CHAPTER 291

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 567

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 26, TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PHYSICAL THERAPY.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend §2606, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking said section in its entirety and by substituting the following in lieu thereof:

"§2606. Qualifications of applicant; foreign-trained applicants; report to Attorney General; judicial review.

(a) An applicant who is applying for licensure under this Chapter shall submit evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board, that such person:

(1) has graduated from a school offering a program in physical therapy, physical therapy assistant, or athletic training, which program as offered by such school has been approved for the educational preparation of physical therapists, physical therapist assistants or athletic trainers by the appropriate accrediting agency recognized by the Council on Post Secondary Accreditation or the United States Commission of Education, or any successor, at the time of graduation; provided, however, that those applicants for licensure as athletic trainers who apply or who have applied for and been granted a license prior to July 1, 2004, may be licensed if they have been granted a degree from a college or university, successfully completed the internship process through the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification (NATA BOC) and have been approved by NATA BOC to take the national examination;

(2) has passed, to the satisfaction of the Board a national examination, administered or designated by the Board, to determine the applicant's fitness to practice physical therapy, to act as a physical therapist assistant, or to act as an athletic trainer as herein provided; and

(3) meets additional educational requirements set forth in rules and regulations; and

(4) shall not have been the recipient of any administrative penalties from any other jurisdiction(s) regarding his or her practice of physical therapy or athletic training, including but not limited to fines, formal reprimands, license suspensions or revocation (except for license revocations for nonpayment of license renewal fees), probationary limitations, and/or has not entered into any 'consent agreements' which contain conditions placed by a board on his or her professional conduct and practice, including any voluntary surrender of a license in lieu of discipline; and

(5) shall not have any impairment related to drugs, alcohol, or a finding of mental incompetence by a physician that would limit the applicant's ability to undertake the practice of physical therapy or athletic training in a manner consistent with the safety of a patient or the public; and

(6) shall not have been convicted of a felony; and

(7) shall not have a criminal conviction record, nor pending criminal charge relating to an offense, the circumstances of which substantially relate to the practice of physical therapy or athletic training. Applicants who have criminal conviction records or pending criminal charges shall require appropriate authorities to provide information about the record or charge directly to the Board in sufficient specificity to enable the Board to make a determination whether the record or charge is substantially related to the practice of physical therapy or athletic training.

(b) A physical therapist applicant whose application is based on a diploma issued by a foreign physical therapy school shall furnish evidence satisfactory to the Board of the completion of a physical therapy school or schools' resident course of professional instruction equivalent to that required in subsection (a) of this section, in addition to meeting all other requirements of this section and §2608 of this Chapter.

(c) Where the Board has found to its satisfaction that an applicant has been intentionally fraudulent, or that false information has been intentionally supplied, it shall report its findings to the Attorney General for further action.

(d) Where the application of a person has been refused or rejected and such applicant feels that the Board has acted without justification; has imposed higher or different standards for him or her than for other applicants or licensees; or has in some other manner contributed to or caused the failure of such application, the applicant may appeal to the Superior Court."

Section 2. Amend §2610, Title 24, Delaware Code by striking said section in its entirety and by substituting the following in lieu thereof:

"§2610 Reciprocity

"(a) Upon payment of the appropriate fee and submission and acceptance of a written application on forms provided by the Board, the Board shall grant a license to each applicant who shall present proof of current licensure, in good standing, in another State, the District of Columbia, or territory of the United States, and who, in addition:

(1) meets the criteria for current licensure in good standing as defined in §2606(a)(4),(5),(6) and (7) of this Chapter; and

(2) has received the passing score on the national examination, administered or designated by the Board, for practice as a physical therapist, physical therapy assistant, or athletic trainer.

(b) In addition to meeting the requirements of §2606(a)(4),(5),(6), and (7) of this Chapter, foreign-trained applicants must also meet the requirements of §2606(b), of this Chapter.

(c) In the event a physical therapist, physical therapy assistant, or athletic trainer, who previously was licensed in Delaware and who has let his or her license lapse, is applying for licensure under this subsection, the Board shall grant a license to such applicant, subject to subsection (a) of this section and completion of continuing education requirements, upon payment of the appropriate fee and on submission of a written application on forms provided by the Board."

Approved June 17, 1998