Eight Down, Two to Go: Kentucky Becomes 8th State to Join Physical Therapy Licensure Compact

28 Mar 2017

Earlier this month, Kentucky governor Matt Bevin signed a bill which added the Commonwealth to the State Compact for Physical Therapy.  A state licensure compact allows PTs and PTAs who are licensed in a compact state to practice in another compact state without having to go through the process of applying for licensure.  Kentucky is the 8th state to enter the compact, which will become effective once ten states have passed compact legislation. Other states which have already passed compact legislation include Arizona, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon and Tennessee.

The purpose of the interstate compact is to reduce regulatory barriers to interstate mobility and cross-state practice for PTs and PTAs in order to increase consumer access to physical therapy services.  Any therapist who has moved to a different state or who maintains licensure in multiple states appreciates how complicated and slow that exercise can be.  In addition to being a complex process for the clinician, it can also delay the ability for patients to access care while a PT or PTA is awaiting licensure.

Once the compact is effective, PTs or PTAs with an active license in a compact state which is the primary state of residence and a clean disciplinary record for at least two years would apply to a “compact commission”, pay a fee online, and, pending the commission’s review, receive a “compact privilege” to practice in any of the compact states the clinician has selected. The state licensure boards in the compact would be notified that the clinician has received the privilege.  The PT or PTA must comply with each state’s practice act when practicing in that state.  However, CE and renewal requirements would only have to be met for the “home” state.

Compact legislation has passed at least one chamber in New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Washington.  Other states which have introduced compact legislation include Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Texas.  More information on the state licensure compact for physical therapy can be found on The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy’s website: https://www.fsbpt.org/FreeResources/PhysicalTherapyLicensureCompact.aspx.