In a move that also provides title protection for PTAs and the doctor of physical therapy degree (DPT), Hawaii Gov Neil Abercrombie signed a bill (SB 1074) yesterday requiring the licensure of physical therapist assistants (PTA) in the state. Passage of SB 1074 signifies another landmark moment for the physical therapy profession in that all 50 states and the District of Columbia now regulate physical therapist assistants.
SB 1074, which was advocated for by the Hawaii Chapter of APTA (HAPTA), will promote patient safety and quality of care by ensuring that only individuals who have met specific criteria are licensed to act in the capacity of a physical therapist assistant. Prior to passage of SB 1074, Hawaii was the only state in the union that did not provide for the state regulation of PTAs.
In addition to providing for the licensure of PTAs, the new law enacts a number of changes. It establishes title protection both for the regulatory designation “PTA” and for the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) educational degree. The legislation also provides for changes to the composition of the state physical therapy licensing board by eliminating the seat reserved for a physician and replacing it with a seat for a physical therapist assistant.
See more in the full press release.
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