; P.A. 00-226, S. 15, 20; P.A. 03-209, S. 3, 4; P.A. 06-125, S. 2; 06-195, S. 82.)

      History: 1959 act changed technical language, added provision which refers to Sec. 20-66 and reference to "Physical Therapist" and deleted stipulation that persons who are registered may so hold themselves out; P.A. 73-579 allowed therapist to practice under direction of person licensed to practice osteopathy; P.A. 76-276 substituted reference to Sec. 20-48 for repealed Sec. 20-48a and added reference to sections specifically applicable to revocation of physician's license; P.A. 77-614 replaced department of health with department of health services, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-336 rephrased provision setting forth conditions for practice of physical therapy and allowed practice under order or referral of practitioners in bordering states if licensure requirements of such state are approved and included podiatry, natureopathy, chiropractic and dentistry practitioners among those who may supervise therapists; P.A. 81-473 amended section to reflect change from registration to licensure; P.A. 84-526 amended section by changing penalty for violation of any provision of section to a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment of not more than five years, and added provisions that each instance of patient contact or consultation shall constitute a separate offense and failure to renew license in timely manner is not a violation for purposes of section; P.A. 93-55 made technical changes; P.A. 93-381 replaced department of health services with department of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 94-213 added reference to prescriptions by advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 95-299 divided section into Subdivs. and added provisions to allow the registration of physical therapy assistants; P.A. 99-102 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting obsolete reference to osteopathy and making technical changes; P.A. 00-226 divided existing Subsec. (a) into Subsecs. (a)(1), (b) and (c), added Subsec. (a)(2) and made conforming changes in Subsecs. (b) and (c) re physical therapist assistants and deleted former Subsec. (b), effective the later of October 1, 2000, or the date notice is published by the Commissioner of Public Health in the Connecticut Law Journal indicating that the licensing of athletic trainers and physical therapist assistants is being implemented by the commissioner, i.e. April 11, 2006; P.A. 03-209 added provisions re providing wellness care without a referral and payment for such wellness care, added new Subsec. re provision of wellness care by persons licensed or certified in field other than physical therapy if within their scope of practice and made technical changes; P.A. 06-125 amended Subsec. (b) by designating existing provisions re permissible physical therapy treatment as Subdiv. (1), adding exception allowing for physical therapy treatment without an oral or written referral when specific conditions outlined in new Subparas. (A) to (D) are met, adding Subdiv. (2) re Grade V spinal manipulations and when they may be performed and adding Subdiv. (3) re treatment of injuries that fall under purview of Workers' Compensation Act; P.A. 06-195 amended Subsec. (b)(1)(A) and (2)(B) by modifying requirement that physical therapists seeking to treat without an oral or written referral or perform a Grade V spinal manipulation must have earned a bachelor's degree by January 1, 1998, to requirement that such physical therapists must have been admitted to a bachelor's degree program prior to said date.

      Former statute cited. 141 C. 288.

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      Sec. 20-73a. Charges against licensee, verification, hearing. Grounds for disciplinary action. Appeal. (a) The Board of Examiners for Physical Therapists shall have jurisdiction to hear all charges of conduct that fails to conform to the accepted standards of the practice of physical therapy brought against any person licensed as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant and, after holding a hearing, written notice of which shall be given to the person complained of, the board, if it finds such person to be guilty, may revoke or suspend such person's license or take any of the actions set forth in section 19a-17. Any proceedings relative to such action may be begun by the filing of written charges with the Commissioner of Public Health. The causes for which such action may be taken are as follows: (1) Conviction in a court of competent jurisdiction, either within or without this state, of any crime in the practice of such person's profession; (2) illegal, incompetent or negligent conduct in the practice of physical therapy or in the supervision of a physical therapist assistant; (3) aiding or abetting the unlawful practice of physical therapy; (4) treating human ailments by physical therapy without the oral or written referral by a person licensed in this state or in a state having licensing requirements meeting the approval of the appropriate examining board in this state to practice medicine and surgery, podiatry, natureopathy, chiropractic or dentistry if such referral is required pursuant to section 20-73; (5) failure to register with the Department of Public Health as required by law; (6) fraud or deception in obtaining a license; (7) engaging in fraud or material deception in the course of professional services or activities; (8) failure to comply with the continuing education requirements of section 20-73b; (9) violation of any provision of this chapter, or any regulation adopted under this chapter; or (10) failure to provide information to the Department of Public Health required to complete a health care provider profile, as set forth in section 20-13j.

