State Physical Therapy Board: News


2020 Board Meeting Schedule

Schedule


New 2019 Law Affects Physical Therapists

On May 6, 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed HB19-1208 Physical Therapists Youth Athletes Head Trauma. This new law, effective on August 2, 2019, adds a licensed physical therapist with training in pediatric neurology or concussion evaluation and management to the definition of "health care provider" for the purposes of the required head trauma guidelines. This allows a licensed physical therapist to evaluate a concussed youth athlete and provide clearance for the athlete to return to play.


New 2019 Legislation

On May 6, 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed SB 19-201 Open Discussions About Adverse Health Care Incidents. This new law creates the "Colorado Candor Act” and establishes a process for the communication between a patient and a healthcare provider or health facility after an adverse health care incident. Under the new law, if an adverse health care incident occurs, a health care provider involved with the incident, either individually or jointly with the facility involved, may request that the patient enter into an open discussion concerning the incident. The request must include certain components listed in the law. 

If an offer of compensation is made, the new law requires certain processes for payment and financial resolution to be followed. If a health care provider or health facility determines that no offer of compensation is warranted, the health care provider or health facility shall orally communicate that decision with the patient.

A health care provider or facility may provide de-identified information about an adverse health care incident to any patient safety centered nonprofit organization.


Board Policies Updated

The State Physical Therapy Board Policy titled "Dry Needling" was repealed today (6/18/2019) to align with the recent rulemaking. An updated version of the polices has been posted to our legal website


New Physical Therapy Rules Going Into Effect on May 1, 2019  

The updated rules are:

Rule 204 Licensure by Examination for Physical Therapist
Rule 205 Licensing of Foreign-Trained Physical Therapist Graduates of Non-Accredited Programs
Rule 206 Licensure by Endorsement for Physical Therapist
Rule 211 Requirements for Physical Therapist to Perform Dry Needling  
Rule 213 Continuing Professional Competency Requirements for Licensure Renewal for Physical Therapist
Rule 303 Certification by Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants
Rule 304 Certification of Foreign-Trained Physical Therapist Assistant Graduates of Non-Accredited Programs
Rule 305 Certification by Endorsement for Physical Therapist Assistants
Rule 307 Continuing Professional Competency Requirements for Licensure Renewal for Physical Therapist Assistant

 


2019 Meeting Schedule

The State Physical Therapy Board has released its meeting scheduled for 2019. Download the 2019 meeting schedule.


Law Affects PTs and PTAs - HB18-1155 PT Sunset

On May 29, 2018, Governor John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 18-1155 Sunset Continue Physical Therapy Board Functions. This new state law goes into effect September 1, 2018, and continues the regulation of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. It implements the recommendations of the Department of Regulatory Agencies sunset review and report concerning the Physical Therapy Practice Act as follows:

  • Extends the licensing of physical therapists and the certification of physical therapist assistants until 2024 ;
  • Reduces the number of physical therapists on the State Physical Therapy Board (Board) from five to four;
  • Adds a physical therapist assistant to the Board, unless one cannot be found and then an additional physical therapist can be appointed;
  • Clarifies that a physical therapist may make physical therapy diagnoses
  • Allows a physical therapist to perform dry needling if the physical therapist has the knowledge, skill, ability, and competency to perform the act and has completed a dry needling course and obtains informed consent from the patient. The bill also allows the department to promulgate rules to establish requirements for dry needling, and clarifies dry needling is not the performance of acupuncture as defined in state law;
  • Clarifies a physical therapist's scope of practice includes the direct supervision of unlicensed physical therapists and physical therapist assistants;
  • Requires that physical therapy professional development activities must be measured by a contact-hour-to-credit-hour ratio;
  • Adds the failure to supervise physical therapist assistants as grounds for disciplinary action;
  • Adds the failure to report an adverse action, the surrender of a license, or other discipline taken in another jurisdiction as grounds for disciplinary action;
  • Allows a physical therapist assistant to perform non invasive wound debridement under the supervision of a physical therapist;
  • Subjects physical therapist assistants to a continuing professional competency program;
  • Removes physical therapists practicing in Colorado pursuant to the 'Interstate Physical Therapy Licensure Compact Act' from the 'Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act of 2010'. This amendment allows Colorado to enter into the Interstate Physical Therapy Licensure Compact according to state law.

