Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the questions the Board receives. Click on any of the below questions to view the answer.
Please note that all responses the West Virginia Board of Physical Therapy (hereinafter “Board”) gives to individual questions are based solely upon WV Code § 30-20-1 et seq. and the Code of State Rules 16-1-1 et seq. These Statutory and Regulatory provisions govern the jurisdiction of the Board, and its sole purpose of regulating the practice of Physical Therapy and the protection of the public. As such, the responses do not take into account any billing issues and the regulations that govern such reimbursement. Moreover, a provider should consult with his/her legal counsel for questions pertaining to billing for Physical Therapy services.
If you have any questions for the Board that are not answered in the frequently asked question section, please submit your question in writing. You may reach us via postal mail, email or by fax. If an answer is not readily available, it will be discussed at our next Board Meeting.
- Where can I find information regarding the ability of a PTA to do or not do a screening process for residents of a long term care environment; in which the screen comprises review of medical chart, patient and staff interview and referral as needed to appropriate therapy discipline for further assessment?
- Does the WV State Law allow athletic trainers to work with others besides those with athletic injuries?
Athletic Trainers are not regulated by the State of WV. When working in a Physical Therapy setting, they work under the direct supervision of a Physical Therapist and perform such delegated tasks as are commensurate with their education and training.
- Is a Physical Therapist Assistant permitted under their license to perform Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE's)?
- Do Massage Therapists who are licensed in WV count as PT "supportive personnel" when employed and utilized within their own scope of practice in a PT private practice clinic? In this scenario, the Massage Therapist is working under the "Physical Therapy Plan of Care".
- If the utilization of a Massage Therapist is legal (as mentioned in the previous question), is the PT liable for acts performed by the licensed Massage Therapist as would be the case for PTA's and Aides in the direct care of the patient?
- Can an ATC under on-site supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist perform an evaluation in the clinic on an athlete referred from the team physician of a local school?
- If so, and if the third party payer or insurance company is aware that the ATC is performing the evaluation under on-site supervision of a PT, can and how should this be billed in WV?
- If this does apply to student athletes referred by a physician for sports medicine, would it apply to related populations with similar injuries?
- Can an ATC under on-site supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist perform a re- evaluation in the clinic on an athlete referred from the team physician of a local school?
- What are the PTA supervisory requirements for clinics that are attached to nursing homes? Can in patients and outpatients be treated at the same time? Can the PT be on the premises or must he or she be physically in the same room as the outpatient? Does the PT have to be present for every treatment delegated to a licensed PTA or may the PTA be indirectly supervised with co-visits every two weeks?
- How frequently are we required to get updated prescriptions for Physical Therapy? We currently get a prescription for Physical Therapy at the time of evaluation, but I am unsure if we need to get new ones within a certain time frame (as some students get PT for consecutive years). I also wondered if there was a difference for students that have Medicaid versus those that don't.
- I am writing to survey the opinion of the WV Board of PT regarding whether or not a Functional Capacity Evaluation can lawfully be provided in the State of WV without a physician's order.
- Where in State Law can it be found that West Virginia allows "direct access" to Physical Therapy Services?
- Must all CE courses be pre-approved by the board, or does the board automatically accept courses that are approved by other state boards/associations (i.e. reciprocal approval)?
- I have a question about CEU’s. I recently completed my DPT taking several course this year (paediatrics, pharmacology, health and wellness) on-line. May I use this course work for my CEU requirement?
- My license is currently suspended until July of 2010. The license that I have now is due to expire at the end of the year. I am not currently working, but plan on working when the license is re-instated. My question is if I am to renew my license now or wait until next July?
- I graduated PT school in Korea in 1989. Do you still consider all foreign educated person need to take English test, no matter how long they stay in US or how much they have experience in US? I believe that there are no problem for license endorsement from IN to WV. Can you just verify my IN license from IN state instead of submitting all paper work form Korea? It is very long processing to endorse license if I start same processing as new foreign graduated person.
- Would you accept the Alternate Identification Number from FSBPT in lieu of the SSN for purposes of issuing a Temp License? We would provide a valid SSN long before the temp expires
- I am a foreign educated physical therapist. I am on h4 visa. In this visa, I am unable to get a social security number. What can I do to write the NPTE if I am unable to get an SSN? I do have an ITIN. Does that help? Do you accept IERF evaluation?
- I am a Master of PT student and I will be moving to WV after I graduate. I would like to take the NPTE on September 7th in accordance with the new fixed date regulations. I know that I must be registered for the test by August 7th and that you require transcripts from the school. I am wondering if it is acceptable to have the school send the transcripts as soon as my grades are published and still sit for the exam on September 7th.