      (b) The clerk of any court in this state in which a person practicing physical therapy has been convicted of any crime as described in this section shall, immediately after such conviction, transmit a certified copy, in duplicate, of the information and judgment, without charge, to the Department of Public Health, containing the name and address of the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant, the crime of which the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant has been convicted and the date of conviction. The hearing on such charges shall be conducted in accordance with the regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Public Health in accordance with chapter 54. Any person aggrieved by a final decision of the board may appeal from the decision as provided in section 4-183. Such appeal shall have precedence over nonprivileged cases in respect to order of trial. The Attorney General shall act as attorney in the public interest in defending against such an appeal. The board may petition the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to enforce any action taken pursuant to section 19a-17.

      (1959, P.A. 575, S. 7; 1971, P.A. 870, S. 57; P.A. 73-579, S. 4; P.A. 76-436, S. 419, 681; P.A. 77-603, S. 62, 125; 77-614, S. 386, 610; P.A. 78-280, S. 34, 127; P.A. 80-336, S. 4; P.A. 81-473, S. 20, 43; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 89-307, S. 2; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-220, S. 4-6; 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 96-47, S. 3; P.A. 99-102, S. 25; P.A. 00-226, S. 16, 20; P.A. 06-125, S. 3; P.A. 08-109, S. 5.)

      History: 1971 act replaced superior court with court of common pleas, effective September 1, 1971, except that courts with cases pending retain jurisdiction unless pending matters deemed transferable; P.A. 73-579 added provisions re filing of charges, grounds for revocation or suspension of license, information to be transmitted to health department after therapist's conviction of crime and attorney general's acting as attorney in the public interest; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court and added reference to judicial districts, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-603 replaced previous appeal provisions with statement that appeals be in accordance with Sec. 4-183 and deleted provision which had prohibited appeal from acting as supersedeas of finding or order; P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner and department of health with commissioner and department of health services, stated that violation of chapter or related regulations is ground for suspension or revocation of license, stated that hearings to be conducted according to regulations adopted by commissioner rather than as provided in Sec. 20-45 and deleted provision re appeals' precedence in order of trial, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-280 restored provision re precedence in order of trial; P.A. 80-336 rephrased grounds for revocation or suspension of license to allow treating ailments, (formerly "practicing") under direction of practitioners in bordering states and to include as acceptable practitioners, those who are osteopathic or natureopathic physicians, podiatrists and chiropractors; P.A. 81-473 amended section to conform grounds for disciplinary action and remedies with those provided for other health professions during process of sunset review begun in 1980; P.A. 88-230 replaced "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" with "judicial district of Hartford", effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 89-307 added reference to the supervision of a physical therapist assistant; P.A. 90-98 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 93-381 replaced department and commissioner of health services with department and commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-47 required any decision appealed from to be a "final" decision; P.A. 99-102 deleted obsolete reference to osteopathy and made technical changes; P.A. 00-226 made technical changes and added references to physical therapist assistants, effective the later of October 1, 2000, or the date notice is published by the Commissioner of Public Health in the Connecticut Law Journal indicating that the licensing of athletic trainers and physical therapist assistants is being implemented by the commissioner, i.e. April 11, 2006; P.A. 06-125 added Subsec. designators (a) and (b), amended newly designated Subsec. (a) by providing in Subdiv. (4) that a cause of action for providing physical therapy treatment without an oral or written referral exists if such referral is required pursuant to Sec. 20-73, added new Subdiv. (8) establishing a cause of action for failure to comply with continuing education requirements, redesignated existing Subdiv. (8) as Subdiv. (9) and made a technical change in newly designated Subsec. (b); P.A. 08-109 added failure to provide information for health care provider profile to list of grounds for revocation or suspension of license or disciplinary action in Subsec. (a), effective January 1, 2010.

