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Physical Therapists and the Grounds for Disciplinary Action, Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners

Texas medical license defense attorneyThe Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners (Board) licenses the state's physical therapists. The Texas Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners (Executive Council) provides administrative oversight to the Texas State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners and the Texas State Board of Occupational Therapy  Examiners.

Under the Texas Administrative Code, the Board "has the authority to deny an applicant a license or to suspend or revoke a license, to reprimand or otherwise discipline a licensee, or to place on probation a licensee whose license has been suspended." 22 Tex. Admin. Code §343.2.

The Board investigates all complaints made against its licensees or registered facilities. If a patient, patient's family member, or someone else files a complaint against you with the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners, it puts your PT license in jeopardy. Even a single complaint can harm your reputation and career.

If the Board has notified you of a pending complaint, it is critical that you take immediate steps to properly defend yourself against the allegations. We urge you to consult with an experienced medical defense attorney as soon as you are notified of a licensing Board complaint.

TX Physical Therapists & Grounds for Disciplinary Action

The board may deny a license to or discipline a license applicant for a vast number of reasons. The following touches on a few of the reasons for which the Board may deny PT licensure:

  • Practicing Physical Therapy in a manner detrimental to the public health and welfare.
  • History of substance abuse.
  • Gross negligence in the practice of Physical Therapy.
  • Criminal convictions.
  • Other grounds for denial of a license or discipline of a licensee.

Practicing Physical Therapy in a manner detrimental to the public health and welfare.

The board may deny a license to or discipline an applicant who is found to be practicing in a manner detrimental to the public health and welfare. 22 Tex. Admin. Code §322.4.

Practicing in a manner detrimental to the public health and welfare may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Failing to document physical therapy services, inaccurately recording, falsifying, or altering patient records.
  • Practicing without a license.
  • Obtaining or attempting to obtain medications through means of misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, or deception.
  • Failing to conform to the minimal standards of acceptable prevailing practice, regardless of whether or not actual injury to any person was sustained.
  • Aiding, authorizing, or allowing the practice of physical therapy by any person not licensed to practice physical therapy.
  • Engaging in sexual contact with a patient as a result of the physical therapist/patient relationship.
  • Failing to cooperate with the agency by not furnishing papers or documents requested or by not responding to subpoenas issued by the agency.
  • Abandoning or neglecting a patient under current care without making reasonable arrangements for the continuation of such care.
  • Violating the rules of the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact if holding a Compact privilege to practice in Texas.

22 Tex. Admin. Code §322.4. The foregoing list is not exhaustive. Though, any of the above may be considered "practicing in a manner detrimental to the public health and welfare" and be grounds for disciplinary action by the Board.

History of substance abuse.

The board may deny a license to or discipline an applicant who has been found to have a history of substance abuse.  22 Tex. Admin. Code §343.5.

Gross negligence in the practice of Physical Therapy.

The Board may discipline a licensee who is found grossly negligent in the practice of physical therapy. 22 Tex. Admin. Code §343.7(a). Gross negligence "may include, but is not limited to, the provision of physical therapy which the therapist knew or should have known would result in severe physical injury or death of a patient." 22 Tex. Admin. Code §343.7(b).

Criminal convictions.

The Board may revoke or suspend a license, or deny licensure, based on a person's criminal conviction of a felony or misdemeanor of a crime that directly relates to the practice of physical therapy. Crimes which the Board considers to be directly related to the duties and responsibilities of a PT include, but at not limited to:

  • Any felony that involves fraud, dishonesty, or deceit.
  • Any criminal violation of the Physical Therapy Practice Act or other states regulating or pertaining to physical therapy or the medical profession.
  • Any crime involving moral turpitude.
  • Murder, assault, burglary, robbery, theft, rape, sexual abuse, patient abuse, or injury to an elderly person.
  • Felony conviction for driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or driving while ability is impaired.

22 Tex. Admin. Code §343.9.

Other grounds for denial of a license or discipline of a licensee.

Other grounds for which the board may impose disciplinary action include obtaining a license by fraud or falsification of an application, cheating on the national examination, or having a PT License or a license to practice another health care profession revoked, suspended, or had other disciplinary action imposed in another state, territory, or nation. 22 Tex. Admin. Code §343.6.

The above covers many reasons the Board may take disciplinary actions against its licensees but is not all-inclusive. There are other grounds for which the Board may take disciplinary action.

Hire an Experienced License Defense Attorney

If you have problems obtaining or renewing your license with the Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners, or if you've been notified of a complaint filed against you, BERTOLINO LLP can help.

We are experienced physical therapy and occupational therapy license defense attorneys, and we know how to navigate the Board's complaint process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your professional license. Our results speak for themselves.

BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432.

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Attorney Tony R. Bertolino is the Managing Partner with Bertolino LLP. Our law firm has been able to help people across the state of Texas. If you need an experienced lawyer to represent you, contact Bertolino LLP today.

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