- According to 8.6 I guess if a PT is on vacation for no more than 80 hours a year, the PTA's can see patients as long as general supervision is provided and it is documented that general supervision was provided. I guess somehow we need to keep a record of hours?
- I was a new grad for 2011 so I have met the CE hours for 2011 and I need to complete my CE hours for 2011. How many CE hours do a I need for 2012?
- Will the Title 16 General Athletic Trainer Provisions and Fees phase out the current WV Board of Education rule 22.214.171.124 Permit Athletic Trainer & 126.96.36.199. Limited Football Trainer Authorization?
- Is it permitted for a PT aide to treat a patient without a PT being even in direct line of supervision and then for that PT to document what the aide did as a treatment and then to charge for that treatment? This would be pertaining to a patient who is an inpatient under the DRG system of reimbursement. This PT aide is of course an unlicensed individual.
- Can a WV Physical Therapist treat under a referral given from a dentist, such as treating TMJ?
- I am a new PT graduate.I have a question concerning the proper format of documenting my credentials.I have noticed that in the Ohio Valley, (I work in Wheeling, WV) that new graduates(including myself)from a DPT program are signing documents as such: Jane Doe,DPT. At this point, I thought I had heard that licensure should be documented first, then degree. For instance: Jane Doe,PT,DPT or is this reserved for therapist who were previously licensed and have completed a DPT transitional program?
- I have a quick question regarding supervision guidelines for aides/technicians. In reviewing the APTA website, under Medicare,use of aides for inpatient hospital services says to defer to the state practice act. The state practice act says that they can work with "direct supervision", with the physical presence of the PT in the "immediate treatment area". Does this mean line of sight, or just on the same unit? Just want to make sure I would be doing things correctly.
- If a different PT makes the required 10th visit, does the supervising PT change?
- If I am a PT going to use the 40% or temp rule leaving the PTA being the only licensed individual in the clinic under general supervision, what can the an aide or do in my absence?
- If I am a PT going to use the 40% or temp rule leaving the PTA being the only licensed individual in the clinic under general supervision, what can the an aide or PT student do in my absence?
- I just want to clarify something regarding co visits frequency. The rule states within 10th PTA visit or within 21 days which will become 30 days by June 16. My understanding is it does not have to fall on the 10th or 21st but within, which means it could be earlier or sooner?
If I do initial evaluation with PTA with me as the co visit then we are good for the next 21 0r 30 days and that would mean the next co visit will be after the 21 or 30 days?
- I am a PTA. If I am alone in the gym, while my supervising PT is in another part of the facility, and I have a client who needs to be lifted and I cannot lift her myself could I ask the patients' care giver who always lifts the client to lift the client?
Can I have another staff member who is not a therapist help me lift?
- I do aquatic therapy. I have a client who is quadriplegic. I can help him transfer to the lift chair to get in to the pool. When he gets out of the pool he is wet and requires more assistance. It is my understanding that if other staff members, who are not therapists, help with transferring then my supervising PT needs to be the one who supervises the staff with transfers. Am I correct?
- As a home health PT I want to make sure that I fully understand the new law signed into place today. Am I correct in saying the following?
A PTA does not have to be present for a pass-off. 2. The PTA does not have to be present for a supervisory visit.
- Provisions for P.T./PTA (8.2a) When care is delivered in a hospital or other acute-care, free-standing, outpatient, or independent practice setting regarding supervision of outpatient practice setting 40% of the time.
If a PT is expecting a baby and date of arrival is undetermined, can a PTA cover his/her patients for a period of time in an outpatient setting without on-site supervision? This would only be for a week or two and a PT would be in contact with the PTA.
- Where or how do we document that general supervision is provided when the therapist is absent. We work with another hospital in our network that provides coverage for us. (2) If I am absent, being the only PT here, the other facility can provide general supervision, correct?
- The way we read this is that 40% of the time our PTA"s can treat already existing patients without direct supervision as long as they have 1000 hours of experience which both of ours do, correct. This means 40% of an 8 hour day or a 40 hour work week, correct?
- How do I document when the 40% of general supervision is utilized?
- We are a Chiropractic clinic that has a Physical Therapist and a Physical Therapy Assistant on staff. Both are employees of the clinic. Can the PTA perform massage therapy under the orders of a chiropractor or do all services have to come directly from the PT. I am only talking about massage therapy all other therapies would go through the PT and be under his supervision. Massage therapy would take place in the physical therapy area.
- I am writing for clarification around the change in the supervision requirements for PTAs in the outpatient setting.Can you please clarify what "40% of the time" refers to, i.e. a particular patient's treatment or 40% of the clinic's work day or something completely different?