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      Sec. 20-73b. Continuing education requirements. Waivers and extensions. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, each physical therapist licensed pursuant to this chapter shall complete a minimum of twenty hours of continuing education during each registration period. For purposes of this section, registration period means the twelve-month period for which a license has been renewed in accordance with section 19a-88 and is current and valid. The continuing education shall be in areas related to the individual's practice. Qualifying continuing education activities include, but are not limited to, courses offered or approved by the American Physical Therapy Association or any component of the American Physical Therapy Association, a hospital or other licensed health care institution or a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

      (b) Each licensee shall obtain a certificate of completion from the provider of continuing education activities for all continuing education hours successfully completed. Each licensee shall maintain such written documentation for a minimum of three years following the license renewal date for which the activity satisfies continuing education requirements. Certificates of completion shall be submitted by the licensee to the Department of Public Health not later than forty-five days after a request by said department for such certificates. A licensee who fails to comply with the continuing education requirements may be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to section 20-73a.

      (c) The continuing education requirements shall be waived for licensees applying for licensure renewal for the first time. The department may, for a licensee who has a medical disability or illness, grant a waiver of the continuing education requirements or may grant the licensee an extension of time in which to fulfill the requirements, provided the licensee submits to the Department of Public Health an application for waiver or extension of time on a form prescribed by said department, along with a certification by a licensed physician of the disability or illness and such other documentation as may be required by said department. The Department of Public Health may grant a waiver or extension for a period not to exceed one registration period, except that said department may grant additional waivers or extensions if the medical disability or illness upon which a waiver or extension is granted continues beyond the period of the waiver or extension and the licensee applies to said department for an additional waiver or extension.

      (P.A. 03-209, S. 5; P.A. 06-125, S. 4; P.A. 07-252, S. 42.)

      History: P.A. 06-125 made a conforming change in Subsec. (a), amended Subsec. (b) by establishing deadline for submission of certificates of completion to Department of Public Health of not later than 45 days after a department request, and amended Subsec. (c) by requiring department to develop form application for waivers and extensions based on medical disability or illness, requiring applications to be supported by medical certification, limiting length of extensions to one registration period and allowing for the granting of additional waivers or extensions; P.A. 07-252 amended Subsec. (a) to specify activities that qualify as continuing education activities, effective July 1, 2007.

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      Sec. 20-73c. Prohibited use of chiropractic terms. No physical therapist or physical therapist assistant licensed to practice under the provisions of this chapter may use the term "chiropractic adjustment" or "chiropractic manipulations" to indicate or imply the application of these techniques as part of the practice of physical therapy.

      (P.A. 06-125, S. 5.)

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      Sec. 20-73d. Professional liability insurance required. Reports from insurance companies. (a) Each person licensed to practice physical therapy under the provisions of this chapter who provides direct patient care services shall maintain professional liability insurance or other indemnity against liability for professional malpractice. The amount of insurance which each such person shall carry as insurance or indemnity against claims for injury or death for professional malpractice shall not be less than five hundred thousand dollars for one person, per occurrence, with an aggregate of not less than one million five hundred thousand dollars.

      (b) Each insurance company that issues professional liability insurance, as defined in subdivision (10) of subsection (b) of section 38a-393, shall on and after January 1, 2007, render to the Commissioner of Public Health a true record of the names and addresses, according to classification, of cancellations of and refusals to renew professional liability insurance policies and the reasons for such cancellations or refusals to renew said policies for the year ending on the thirty-first day of December next preceding.

      (P.A. 06-195, S. 83; P.A. 07-252, S. 28.)

      History: P.A. 07-252 made technical changes in Subsec. (b).

