Working as a PT in one state once meant that you could only provide physical therapy in neighboring states by obtaining licenses from those states. The PT Compact solves this problem, saves you money, and extends your area of care. States accepting the PT Compact recognize other member states' validity of PT and PTA licenses. Thanks to the PT Compact, working across state lines has never been easier than now.
The Physical Therapy Licensure Compact creates an agreement among participants to recognize the PT licenses obtained in other member states. These privileges permit physical therapists from member states to obtain permission to practice in other participating states without separate licenses.
The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) sought to enhance patient access to physical therapy by reducing regulations barring interstate care. In 2017, the tenth state joined the interstate effort to create the PT Compact. Today, 28 states actively participate by issuing and accepting privileges. Another five have adopted the PT Compact into their legislation but do not offer or accept privileges.
Physical therapists or PTAs can work within their home state and in any state where they have privileges. This interstate privilege increases the range a PT can serve in person or via telehealth services and represents a future of physical therapy care that gives patients and PTs more options.
As of March 2023, the following states are compact member states that are actively issuing compact privileges:
Some states have passed legislation that accepts the PT Compact. These places have yet to begin accepting or issuing privileges. Those states include the following:
PT Compact member states agree to recognize the licenses that physical therapists and assistants obtained from other member states. Any PT or PTA who wants to operate outside their home state can request privileges if they meet the basic eligibility requirements:
Traveling physical therapists can obtain licenses in some of the states they practice. As long as their home state and others they work in are members of the PT Compact, they only need PT Compact privileges to practice.
Similarly, member states that allow licensed PTs to offer telehealth services also allow those with privileges the same benefit. Since telehealth requirements vary by state, always check with the specific states for which you have privileges to see if you can offer telehealth care in those locations.
All privilege holders must follow the regulations and laws of practicing in their patients' states. Hence, if you have privileges for a patient's state, you can only offer telehealth services to that person if their state also allows telehealth.
If you currently have a license in a PT Compact state, you can get privileges in other member states. Joining the PT Compact provides multiple perks to help make your job easier as a PT or PTA.
Since not all states participate in the PT Compact, the privileges have some limitations you must consider.
To get PT or PTA privileges in a state, go through the following process for each state you want to work in.
Verify that you can apply for a PT or PTA Compact privilege. You must meet the following requirements:
Meeting the above criteria means you can register to take a jurisprudence exam, if required, or continue to purchase your privileges online.
Some states require a passing exam before applying for PT or PTA Compact privileges. Additionally, several states require you to retake the exam each time you renew your privileges. The following states require a passing jurisprudence exam before initially applying for privileges and renewals:
Many of the above states that require jurisprudence exams may also levy fees to take the exam.
Each state has its fee schedule for obtaining compact privileges. The costs include the state's fee and a $45 Commission fee. For states that require a jurisprudence exam, you may have to pay for the cost of the exam, too.
Costs for PT or PTA Compact privileges range from the lowest total of $45 in Arizona and South Carolina to the highest total of $195 in Mississippi.
After ensuring that you meet the basic requirements and have completed any jurisprudence exams, go to the PT Compact website to request your privileges for a specific state.
The entire process, not including any required exams, takes 10 minutes from start to finish. After payment, you will have immediate access to your privileges for the states you selected.
Reducing barriers to operating across state lines with PT Compact privileges gives patients more options for physical therapy providers. You don't need to obtain full licensure in every state you practice.
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