- I work at a critical access hospital where we treat swing bed, acute care, and outpatients. Is there any longer a required co-visit where a supervising PT and the PTA meet together with the patient before the patient can be treated under the PT’s general supervision? As long the Plan of Care and goals were clearly communicated by the supervising PT to the PTA verbally or in writing, could the patients be treated by the PTA under general supervision of the PT without a co-visit being made first?
- Our service has been asked to provide rigid removable dressings post amputation. This process requires application of socks, padding, and casting material. Before agreeing to undertake this I wanted to make sure this would be within our scope of practice.
- Can licensed physical therapists write physician phone orders in the patient chart?
- We have a PT supervising 4 PTA's so she is unable to supervise a 5th PTA assisting due to an unexpected increase in caseload at the SNF. The 5th PTA has her own supervising therapist at another SNF. For supervision purposes, can the PT supervising the 5th PTA review the plan of care and documentation and provide communication with the 5th PTA so she is able to treat? Or, does that PT have to directly see the patients before the 5th PTA can see them?
- PTA #1 is over the department in a nursing home and does the patient care coverage. If a 2nd PTA sees a patient without the PT knowing that the PTA changed, is the PT held liable?
- Can Physical Therapists accept an order from a Chiropractor for services? It is our hospital’s policy that we have an order to provide services.
- My friend has been going to someone who works out of her home. From what I can tell, she is licensed as a massage therapist and a physical therapist technician. It doesn’t seem right to me that she can work as a PT assistant on my friend and recommend exercises and homeopathic meds without supervision. Her clients pay cash to her.Can a physical therapy assistant practice in her own home without supervision from a physical therapist being present?
- In looking at the Practice act it says the providing 4 weeks of clinical instruction is equal to 1 unit of CE. Is it correct to assume that providing 6 weeks of clinical instruction is equal to 1.5 units of CE?
- I need to know if a facility can bill for a PT applicant with a temporary permit practicing only under supervision. Can they bill the patient, insurance, and/or Medicare?
- I have realized for a while that PTA’s are not allow to perform joint or spinal mobilizations and yesterday I was asked when this initial ruling was made and I don’t know. Could you give me some idea as to the date this was instated.
- I am looking at joining the Air Force Reserves as a PTA. I tried 2 times to get into the PTA program at FSU with no luck even though I am graduating WVU in May with a 3.4 GPA and have met all of the perquisites for the program. My question is, once I graduate the Air Force PTA courses would I be able to work in WV or at least get a seat to take the National Registry? If not do you know of a state that will accept the military certifications?
- I heard that under WV law, an LPTA cannot remove staples. When I searched the regs and FAQ on your website, I can find no basis for this. For clarity, when staple removal has been ordered by an MD on a given date, and the patient is scheduled to be seen by an LPTA on that date and is in compliance with all supervision requirements, can an LPTA provide the staple removal?
- Regarding §8.2.b.2. the physical therapist must visit the patient at least once every 10 physical therapist assistant visits, or within 30 calendar days, whichever occurs first. I would like clarification on the requirements of "visit". Does the PT have to treat the patient, or is an on-site visit including patient examination and discussion of progress and the POC with the PTA sufficient to meet this requirement?
- How much time do you have to give employee notice?
- What are the state requirements regarding discharge summaries? can the PTA see the patients for their last visit and then PT do the summary? Or does the PT have to see the patient for their last visit?
- If a PT is supervising 4 PTA’s and one of the PTA’s leaves for the day and another PTA comes in to replace the other one is it still ok for the PT to supervise? Because there is only 4 PTA’s on the clock at any given time I don’t see that this would be a problem.
- I graduated with my Masters degree and thought I was told to use Jane Doe, MPT. After reviewing the FAQs on the website, I am now questioning whether this is supposed to be Jane Doe PT, MPT. Which is the proper way to sign? Can you just simply put Jane Doe, PT as well? What about Bachelor degrees and transitional DPT degrees? We are getting ready to send some clinic documents to print and I wanted to be sure we were all using our credentials correctly.
- I had a question as to weather the WVBOPT has standards for medical record retention. In particular how long paper records and/or how long electronic or data files need to accessible.
- I am a chiropractor with WV licensure. I am doing some research in effort to find the answer to the logistics of chiropractors and physical therapists working together. I am contacting you to see if you have the answer to the following question, Can a chiropractor work for a physical therapist-owned organization and vice versa?
- Can you please advise if it is in the scope of a PT license for a provider to be proving Physical Medicine and Rehab services?
