Direct Access Resource Center

Updated News on Direct Access

    • Accessing the States Laws Directly - you may access the Statute (law) or the Rules and Regulations for Practice specific direct access at the State Board of Physical Therapy.
    • APTA Resources - There are additional general resources and information about direct access available on the APTA website.  Enter the search term "Direct Access" into the search box to access a variety of helpful resources.

 

Thanks to your advocacy earlier this year, Virginia Physical Therapists are now practicing under the new Direct Access Law as of July 1, 2015. The Virginia Board of Physical Therapy worked to quickly revise regulations to implement the new requirements regarding certification. 

 


The new Direct Access law allows for the following:

  • Increases the current 14 business-day treatment period before referral is necessary to a 30-day (calendar days) treatment period. *Note after 30 days, if the episode of care is to continue, the patient will require a referral.
  • The patient no longer has to sign an attestation stating they are not receiving care from another practitioner for the same symptoms. If the patient is currently seeing another practitioner for the symptoms, the records are sent to the identified practitioner. We are working with the Board of PT to revise this form on the Board’s website.
  • Increases the 3-day window to notify a physician of the patient's evaluation and treatment under direct access to 14 days when the patient identifies a physician.
  • Removes requirement of notification to a physician if one does not currently exist.  
  • Allows a physical therapist to evaluate and treat a patient for the same condition if 60 days have passed since the last direct access initial evaluation for the specific condition instead of 90 days, again eliminating delays in care. No waiting is required for a new evaluation of a different condition.
  • Removes the certification requirement for physical therapists with a DPT degree and makes certification a one-time requirement for physical therapists without a DPT with at tDPT or 3 or more years of experience.

The following link contains the full text of these changes and should be reviewed:
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+ful+CHAP0724

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About VA Direct Access

 

What are the current direct access laws in Virginia?

 

For those PT’s with a Direct Access Certification:

 

A PT who has obtained a certificate of authorization may evaluate and treat a patient for no more than 14 consecutive business days (business days are defined as Monday-Friday excluding state holidays) after evaluation without a referral under the following conditions:

  1. The patient at the time of presentation to the PT for services is not currently being cared for by another health care practitioner who is on our list of referral sources 
  2. The patient at the time of presentation to the PT for services is currently being cared for by another health care practitioner who is on our list of referral sources AND
    1. The patient identifies a practitioner from whom they intend to seek treatment for the condition if it does not improve during the PT care 
    2. The patient gives written consent for the PT to release personal health information to that practitioner 
    3.  The PT provides the written initial evaluation/plan of care to the identified practitioner no later than 14 days after treatment of the patient begins.

This aspect of direct access under the new law can be applied to a patient only if it has been 90 days from the last initial evaluation on that same patient if they were seen under this part of the direct access law. (In other words, this timeframe does not apply if they were seen by referral from a practitioner within 90 days).

 

NOTE: The Board of Physical Therapy has developed a “Patient Attestation and Medical Release Form” for use by the PT to document the patient meets the requirements under this portion of the direct access law.

 

  • This form is available here
  • If a clinical facility chooses not to use this form the information on the form must all be included in the patient record as determined by the clinical facility.

 

For those PT’s without a DPT or Direct Access Certification: 

One time Evaluation only, no treatment, without a direct access certification:

A licensed PT does not need to apply for the certification process if he/she only wishes to perform an initial evaluation on a patient as described under our current law. This clause in the law also provides a mechanism for the PT to evaluate a patient who does not meet the conditions noted in the paragraph above. The PT can at least evaluate the patient and then contact the practitioner for a referral as you do now.

Other direct access areas available to any licensed PT in Virginia, without the need for a direct access certification:

  1. a student athlete participating in a school-sponsored activity if the PT is an ATC or SCS
  2. [the] employees solely for the purposes of evaluation and consultation related to workplace ergonomics
  3. special education students under an IEP
  4. the public for the purpose of health promotion and wellness, fitness, and health screening and prevention.

 

If I don’t apply for the certification can I still see patients with a previous diagnosis?

No, that portion of the previous law was changed in 2007 and the previous diagnosis clause was removed. In its place is the new language that requires the certification to evaluate and treat a patient for 14 business days. The one time evaluation language remains in the law – your only option at that point with no certification would be to complete a one- time evaluation and then call the practitioner to garner a referral.  

 

Do I have to develop a patient attestation form to use with the direct access patients?

No, the Board of Physical Therapy has already done that and it is posted online at: HERE

 

Do I need a direct access certification?

