Oklahoma Physical Therapy News

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oklahoma medical boardOklahoma State Board of 
    Medical Licensure and Supervision

Physical Therapy Committee

March 31, 2020


COVID-19 PANDEMIC: Telehealth in Physical Therapy

During the coronavirus pandemic and until the declaration for emergency is no longer in effect, the Executive  Order  2020-07 is in effect for PTs and PTAs who may incorporate a tele-therapy platform to avoid: break in treatment, cross-contamination by keeping both patients and providers safe from spread of the virus, and closing the practice altogether creating adverse economic impact, etc.  After an in-person evaluation as appropriate, tele-therapy and physical therapy is  appropriate for quick screening follow-ups, post-surgical monitoring, rehabilitation, therapeutic exercise, therapeutic activities and home management, patient and caregiver instructions, and other areas as appropriate.  Real-time audio/video synchronous encounters are highly recommended.

PTs and PTAs must ensure that when providing telehealth services or billing for them, they are practicing legally and ethically, and adhering to payer contract agreements, including but not limited to guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  We recommend that PTs and PTAs use their discretion as to the nature and frequency of providing services via telehealth, and to do so within their scope of practice, training, experience and availability of appropriate hardware and software.

See more discussion on this Topic addressed in the latest APTA newsletter dated March 23, 2020

"LICENSURE 101” for PTs and PTAs

   Once you receive your degree as a Physical Therapist (PT) or Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), the most important thing you will need for the rest of your career is your LICENSE.  You cannot practice your profession without it. 

     You and only you are responsible for your license. Whether you practice in Oklahoma or elsewhere, always remember to keep your license active and all your professional, educational and contact information updated with the appropriate Licensing Board.    You can access your Oklahoma licensure profile page 24/7 to update your profile and document continuing education courses completed by visiting:  PT/PTA CE and Profile update.

        Here are some things to remember

  • Encourage your employer to visit the PT homepage.  It is a valuable resource because it contains the professional information on all the PTs and PTAs licensed in Oklahoma and all the rules, regulations and laws governing the practice of Physical Therapy in our state.     
  • Please list a permanent, regularly used e-mail address on your profile. This will be your contact with the Licensing Board for license renewals, continuing education status and other important notices.  Do not use your school, current employment or any other address which may be temporary.
  • Answer all questions on license renewals honestly.  Most incidents are not disqualifiers and can be explained.  It is better to be up front rather than have the information discovered during the renewal process.
  • Continuing Education is mandatory to maintain your license.  PTs require 40 hours and PTAs 30 hours of Continuing Education credits every two years.  Any applicant for renewal who cannot meet the requirements for Continuing Education may not renew until deficient hours are obtained and verified.  Additionally, within the following compliance period, the licensee will be required to obtain double the hours of approved Continuing Education.  Half of the credits must be Category A courses and include 3 hours of ethics education.  Find the current list of approved courses on the Physical Therapy Advisory Committee webpage under Forms/Resources then download for the appropriate renewal period. Pre-Approval is required for guaranteed credit.


Physical Therapist (PT) and Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) students may receive a Temporary Letter to Practice and begin working while waiting to take their licensing examination.  The Temporary Letter to Practice expires after six (6) months.

To apply for a Temporary Letter to Practice, students and their employers must complete a Form 5 which is available under Forms/Resources on the Physical Therapy Advisory Committee homepage, okmedicalboard.org/physical_therapists.

Applicants may call the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision Licensing Department, 405-962-1400, okmedicalboard.org, if additional information is needed.

PT and PTA students with a Temporary Letter to Practice who fail the licensing exam for the first time may apply to take the test again and continue to practice under direct onsite supervision.  The Temporary Letter to Practice expires after a second exam failure. 

At its September, 2019 meeting, the Oklahoma Physical Therapy Advisory Committee clarified its opinion regarding a discrepancy between the Oklahoma Physical Therapy Practice Act, passed in 1965, which allowed the issuance of temporary letters to practice without supervision until an applicant passes or fails the licensing exam and subsequent administrative rules passed later by the Oklahoma Legislature which stipulate that an applicant with a temporary letter who fails the licensing test for the first time may continue to practice under supervision for up to six months while waiting to take the test again. 

The Oklahoma Physical Therapy Advisory Committee feels it is both sensible and in the interest of patient safety to adhere to the administrative rules that require supervision for an applicant working with a temporary permit who is waiting to take the licensing exam for a first or second time even though that is not specifically required by the 1965 Oklahoma Physical Therapy Practice Act.  As cited above, the Temporary Letter to Practice expires after a second exam failure or within six (6) months.     


     It is now much easier for Oklahoma Physical Therapists (PT) and Physical Therapy Assistants (PTA) to apply for licensure in other states.  On January 2, 2020, the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision and the Physical Therapy Advisory Committee officially implemented participation in the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact Commission (PT Compact).

     The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) established the PT Compact in 2017 to increase patient access to PT and PTA services by reducing regulatory barriers to interstate mobility and cross-state practice. 

     Oklahoma is the eighteenth state to become an active member of the PT Compact.  Other states are: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.  Many more states are in the process of becoming active PT Compact members.

     The PT Compact website (ptcompact.org) contains all the information needed to obtain the Compact Privileges necessary to apply for licensure in other active PT Compact states.

     To be eligible for PT Compact Privileges, PTs and PTAs must have an active Oklahoma license with no encumbrances nor disciplinary actions in the past two years.  Applicants for licensure privileges must also complete the jurisprudence requirement for the state(s) of potential practice and pay fees required by the PT Compact and each individual state.