The Indiana Physical Therapy License Requirements
In this ever-evolving field, staying informed about the latest Indiana physical therapy license requirements is crucial for both aspiring and practicing physical therapists. Whether you’re just starting your journey or looking to ensure your credentials remain up to date, this post will walk you through the essential steps and requirements needed to secure and maintain your license in Indiana, and provide you with a clear and detailed roadmap towards a successful career in physical therapy within the state.
If you have questions about your physical therapy license, or if your license is currently under scrutiny by the Indiana Board of Physical Therapy, do not hesitate to contact the Indiana professional license defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Our Indianapolis attorneys understand the significance of your license, and how allegations or complaints against your license can put your entire career in jeopardy. Furthermore, our team has extensive experience handling matters like these before the various boards and commissions of the Professional Licensing Agency and are more than capable of helping you defend both your license and livelihood.
Educational Requirements for an Indiana Physical Therapy License
Physical therapists are skilled professionals who combine a deep understanding of human anatomy and movement with a heartfelt commitment to patient care. It’s a profession that doesn’t just treat conditions, but nurtures hope and fosters resilience, making it a truly rewarding and fulfilling choice for those who are passionate about health, wellness, and patient care.
Those who choose a career path in physical therapy will encounter an environment filled with continuous learning, immense personal satisfaction, and the joy of making a tangible difference in people’s lives. On top of that, they’ll find themselves in a thriving job market that boasts a projected growth rate of 15% over the course of the next decade and a robust average salary of $97,720 per year.
Embarking on this thriving career path, however, begins with a solid educational foundation; specifically, one that meets the stringent Indiana physical therapy license requirements set forth in Indiana Code 25-27-1-6.1. Under this section of Indiana law, a person who wishes to become a licensed physical therapist must complete the application process, including payment of fees, and submit proof of graduation from a professional physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) or its successor.
License Examination, Positive Response Documentation, and Criminal Background Check
On top of the education requirements, the Indiana physical therapy license requirements state that applicants obtaining their license through examination must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination with a scaled score of at least 600; complete the standard positive response documentation and submit to a national criminal background check.
While the examination aspect of these license requirements is rather straightforward, many recent graduates are confused by the positive response documentation and criminal background check. Well, this requirement is a reference to Indiana Code 25-27-1-6, which states that each, “applicant for a license as a physical therapist or certification as a physical therapist assistant must present satisfactory evidence that the applicant: (1) does not have a conviction for a crime that has a direct bearing on the applicant’s ability to practice competently; and (2) has not been the subject of a disciplinary action initiated by the licensing agency of another state or jurisdiction on the grounds that the applicant was unable to practice as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant without endangering the public.”
The positive response documentation, a common requirement among healthcare-related licensure in Indiana, simply poses a handful of questions to the license-seeker that, ideally, they would answer in the negative. For example, a common positive response question is: “Except for minor violations of traffic laws resulting in fines and arrests or convictions that have been expunged by a court, have you been arrested, entered into a diversion agreement, been convicted of, pled guilty to, or pled nolo contendere to any offense, misdemeanor, or felony in any state or U.S. territory? Yes or NO.”
If, in fact, they answer in the affirmative, the Board may elect to deny their application for a physical therapy license. However, denied applicants are able to appeal the board’s decision to deny licensure or certification to the board within fifteen (15) days after the applicant receives notification of the board’s decision.
Requirements for Renewing an Indiana Physical Therapy License
In order to stay in compliance with the Indiana physical therapy license requirements, licensed practitioners will need to focus on maintaining their licenses status through renewal and obtaining continuing education credits. While these actions may seem simple and straightforward, some practitioners encounter issues when they’re required to answer in the affirmative on the positive response documentation required as part of license renewal.
In situations like these, it’s best for the physical therapist to consult with an experienced Indiana physical therapist license lawyer. Even if the violation is minor or the complaint is baseless, your reputation and career are both at stake, and require the legal expertise of someone who has successfully defended license holders before the State Board of Physical Therapy.
To speak with an attorney about your matter today, call Keffer Hirschauer LLP at 317-751-7186 or schedule a free case consultation using our online contact form. Our team of Indiana professional license defense attorneys understands the significance of your physical therapy license and has the license defense experience needed to protect your livelihood.
Renewal Requirements for an Indiana Physical Therapy License
Under Indiana Code 25-27-1-8, all licenses issued by the Board expire on June 30th of even numbered years and thus must be renewed by the licensed professional in order to remain in compliance with state law. As part of this renewal process, license holders may be required to submit a physical therapy license renewal form, which contains a positive answer questionnaire that poses the following questions:
- Since you last renewed, has any professional license, certificate, registration, or permit you hold or have held been disciplined or are formal charges pending in any state or U.S. territory?