  • If you have an entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from a CAPTE accredited program, you do not need a direct access certification.
  • If you have received a transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, you will apply for a one-time direct access certification.
  • If you do not have the DPT or tDPT degrees, you need to apply with the Board of Physical Therapy for a direct access certification. 

 

How do I get my direct access certification? Is there a form I need to use?

This is an ongoing process. You can apply at any time for the certification. There are currently over 700 licensed physical therapists in Virginia with the direct access certification.

You must first determine if you are currently eligible to apply for a certificate of direct access. To do so you must meet one of the following:

  • Be a Physical Therapist who has 1) an entry level doctor of physical therapy degree (DPT), 2) a transitional doctor of physical therapy degree, or 3) completed continuing education in the area of differential diagnosis and medical screening for at least 15 contact hours and complete a test showing competency of that material.
  • If you are eligible then go to the Department of Health Professions website and download the form and complete it and send it in with your payment. You will then be issued  a certificate.

 

Do I need to renew my direct access certification?

No, certification is now a one-time process and does not need to be renewed.
 

Location of Form for Direct Access Certification:

 

Direct Access Certification Form

 

The application fee for the initial certification process is $75.00.


If I do not have an entry-level DPT or a transitional DPT and have not completed the continuing education needed how can I get a direct access certification? What are my options?

  1. Option 1 – Complete a face-to-face continuing education course that is at least 15 hours in length related to medical screening and differential diagnosis for physical therapy. This course must include a post-test of content mastery. Proof of completion certificate is required.
  2. Option 2 – Complete an online college course or continuing education course with focus on medical screening and differential diagnosis that includes a post-test for mastery. There must be at least 15 contact hours for the course, typically a 1 credit or more college based course.

 

NOTE: VPTA offers a course in medical screening/differential diagnosis regularly for those PT’s seeking this course for initial or continuing direct access certification. Please watch the website for courses offered in the districts, at the spring mini-conference, or at annual conference in the fall.  

 

Does a physical therapist assistant have to apply for direct access certification also?

No, the PTA is under the direction and supervision of the PT who evaluated that patient. It is the responsibility of the PT to evaluate a patient under the current direct access law, determine a plan of care, and then decide if a PTA will be assisting in the delivery of specific interventions within the plan of care. As is the case for any patient, the PT should remain actively involved in the care of the patient seen under direct access.

 

Do insurance companies reimburse differently for patients seen under direct access?

If you are seeing a patient under the new direct access law you should contact the patient’s insurer and determine their level of coverage. Many PT’s in Virginia using the new law report that the insurance company will reimburse at the same rate as when a referral is utilized. However, some insurers, as per the contract you negotiate with them and the contract they negotiate with an employer, require in that contract a physician referral for coverage. If that is the case they will not cover patients under direct access. If the issue is silent in the contract they may cover it since it is now allowable by law. If the contract is a problem we suggest you ask that the referral clause be removed when you renegotiate your contract with that provider. Also remember that a patient can self-pay for services provided by a PT so that is certainly an option if there is a barrier from the insurer.

 

How do I renew my direct access certification and what is required to do so?

In order to renew a direct access certification a licensee shall be required to: 1) hold an active, unrestricted license as a physical therapist and comply with the continuing education requirements as follows:

Physical therapists holding certification to provide direct access without a referral shall include 4 contact hours related to carrying out direct access duties as part of the required 30 contact hours of continuing education. Courses for direct access continuing education shall relate to clinical practice in a direct access setting.

This means that you will not be required to garner additional hours of continuing education, but you should include some continuing education courses that are clinical in nature and address in some way aspects of practicing in a direct access setting (i.e. – safe practice, differential diagnosis, medical screening, assessment of patients in direct access, etc) They may not necessarily be separate courses but may be content included in a broader clinical course. The course syllabus should reflect some of these aspects in the objectives so that you can provide evidence of meeting this requirement.

The fee for renewal on a direct access certification shall be $35 and will be paid at time of license renewal every two years. 

 

 

Updated News on Direct Access

 

Introduction:

The new direct access law for physical therapy approved by the General Assembly in 2007 is now in place. Regulations have been adopted by the Board of Physical Therapy and to date about 200 physical therapists in Virginia have received their direct access certification allowing them to use the new portion of the law. This document is to provide a brief overview and current update on direct access. You may access the Statute (law) or the Rules and Regulations for Practice specific to direct access at http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/PhysicalTherapy/ if you desire more detailed information.

