Senate Bill 1054 - Physical Therapist Licensure Compact

February 18, 2020

Summary:

SB 1054 would enter California into the Physical Therapist Compact (PT Compact), an interstate licensure agreement that provides licensing reciprocity for Physical Therapists (PTs) and Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs). As a member of the PT Compact, PTs and PTAs in other compact states (currently there are 26) would be eligible to practice physical therapy in California, and California’s PTs and PTAs would likewise be eligible to practice in those states.

Issue Background:

Medical care providers are constantly adapting to a rapidly changing and increasingly interconnected national healthcare system. California’s current framework for physical therapist licensure is based on an antiquated model in which physical therapists go to school, become licensed, and practice in the same location throughout their entire career. This system has cut California off from the rest of the nation and become an impediment to delivering the highest quality of care to California patients.

There are many positive effects that joining the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact could have. Specifically, SB 1054 has the potential to:

  • broaden the pool of physical therapy professionals eligible to work in California and increase access to specialized physical therapy professionals licensed in other states.
  • reduce costs for physical therapists, hospitals, and interstate healthcare systems by easing the administrative and financial burdens associated with multi-state practice.
  • improve educational opportunities in the physical therapy field as virtual education and visiting instructors could be utilized as part of nursing curriculum. California’s physical therapy students would also have more opportunities once licensed.
  • benefit military spouses and other transitory professionals that could practice nursing immediately rather than waiting months to gain a full California physical therapy license.
  • give California a seat at the table in determining the future of the PT Compact. The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Commerce have made it clear that licensing reciprocity is the way of the future. SB 1054 would allow California to shape how the compact operates moving forward.

Supporters:

  • California Physical Therapists Association
  • California Association of Health Facilities (pdf)
  • US Department of Defense (pdf)
  • San Diego Military Advisory Council
  • California Physical Therapists Association
  • California Hospitals Association
  • California Telehealth Network (OCHIN)
  • California Association for Health Services at Home
  • California Association of Health Facilities
  • AMN Healthcare
  • CORE Rehab Staffing
  • KPG Healthcare
  • US Department of Defense
  • California Defense Communities Alliance
  • San Diego Military Advisory Council
  • Monterey Bay Defense Alliance
  • Beale Military Liaison Council
  • Ventura County Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century
  • China Lake Alliance
  • Travis Community Consortium
  • 251 individuals

Contact:

Ryan Gardiner, (916) 651-4037
Ryan.Gardiner@sen.ca.gov