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Michigan House OKs bills to enter physical therapist compact

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(The Center Square) – The Michigan House approved bills to allow physical therapists to practice in states that have entered a compact.

House Bills 4504 and 4505 aim to enter Michigan into the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact, which allows physical therapists to practice physical therapy in states within the compact without having to be licensed in each state.

HB 4504 would make Michigan a party to the PTLC, and HB 4505 would make related changes to the code’s physical therapy licensure provisions.

Republican Reps. Doug Wozniak, of Shelby Township, and Dale Zorn, of Onsted, sponsored the bills.

“These interstate compacts will improve access to health care in Michigan while maintaining our state’s regulatory authority to protect the health and safety of our residents,” Zorn said in a statement. “This legislation would also help fill the need for physical therapists specializing in critical areas of care, such as chronic pain, oncology rehabilitation, and more.”

Currently, 28 states are part of the OT compact, while 34 states are a part of the PT compact, including Michigan’s neighboring states of Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin. Several additional states also have similar legislation to enter the compacts as well.

To enter the compact, a state must use a recognized national examination for licensure, require continuing competence requirements, participate in the data system, and run FBI background checks on license applicants.

Officials can investigate complaints and remove licensees for violating rules.

The compact aims to increase access to telemedicine services by allowing workers to get multistate licensure.

“Occupational therapists go through rigorous education and training to receive their professional licenses,” Wozniak said in a statement. “It’s common sense to allow these qualified professionals to provide in-person and online services throughout the country.”

Officials in each state oversee the compact’s licensure data system, allowing for instantaneous verification of licensure information.

The Michigan House is also considering similar legislation introduced earlier this year to enter the state into a similar multistate licensure compact for physician’s assistants.

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