 

Changes from the old law to the new law:

The previous diagnosis section of the law was removed and replaced by the following language:

A PT who has obtained a certificate of authorization may evaluate and treat a patient for no more than 14 consecutive business days (business days are defined as Monday-Friday excluding state holidays) after evaluation without a referral under the following conditions:

  1. The patient at the time of presentation to the PT for services attests that he/she is not currently being cared for by another health care practitioner who is on our list of referral sources 
  2. The patient identifies a practitioner from whom they intend to seek treatment for the condition if it does not improve during the PT care 
  3.  The patient gives written consent for the PT to release personal health information to that practitioner 
  4.  The PT provides the written initial evaluation/plan of care to the identified practitioner no later than 3 days after treatment of the patient begins.

This aspect of direct access under the new law can be applied to a patient only if it has been 90 days from the last initial evaluation on that same patient if they were seen under this part of the direct access law. (In other words, this timeframe does not apply if they were seen by referral from a practitioner within 90 days).

 

NOTE: The Board of Physical Therapy has developed a “Patient Attestation and Medical Release Form” for use by the PT to document the patient meets the requirements under this portion of the direct access law. This form is available on the Board of Physical Therapy website at http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/Forms/physther/Patient%20Attestation%20Form.doc. If a clinical facility chooses not to use this form the information on the form must all be included in the patient record as determined by the clinical facility.     

 

Items that remain unchanged under the new direct access law in Virginia:

  1. The one time evaluation after 3 years of practice has not changed. A PT does not need to apply for the certification process if he/she only wishes to perform an initial evaluation on a patient as described under our current law. This clause in the law also provides a mechanism for the PT to evaluate a patient who does not meet the conditions noted in the paragraph above. The PT can at least evaluate the patient and then contact the practitioner for a referral as you do now.
  2. Also, the ability to provide services without referral remains the same for the following groups under our current law:
    1. a student athlete participating in a school-sponsored activity if the PT is an ATC or SCS, 
    2. [the] employees solely for the purposes of evaluation and consultation related to workplace ergonomics
    3. special education students under an IEP, and 
    4. the public for the purpose of health promotion and wellness, fitness, and health screening and prevention. A physical therapist will NOT need to apply for the certification process in order to continue using these aspects of our direct access law.

 

The Process to Garner Direct Access Certification Under the New Law:

The regulations state the following about the certification process for direct access: An applicant for certification to provide services to patients without a referral as specified in 54.1-3482.1 shall hold an active, unrestricted license as a physical therapist in Virginia and shall submit evidence satisfactory to the board that he has one of the following qualifications- 1) Completion of a doctor of physical therapy program approved by the APTA (specifically, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, or 2) Completion of a transitional program in physical therapy as recognized by the board, or 3) at least three years of post-licensure, active practice with evidence of 15 contact hours of continuing education in medical screening or differential diagnosis, including passage of a post-course examination. The required continuing education shall be offered by a provider or sponsor listed as approved by the board… and may be face-to-face or on-line education courses.

 

In addition to the evidence of qualification for certification required above, an applicant seeking direct access certification shall submit to the board – 1) a completed application as provided by the board, 2) any additional documentation as may be required by the board to determine eligibility of the applicant (this is transcripts from education in a DPT program or evidence of completion of an appropriate continuing education course or other university course related to direct access), and the application fee. The application for direct access certification is available on the Board of PT website HERE.

 

The application fee for the initial certification process is $75.00.  The certification application process is ongoing – a PT can apply at any time.

 

Renewal of the Direct Access Certification:

The Board of PT will require renewal of the direct access certification during our bi-annual renewal of licenses beginning for the renewal in 2010.  In order to renew a direct access certification a licensee shall be required to: 1) hold an active, unrestricted license as a physical therapist and comply with the continuing education requirements as follows:

 

Physical therapists holding certification to provide direct access without a referral shall include 4 contact hours related to carrying out direct access duties as part of the required 30 contact hours of continuing education. Courses for direct access continuing education shall relate to clinical practice in a direct access setting. This means that you will not be required to garner additional hours of continuing education, but you should include some continuing education courses that are clinical in nature and address in some way aspects of practicing in a direct access setting (i.e. – safe practice, differential diagnosis, medical screening, assessment of patients in direct access, etc) They may not necessarily be separate courses but may be content included in a broader clinical course. The course syllabus should reflect some of these aspects in the objectives so that you can provide evidence of meeting this requirement.

 

The fee for renewal on a direct access certification shall be $35 and will be paid at time of license renewal.



