ALEXANDRIA, VA, August 20, 2014 — On August 12, Delaware Gov Jack Markell signed HB 359, legislation that provides for a major updating of the Delaware physical therapy practice act, and enacts a modern definition for the “practice of physical therapy.”
“APTA congratulates our Delaware Chapter on this significant legislative achievement,” said APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, “Our vision of transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience begins with transforming our state licensure laws to ensure they reflect the full scope of physical therapist practice.”
The legislation, advocated for by the Delaware Physical Therapy Association, faced opposition from other provider groups, including acupuncturists who were opposed to the inclusion of dry needling in the new definition for physical therapy.
“The legislative process was very arduous, and I am grateful for all of our chapter members who attended hearings, met with legislators, and sent emails or made phone calls in support of HB 359,” said George Edelman, PT, OCS, MTC, president of the Delaware Chapter, “We are thrilled that Delaware now has a physical therapy statute that reflects 21st century practice.”
In addition, HB 359 also recognizes telehealth as a means for providing health-related information and services. The legislation also makes a number of technical mechanisms, including exemptions to licensure for physical therapists licensed in another state who are temporarily in Delaware for educational purposes, travelling sports team or performance groups, or due to declared emergencies.
The Delaware State Examining Board of Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers (licensure boar) is expected to begin work on promulgating board rules related to HB 359 this Fall.