Implementation of this bill has begun and rulemaking is moving forward. The anticipated effective date of the new rules is January 1, 2019. The Board plans to hold two Stakeholder Meetings in August to assure all perspectives and ideas are heard. Please check the Board’s website for the most updated information regarding the implementation of HB18-1155. The board encourages you to read the entire bill to better understand its impact on the physical therapy community. If you have questions, please send them to dora_physicaltherapyboard@state.co.us.


Exam Application Process Changes

Effective December 1, 2017, the Division of Professions and Occupations (Division) at the Department of Regulatory Agencies will no longer pre-approve candidates for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), except for foreign-trained candidates. Applicants wishing to take the examination should contact the Federation of State Physical Therapy Boards (FSBPT) directly and may register for the exam on the FSBPT website on or after December 1, 2017. FSBPT will determine an applicant’s eligibility for the NPTE after confirming the following:

  1. The candidate meets FSBPT’s current eligibility requirements in effect at the time of registration for the NPTE (reference the NPTE Candidate Handbook).
  2. The candidate has successfully completed a physical therapy program that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency (i.e. The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)) or candidate’s eligibility to graduate within 90 days of an accredited program.

Applicants seeking a Colorado physical therapy must pass the NPTE examination before submitting an application for licensure to the Division.

Please send questions to Donna Bame at donna.bame@state.co.us.


Mandatory Reporting Reminder

Did you know you are a mandatory reporter? Under Colorado law, more than 40 professions are required to report suspected child abuse and elder abuse. These professions include many regulated through the Division of Professions and Occupations (DPO) at DORA, such as:

  • Physicians (including physician assistants and physicians in training);
  • Podiatrists;
  • Dentists and dental hygienists;
  • Chiropractors;
  • Nurses (including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nurse practitioners);
  • Nursing home administrators;
  • Occupational therapists;
  • Optometrists;
  • Physical therapists;
  • Pharmacists;
  • Veterinarians;
  • Mental health professionals (including psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, registered psychotherapists and all candidates for licensure);

Online trainings help mandatory reporters recognize and report abuse, neglect and exploitation. Licensees of the regulatory boards at DPO may accrue credit towards continuing education and continuing competency requirements for completing the trainings (should they exist for their profession).  

Section 19-3-304, C.R.S. outlines the persons required by law to report child abuse and/or neglect. To assist mandatory reporters, a training is available on the Colorado Department of Human Services website at http://coloradocwts.com/mandated-reporter-training.

Section 18-6.5-108, C.R.S outlines the persons required by law to report abuse and exploitation of at-risk elders and at-risk adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Further information and an online training can be found on the Colorado Department of Human Services website at http://www.coloradoaps.com/about-mandatory-reporting-update.html.  

If you have further questions regarding these requirements, please contact the Colorado Department of Human Services.

For questions regarding mandatory child abuse reporting, please contact the Office of Children, Youth, and Families’ Child Welfare Training System at 800-390-9619 or support@coloradocwts.com.

For questions regarding mandatory reporting of at-risk elders and at-risk adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, please contact the Office of Community Access and Independence’s Division of Aging and Adult Services at cdhs_aps_questions@state.co.us.


Law Affects Physical Therapists

On June 1, 2016, Governor John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 16-158 Concerning the Ability of a Physician Assistant to Perform Functions Delegated by a Physician that are within the Physician Assistant’s Scope of Practice. The bill clarifies and expands the duties that a physician may delegate to a physician assistant within his or her Scope of Practice. It is effective August 10, 2016.

Specific to physical therapists, the new law amends section 12-41-113(3), C.R.S., which gives a physical therapist the authority to perform wound debridement under a physician’s order when such debridement is consistent with the scope of physical therapy practice. The bill adds physician assistants as a second provider who can order wound debridement to be performed by a physical therapist. Physical therapists can now perform wound debridement under a physician’s or a physician assistant’s order.

If you have questions, please contact the Board at dora_physicaltherapyboard@state.co.us.


Continuing Competency Required

Senate Bill 11-169 requires Colorado licensed physical therapists to demonstrate continuing competency (CC) in order to renew or reinstate a license.

  • Physical therapist assistants are not required to participate.
  • Physical therapists will begin participating on November 1, 2014, after renewing a license.
  • CC requirements must be met prior to renewing a license in 2016.

Colorado is a Direct Access State

Colorado is a direct access state, which means that obtaining a referral by a physician or other healthcare provider for physical therapy treatment is not necessary in order to receive care from a licensed physical therapist.