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Direct Access Resource Center

Updated News on Direct Access

    • Accessing the States Laws Directly - you may access the Statute (law) or the Rules and Regulations for Practice specific direct access at the State Board of Physical Therapy.
    • APTA Resources - There are additional general resources and information about direct access available on the APTA website.  Enter the search term "Direct Access" into the search box to access a variety of helpful resources.

 

Thanks to your advocacy earlier this year, Virginia Physical Therapists are now practicing under the new Direct Access Law as of July 1, 2015. The Virginia Board of Physical Therapy worked to quickly revise regulations to implement the new requirements regarding certification. 

 


The new Direct Access law allows for the following:

  • Increases the current 14 business-day treatment period before referral is necessary to a 30-day (calendar days) treatment period. *Note after 30 days, if the episode of care is to continue, the patient will require a referral.
  • The patient no longer has to sign an attestation stating they are not receiving care from another practitioner for the same symptoms. If the patient is currently seeing another practitioner for the symptoms, the records are sent to the identified practitioner. We are working with the Board of PT to revise this form on the Board’s website.
  • Increases the 3-day window to notify a physician of the patient's evaluation and treatment under direct access to 14 days when the patient identifies a physician.
  • Removes requirement of notification to a physician if one does not currently exist.  
  • Allows a physical therapist to evaluate and treat a patient for the same condition if 60 days have passed since the last direct access initial evaluation for the specific condition instead of 90 days, again eliminating delays in care. No waiting is required for a new evaluation of a different condition.
  • Removes the certification requirement for physical therapists with a DPT degree and makes certification a one-time requirement for physical therapists without a DPT with at tDPT or 3 or more years of experience.

The following link contains the full text of these changes and should be reviewed:
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+ful+CHAP0724

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About VA Direct Access

 

What are the current direct access laws in Virginia?

 

For those PT’s with a Direct Access Certification:

 

A PT who has obtained a certificate of authorization may evaluate and treat a patient for no more than 14 consecutive business days (business days are defined as Monday-Friday excluding state holidays) after evaluation without a referral under the following conditions:

  1. The patient at the time of presentation to the PT for services is not currently being cared for by another health care practitioner who is on our list of referral sources 
  2. The patient at the time of presentation to the PT for services is currently being cared for by another health care practitioner who is on our list of referral sources AND
    1. The patient identifies a practitioner from whom they intend to seek treatment for the condition if it does not improve during the PT care 
    2. The patient gives written consent for the PT to release personal health information to that practitioner 
    3.  The PT provides the written initial evaluation/plan of care to the identified practitioner no later than 14 days after treatment of the patient begins.

This aspect of direct access under the new law can be applied to a patient only if it has been 90 days from the last initial evaluation on that same patient if they were seen under this part of the direct access law. (In other words, this timeframe does not apply if they were seen by referral from a practitioner within 90 days).

 

NOTE: The Board of Physical Therapy has developed a “Patient Attestation and Medical Release Form” for use by the PT to document the patient meets the requirements under this portion of the direct access law.

 

  • This form is available here
  • If a clinical facility chooses not to use this form the information on the form must all be included in the patient record as determined by the clinical facility.

 

For those PT’s without a DPT or Direct Access Certification: 

One time Evaluation only, no treatment, without a direct access certification:

A licensed PT does not need to apply for the certification process if he/she only wishes to perform an initial evaluation on a patient as described under our current law. This clause in the law also provides a mechanism for the PT to evaluate a patient who does not meet the conditions noted in the paragraph above. The PT can at least evaluate the patient and then contact the practitioner for a referral as you do now.

Other direct access areas available to any licensed PT in Virginia, without the need for a direct access certification:

  1. a student athlete participating in a school-sponsored activity if the PT is an ATC or SCS
  2. [the] employees solely for the purposes of evaluation and consultation related to workplace ergonomics
  3. special education students under an IEP
  4. the public for the purpose of health promotion and wellness, fitness, and health screening and prevention.

 

If I don’t apply for the certification can I still see patients with a previous diagnosis?

No, that portion of the previous law was changed in 2007 and the previous diagnosis clause was removed. In its place is the new language that requires the certification to evaluate and treat a patient for 14 business days. The one time evaluation language remains in the law – your only option at that point with no certification would be to complete a one- time evaluation and then call the practitioner to garner a referral.  

 

Do I have to develop a patient attestation form to use with the direct access patients?

No, the Board of Physical Therapy has already done that and it is posted online at: HERE

 

Do I need a direct access certification?