- I am wanting to start practicing in the WV Birth to three program and am in the process of starting my own business to do so. On the WV business website, it states that some professional licenses require approval prior to granting the business license so I am just checking to see if the WV BOPT does require approval or has a process for this?
- The Rule states that a PTA can see 40% of their patients without a physical therapist in the building as long as the PT is "readily available" to the PTA. First, am I interpreting this correctly?
- The Rule states a PTA can only supervise an aide without a PT on-site in an emergency situation. Is this correct?
- I was just wondering what the policy in West Virginia was for a graduate of a physical therapy CAPTE accredited school who hasn't passed the NPTE yet, to take the PTA exam and if passed work as a PTA until the PT exam is passed?
- This question is regarding supervision of a PT/PTA student for a CI. " Does the student have to be in direct line of sight to conduct a treatment or can they perform a treatment at the same time as the CI performs a treatment as long as they are on the same floor in an acute care hospital setting?"
- I have been working in Ohio during many of the Obama care changes. Have there been any changes in covisits with My p.t a.s?. Can you clarify exactly what legally needs to be documented each week to cover us on this law? If the pta puts ''discussed plan of care with p.t. '' in her notes and I cosign them, does this cover covisit law?
- Can a PT/PTA Student bill for a treatment conducted at the same time as their CI is conduction a treatment in an acute care setting?"
- I'm writing on behalf of Analgesic Healthcare, we are a national DME vendor based out of Florida. We would like to know if in your state it is considered within the scope of license for a PT, DPT, NPT and/or MSPT to prescribe DME (specifically electrotherapy products, TENS/Mstim) and orthotics for home use. Any assistance that you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
- Our company is moving to daily documentation. I just clarified with your board that it is not necessary for PTA notes to be co-signed unless a facility requires this. My question is re: proof of collaboration/careplan sharing b/w the PT and PTA: how should one prove in documentation this is being performed per board minimal requirements?
- This is regarding doctors writing scripts for weight loss. Is this ok? When strengthening and cardio are used in a skilled manner.
- Does your state have any limitations on Physical Therapists in use of or titration of oxygen? (Especially with activity.) If so, please explain. We would be exercising patients on O2 that need it, increasing/titrating the O2 if needed and documenting the SpO2 in our notes. Obviously the MD would write an order e.g. to keep SpO2 >90%. This is taught in PT schools.
- When a patient is being discharged from Physical Therapy does the physical therapist have to see the patient for the entire treatment time or just part of the visit? Also what about the 30 day/10th visit in regards to supervision?
- Here is my concern; high schools are hiring athletic trainers for football season. However most of these people are not certified athletic trainers. It is against state law to use the title athletic trainer if you are not BOC certified. How are they being made aware of this law?
- Does a PTA have to ve certified to complete lymphedema wrapping?
- I am a PT and work in schools with a PTA and am aware that I must treat every 10th visit or every 30 calendar days, which ever comes first. My questions are: do those visits have to be co-visits with PTA or can I treat alone and communicate with PTA. Is this considered general supervision if we're not in same school/ building together?
- We are trying to determine an acceptable handoff procedure with our physical therapy staff. For example, if we have a patient being seen by a particular PTA who takes a vacation or calls in sick, can a different PTA see that patient, as long as the PT overseeing the patient’s care communicates and coordinates the treatment plan with the covering PTA? This is a home health practice.
- How do you sign your name while on a temporary permit prior to taking the NPTE?
- Is there something in the physical therapist rules and regulations or laws that requires us to report fraud and pt neglect?
- I am a practicing PT in WV. The clinic that I work in has recently heard that patients will now require their own prescription for hydrocortisone, dexamethasone, etc. for use in clinic. Is this true? If so can you send me a link to that regulation so that I may pass this along to fellow staff members.
- Are there any Physical Therapy regulations that govern the provision of aquatic therapy by a Physical Therapist or a Physical Therapist Assistant? Do the PT/PTA need to have an aquatic therapy certification? What level of supervision must the Physical Therapist provide for a PTA completing aquatic therapy with a patient?
- We have been receiving referrals from the vocational rehab that are from a counselor. The payment would be directly from the voc rehab. Can we see these patients? They want an evaluation only.
- I have a question about the use of use of PT aides in an outpatient department. Is is legal for an unlicensed individual (PT aide) to provide treatment (hot packs, ultrasound, exercise, etc) in an outpatient department affiliated with an acute care hospital and then to bill for such services? I have been under the belief that treatment needs to be provided by a physical therapist or a licensed physical therapist assistant. I wanted to see what the Board's opinion is regarding this.
Not all questions and answers appear on this page. You may also want to check current and past issues of our Board News Letter where "Commonly/Recently Asked Questions With Answers" appear.