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      Sec. 20-74. Construction. Administration by commissioner. (a) No provision of this chapter shall confer any authority to practice medicine or surgery, nor shall this chapter prohibit the incidental care of the sick by domestic servants or by persons principally employed as housekeepers or as athletic trainers, nor prohibit any person from the domestic administration of family remedies or the furnishing of assistance in the case of emergency. It shall not prohibit persons registered under the provisions of chapter 372, 373, 375 or 378 from administering care to patients, nor shall it prohibit the care of the sick with or without compensation or personal profit in connection with the practice of the religious tenets of any church by adherents thereof, provided such persons shall not otherwise engage in the practice of physical therapy or assist in the practice of physical therapy within the meaning of this chapter. It shall not prohibit students who are enrolled in schools or courses of physical therapy or physical therapist assistant programs approved by the Board of Examiners for Physical Therapists with the consent of the Commissioner of Public Health from performing such work as is incidental to their respective courses of study; nor shall it prohibit any physical therapist from another state from doing such therapist's work or other physical therapy activities as is incidental to the person's course of study when taking or giving a postgraduate course or other courses of study in this state approved by said board. Any physical therapist who is a graduate from a school approved by the board with the consent of the Department of Public Health but not licensed in this state may, with the approval of the department and upon obtaining a temporary certificate from the department, practice physical therapy in this state on a temporary basis for a period of six months, which period may be extended upon request at the discretion of the department, provided (1) such physical therapist does not claim to be licensed to practice in this state, and (2) application for licensure by examination, reciprocity or endorsement is filed with the department within six months after starting such practice. Persons in the service of the federal government are excluded from the provisions of this chapter.

      (b) The Commissioner of Public Health shall administer the provisions of this chapter with respect to the licensing of physical therapist assistants within available appropriations.

      (1949 Rev., S. 4408; 1953, S. 2212d; 1959, P.A. 575, S. 6; P.A. 73-579, S. 5; P.A. 80-336, S. 5; P.A. 81-473, S. 21, 43; P.A. 88-362, S. 10; P.A. 89-307, S. 3; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 96-174, S. 2, 3; P.A. 99-102, S. 26; P.A. 00-226, S. 17, 20.)

      History: 1959 act added provisions re athletic trainers and the use of physical therapy under a physician's supervision, added requirement for temporary certificate, extending period from three to six months, added Subdivs. (b) and (c) and changed technical language; P.A. 73-579 removed provision that chapter does not prohibit graduates from practicing "pending the results of the first examination for certification schedule by the board following their graduation" and deleted Subdiv. (c) re temporary certificates for graduates of approved foreign schools; P.A. 80-336 stated that chapter does not prohibit therapist from another state from performing "other physical therapy activities" and from practicing etc., when "giving" as well as taking postgraduate "or other courses" thus broadening scope of provision; P.A. 81-473 amended section to require consent of commissioner to board approval of schools or courses, to eliminate requirement of supervision by physician, to refer to licensure instead of registration, to provide for application to department instead of board and to provide for issuance of temporary certificates by department instead of board commencing July 1, 1981; P.A. 88-362 added the exception for students enrolled in physical therapist assistant programs licensed by the Connecticut board of governors for higher education; P.A. 89-307 added the language on physical therapist assistants and the definition of supervision; P.A. 93-381 replaced commissioner of health services with commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-174 deleted reference to physical therapist assistant programs licensed by Board of Governors of Higher Education, effective May 31, 1996; P.A. 99-102 deleted obsolete reference to Ch. 371 and made technical changes; P.A. 00-226 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a), added "or assist in the practice of physical therapy", deleted provisions re assistance in practice by physical therapist assistant and definition of supervision, made technical changes and added new Subsec. (b) re administration by the commissioner, effective the later of October 1, 2000, or the date notice is published by the Commissioner of Public Health in the Connecticut Law Journal indicating that the licensing of athletic trainers and physical therapist assistants is being implemented by the commissioner, i.e. April 11, 2006.

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