  • If you have an entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from a CAPTE accredited program, you do not need a direct access certification.
  • If you have received a transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, you will apply for a one-time direct access certification.
  • If you do not have the DPT or tDPT degrees, you need to apply with the Board of Physical Therapy for a direct access certification. 

 

How do I get my direct access certification? Is there a form I need to use?

This is an ongoing process. You can apply at any time for the certification. There are currently over 700 licensed physical therapists in Virginia with the direct access certification.

You must first determine if you are currently eligible to apply for a certificate of direct access. To do so you must meet one of the following:

  • Be a Physical Therapist who has 1) an entry level doctor of physical therapy degree (DPT), 2) a transitional doctor of physical therapy degree, or 3) completed continuing education in the area of differential diagnosis and medical screening for at least 15 contact hours and complete a test showing competency of that material.
  • If you are eligible then go to the Department of Health Professions website and download the form and complete it and send it in with your payment. You will then be issued  a certificate.

 

Do I need to renew my direct access certification?

No, certification is now a one-time process and does not need to be renewed.
 

Location of Form for Direct Access Certification:

 

Direct Access Certification Form

 

The application fee for the initial certification process is $75.00.


If I do not have an entry-level DPT or a transitional DPT and have not completed the continuing education needed how can I get a direct access certification? What are my options?

  1. Option 1 – Complete a face-to-face continuing education course that is at least 15 hours in length related to medical screening and differential diagnosis for physical therapy. This course must include a post-test of content mastery. Proof of completion certificate is required.
  2. Option 2 – Complete an online college course or continuing education course with focus on medical screening and differential diagnosis that includes a post-test for mastery. There must be at least 15 contact hours for the course, typically a 1 credit or more college based course.

 

NOTE: VPTA offers a course in medical screening/differential diagnosis regularly for those PT’s seeking this course for initial or continuing direct access certification. Please watch the website for courses offered in the districts, at the spring mini-conference, or at annual conference in the fall.  

 

Does a physical therapist assistant have to apply for direct access certification also?

No, the PTA is under the direction and supervision of the PT who evaluated that patient. It is the responsibility of the PT to evaluate a patient under the current direct access law, determine a plan of care, and then decide if a PTA will be assisting in the delivery of specific interventions within the plan of care. As is the case for any patient, the PT should remain actively involved in the care of the patient seen under direct access.

 

Do insurance companies reimburse differently for patients seen under direct access?

If you are seeing a patient under the new direct access law you should contact the patient’s insurer and determine their level of coverage. Many PT’s in Virginia using the new law report that the insurance company will reimburse at the same rate as when a referral is utilized. However, some insurers, as per the contract you negotiate with them and the contract they negotiate with an employer, require in that contract a physician referral for coverage. If that is the case they will not cover patients under direct access. If the issue is silent in the contract they may cover it since it is now allowable by law. If the contract is a problem we suggest you ask that the referral clause be removed when you renegotiate your contract with that provider. Also remember that a patient can self-pay for services provided by a PT so that is certainly an option if there is a barrier from the insurer.

 

How do I renew my direct access certification and what is required to do so?

In order to renew a direct access certification a licensee shall be required to: 1) hold an active, unrestricted license as a physical therapist and comply with the continuing education requirements as follows:

Physical therapists holding certification to provide direct access without a referral shall include 4 contact hours related to carrying out direct access duties as part of the required 30 contact hours of continuing education. Courses for direct access continuing education shall relate to clinical practice in a direct access setting.

This means that you will not be required to garner additional hours of continuing education, but you should include some continuing education courses that are clinical in nature and address in some way aspects of practicing in a direct access setting (i.e. – safe practice, differential diagnosis, medical screening, assessment of patients in direct access, etc) They may not necessarily be separate courses but may be content included in a broader clinical course. The course syllabus should reflect some of these aspects in the objectives so that you can provide evidence of meeting this requirement.

The fee for renewal on a direct access certification shall be $35 and will be paid at time of license renewal every two years. 

 

 

Updated News on Direct Access

 

Introduction:

The new direct access law for physical therapy approved by the General Assembly in 2007 is now in place. Regulations have been adopted by the Board of Physical Therapy and to date about 200 physical therapists in Virginia have received their direct access certification allowing them to use the new portion of the law. This document is to provide a brief overview and current update on direct access. You may access the Statute (law) or the Rules and Regulations for Practice specific to direct access at http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/PhysicalTherapy/ if you desire more detailed information.

