Delaware physical therapists (PTs) have a new scope of practice that includes telehealth, dry needling, and an updated definition of the practice of physical therapy now that a significantly revised PT licensing law has been signed by Gov Jack Markell. Markell signed the bill on August 12.
Advocated for by the Delaware Physical Therapy Association, the legislation (HB 359) faced opposition from other provider groups, including acupuncturists who were opposed to the inclusion of dry needling in the new definition for physical therapy. In addition to the dry needling and telehealth provisions, the new law includes temporary exemptions to licensure for PTs licensed in another state who are in Delaware for educational purposes, accompanying travelling sports team or performance groups, or responding to declared emergencies.
“The legislative process was very arduous, and I am grateful for all of our chapter members who attended hearings, met with legislators, and sent emails or made phone calls in support of HB 359," said George Edelman, PT, OCS, MTC, president of the Delaware Chapter, "We are thrilled that Delaware now has a physical therapy statute that reflects 21st century practice."
"APTA congratulates our Delaware Chapter on this significant legislative achievement," said APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, "Our vision of transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience begins with transforming our state licensure laws to ensure physical therapists can practice within their full scope."
The Delaware State Examining Board of Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers—the state's licensure board—is expected to begin work on developing board rules related to the new law this fall.
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