- Since you last renewed, have you been denied a license, certificate, registration, or permit in any state or U.S. territory?
- Since you last renewed, and except for minor violations of traffic laws resulting in fines and arrests or convictions that have been expunged by a court, have you been arrested, entered into a diversion agreement, been convicted of, pled guilty to, or pled nolo contendere to any offense, misdemeanor, or felony in any state or U.S. territory?
- Since you last renewed, have you had a malpractice judgment against you or settled a malpractice action?
- Since you last renewed, have you been terminated, reprimanded, disciplined, or demoted in the scope of your practice in physical therapy or as another health care professional?
If the physical therapist answers YES to any of the questions listed on their license renewal form, the Board may take action against their license and set an evidentiary hearing in order to learn more about the situation. If the board ultimately believes that the behavior of the license holder was egregious enough to warrant sanctions, the Board may, under Indiana Code 25-1-9-9, take the following action
- Permanent revocation of a practitioner’s Indiana physical therapy license
- Suspension of a practitioner’s Indiana physical therapy license
- Censure by the Board
- Receipt of a written reprimand by the Board
- Civil penalty of not more than $1,000 per violation
Continuing Education Requirements
Under rule 842 IAC 1-7-1, each licensed physical therapist in Indiana is required to “complete 22 hours of continuing competency activities for each biennial renewal period, two (2) hours of which must be in an ethics and Indiana jurisprudence course as it relates to the practice of physical therapy.” These activities must be approved under 842 IAC 1-7-4 in order to be accepted as credit for license renewal; and the hours must have been obtained within the relevant renewal period.
Indiana Physical Therapy License Requirements and Standards of Practice
The “Standards of Professional Conduct and Competent Practice” for physical therapists in Indiana are located in 842 IAC 1-6-2. In general, these standards emphasize patient-centered care and ethical practice, and touch on areas like confidentiality, communication, professional responsibility, competence, and behavior, among other elements of the profession.
Key Elements of the Standards of Professional Conduct and Competent Practice for Physical Therapists in Indiana
- Confidentiality: Physical therapists must maintain the confidentiality of patient information, only disclosing it when legally required or with patient consent.
- Honest Communication: They should provide truthful and comprehensive information about the patient’s condition to the patient or their caregivers, except where such disclosure may harm the patient or caregiver.
- Professional Responsibility: Therapists must not abandon their patients and should provide reasonable notice if withdrawing from a case. They are expected to practice with care and diligence based on accepted scientific principles and professional standards.
- Education and Competence: Therapists should accurately represent their qualifications and continually update their skills and knowledge, especially in specialized areas like dry needling.
- Reporting Misconduct: Any illegal, incompetent, or fraudulent conduct by colleagues should be reported to relevant authorities.
- Impairment and Treatment: Therapists undergoing treatment for impairments (like addiction) are exempt from reporting to the board as long as they comply with their treatment plan.
- Fee Structure: Fees charged should be reasonable and reflect the services rendered.
- Referrals and Advertising: They can refer patients to other healthcare providers when beneficial and advertise their services as long as the information is accurate and dignified.
In addition to the Indiana physical therapy license requirements listed above, therapists in Indiana are held to strict standards regarding controlled substances, alcohol use, sexual misconduct, and felony convictions. The use of controlled substances or alcohol in a manner that impairs the therapist’s ability to practice safely is strictly prohibited. Additionally, engaging in any form of sexual misconduct, whether with patients or colleagues, is considered a serious breach of professional ethics. Regarding felony convictions, physical therapists must uphold the law both in their professional and personal lives. A felony conviction, especially related to their practice or drugs/alcohol, like a DUI in Indiana, may result in disciplinary action including the loss of their license to practice.
Further Questions about the Indiana Physical Therapy License Requirements?
If you have further questions about the Indiana physical therapy license requirements or worry that you may face disciplinary action by the State Board, feel free to contact the Indiana professional license defense team at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. We have extensive experience representing and defending Hoosiers in matters that threaten their Indiana professional license. On top of that, we understand how to navigate the administrative processes of the professional licensing agency and can help build an optimal strategy aimed at protecting you, your reputation, and your livelihood.
To speak with an experienced license defense attorney today, call 317-751-7186 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. We fully understand what that’s at stake for you and are ready to be both your advocate and defender.