 

Changes from the old law to the new law:

The previous diagnosis section of the law was removed and replaced by the following language:

A PT who has obtained a certificate of authorization may evaluate and treat a patient for no more than 14 consecutive business days (business days are defined as Monday-Friday excluding state holidays) after evaluation without a referral under the following conditions:

  1. The patient at the time of presentation to the PT for services attests that he/she is not currently being cared for by another health care practitioner who is on our list of referral sources 
  2. The patient identifies a practitioner from whom they intend to seek treatment for the condition if it does not improve during the PT care 
  3.  The patient gives written consent for the PT to release personal health information to that practitioner 
  4.  The PT provides the written initial evaluation/plan of care to the identified practitioner no later than 3 days after treatment of the patient begins.

This aspect of direct access under the new law can be applied to a patient only if it has been 90 days from the last initial evaluation on that same patient if they were seen under this part of the direct access law. (In other words, this timeframe does not apply if they were seen by referral from a practitioner within 90 days).

 

NOTE: The Board of Physical Therapy has developed a “Patient Attestation and Medical Release Form” for use by the PT to document the patient meets the requirements under this portion of the direct access law. This form is available on the Board of Physical Therapy website at http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/Forms/physther/Patient%20Attestation%20Form.doc. If a clinical facility chooses not to use this form the information on the form must all be included in the patient record as determined by the clinical facility.     

 

Items that remain unchanged under the new direct access law in Virginia:

  1. The one time evaluation after 3 years of practice has not changed. A PT does not need to apply for the certification process if he/she only wishes to perform an initial evaluation on a patient as described under our current law. This clause in the law also provides a mechanism for the PT to evaluate a patient who does not meet the conditions noted in the paragraph above. The PT can at least evaluate the patient and then contact the practitioner for a referral as you do now.
  2. Also, the ability to provide services without referral remains the same for the following groups under our current law:
    1. a student athlete participating in a school-sponsored activity if the PT is an ATC or SCS, 
    2. [the] employees solely for the purposes of evaluation and consultation related to workplace ergonomics
    3. special education students under an IEP, and 
    4. the public for the purpose of health promotion and wellness, fitness, and health screening and prevention. A physical therapist will NOT need to apply for the certification process in order to continue using these aspects of our direct access law.

 

The Process to Garner Direct Access Certification Under the New Law:

The regulations state the following about the certification process for direct access: An applicant for certification to provide services to patients without a referral as specified in 54.1-3482.1 shall hold an active, unrestricted license as a physical therapist in Virginia and shall submit evidence satisfactory to the board that he has one of the following qualifications- 1) Completion of a doctor of physical therapy program approved by the APTA (specifically, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, or 2) Completion of a transitional program in physical therapy as recognized by the board, or 3) at least three years of post-licensure, active practice with evidence of 15 contact hours of continuing education in medical screening or differential diagnosis, including passage of a post-course examination. The required continuing education shall be offered by a provider or sponsor listed as approved by the board… and may be face-to-face or on-line education courses.

 

In addition to the evidence of qualification for certification required above, an applicant seeking direct access certification shall submit to the board – 1) a completed application as provided by the board, 2) any additional documentation as may be required by the board to determine eligibility of the applicant (this is transcripts from education in a DPT program or evidence of completion of an appropriate continuing education course or other university course related to direct access), and the application fee. The application for direct access certification is available on the Board of PT website HERE.

 

The application fee for the initial certification process is $75.00.  The certification application process is ongoing – a PT can apply at any time.

 

Renewal of the Direct Access Certification:

The Board of PT will require renewal of the direct access certification during our bi-annual renewal of licenses beginning for the renewal in 2010.  In order to renew a direct access certification a licensee shall be required to: 1) hold an active, unrestricted license as a physical therapist and comply with the continuing education requirements as follows:

 

Physical therapists holding certification to provide direct access without a referral shall include 4 contact hours related to carrying out direct access duties as part of the required 30 contact hours of continuing education. Courses for direct access continuing education shall relate to clinical practice in a direct access setting. This means that you will not be required to garner additional hours of continuing education, but you should include some continuing education courses that are clinical in nature and address in some way aspects of practicing in a direct access setting (i.e. – safe practice, differential diagnosis, medical screening, assessment of patients in direct access, etc) They may not necessarily be separate courses but may be content included in a broader clinical course. The course syllabus should reflect some of these aspects in the objectives so that you can provide evidence of meeting this requirement.

 

The fee for renewal on a direct access certification shall be $35 and will be paid at time of license renewal.