TITLE 5
Businesses and Professions

CHAPTER 5-40
Physical Therapists

SECTION 5-40-13


§ 5-40-13 Grounds for discipline of licensees.

(a) The board has power to deny, revoke, or suspend any license issued by the department or applied for in accordance with this chapter, or to discipline a person licensed under this chapter upon proof that said person has engaged in unprofessional conduct including, but not limited to:

(1) Fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license or in the practice of physical therapy;

(2) Is habitually intemperate or is addicted to the use of habit forming drugs;

(3) Is mentally and/or professionally incompetent;

(4) Has repeatedly violated any of the provisions of this chapter;

(5) Providing services to a person who is making a claim as a result of a personal injury, who charges or collects from the person any amount in excess of the reimbursement to the physical therapist by the insurer as a condition of providing or continuing to provide services or treatment;

(6) Conviction, including a plea of nolo contendere, of one or more of the offenses listed in § 23-17-37;

(7) Abandonment of a patient;

(8) Promotion by a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant of the sale of drugs, devices, appliances, or goods or services provided for a patient in a manner as to exploit the patient for the financial gain of the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant;

(9) Making or filing false reports or records in the practice of physical therapy;

(10) Repeated failure to file or record, or impede or obstruct a filing or recording, or inducing another person to fail to file or record physical therapy reports;

(11) Failure to furnish patient records upon proper request;

(12) Practice as a physical therapist assistant without supervision by a physical therapist licensed in the state of Rhode Island;

(13) Incompetent or negligent misconduct in the practice of physical therapy;

(14) Revocation, suspension, surrender, or limitation of privilege based on quality of care provided or disciplinary action against a license to practice as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in another state, jurisdiction, or country;

(15) Failure to furnish the board, administrator, investigator, or representatives information legally requested by the board;

(16) Violation of this chapter or any of the rules and regulations or departure from or failure to conform to the current standards of acceptable and prevailing practice and code of ethics of physical therapy.

(b) Whenever a patient seeks or receives treatment from a physical therapist without referral from a doctor of medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, podiatry, chiropractic, physician assistant, or certified registered nurse practitioner, the physical therapist shall:

(1) Disclose to the patient, in writing, the scope and limitations of the practice of physical therapy and obtain their consent in writing; and

(2) Refer the patient to a doctor of medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, podiatry, or chiropractic within ninety (90) days after the date treatment commenced; provided, that a physical therapist is not required to make this a referral after treatment is concluded;

(3) No physical therapist who has less than one year clinical experience as a physical therapist shall commence treatment on a patient without a referral from a doctor of medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, podiatry, chiropractic, physician assistant, or certified registered nurse practitioner.

(c) For purposes of this chapter and notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter or any rules or regulations adopted by the board, any person licensed or registered under this chapter who is a bona fide employee or independent contractor of a physician or a physician group entitled to wages and compensation pursuant to such employment or contract, or is a co-owner of a physical therapy practice with a physician group, shall not be deemed to be engaged in conduct unbecoming a person licensed or registered under this chapter, or to be engaged in conduct detrimental to the best interest of the public, or to be in violation of any other provision of this chapter by virtue of any of the above relationships, and shall not be subject to licensure denial, suspension, revocation, or any other disciplinary action or penalty under this chapter:

(1) Solely by virtue of such employment or contract; or

(2) Solely by virtue of the provision of physical therapy services pursuant to a referral from the employing or contracting physician or physician group.

Any such interest referenced in this paragraph shall be in accordance with federal and state law, specifically, including, but not limited to, chapter 5-48.1.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1982, ch. 261, § 2; P.L. 1986, ch. 534, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 359, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 232, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 465, § 5; P.L. 2003, ch. 133, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 152, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 153, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 215, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 225, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 409, § 1.)