Physical Therapy License Defense in Texas

Top Physical Therapist License Defense Lawyers in Austin and Houston, TX

physical therapist license defense texas

Obtaining a physical therapist license is not an easy process. Physical therapists must put forth significant effort and investments to receive their license. An accusation of misconduct or a criminal record of any kind can put all of this hard work in jeopardy. If you find yourself in this situation, you need a physical therapist license defense lawyer.

At Leichter Law Firm PC, we’re dedicated to representing licensed healthcare professionals like you before your prospective licensing board. We’ve been successful in defending numerous physical therapists in a variety of administrative proceedings and appeals. Our attorneys at Leichter are here to answer your questions about physical therapist license defense and the aspect of healthcare compliance. To discuss your case with our experienced Texas medical license defense team, contact us today by calling 512-495-9995.

What Is the Executive Council of Physical and Occupational Therapy Examiners?

The Executive Council of Physical and Occupational Therapy Examiners (ECPTOTE) consists of both the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners and the Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners. The physical therapy board is a state regulatory agency responsible for overseeing and regulating the practice of physical therapy in Texas.

This board ensures that licensed Texas physical therapists meet the required standards and adhere to ethical and professional conduct. Their key responsibilities include the following.

  • Licensing: The board issues licenses to qualified individuals who meet the educational and examination requirements for practicing physical therapy in the state of Texas.
  • Regulation: The board establishes and enforces regulations and standards for the practice of physical therapy to ensure public safety and the delivery of quality healthcare services.
  • Discipline: The board can investigate complaints and take disciplinary actions against licensed physical therapists or physical therapist assistants who violate laws, rules, or ethical standards.
  • Continuing Education: The board may set requirements for continuing education to ensure that licensed professionals stay current with developments in the field of physical therapy.

What Are the Regulations for Physical Therapists in Texas?

To become a Texas physical therapist, one must meet certain criteria. Applicants who want to be licensed in Texas must:

  • Submit a completed and notarized application with a recent color photograph
  • Pay the application fee
  • Provide documentation of their academic qualifications
  • Submit a completed board jurisprudence exam

Only after an applicant meets the above requirements may they take the exam for the physical therapy license.

The regulations for physical therapists in Texas are established and enforced by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners. These regulations govern the licensing, practice standards, and ethical conduct of physical therapists in the state.

Physical therapists must adhere to the defined scope of practice, which outlines the permissible activities and interventions within the profession. Deviating from the scope of practice may result in disciplinary action by the board.

Licensed physical therapists are expected to adhere to high ethical standards in their professional conduct. Violations of ethical principles, such as engaging in fraudulent practices or unethical behavior, can lead to disciplinary action.

Physical therapists are required to maintain accurate and complete records of patient care, including assessments, interventions, and progress notes. Proper record-keeping is essential for patient care continuity and may be subject to review by the Board.

What Does the Investigation and Disciplinary Process Look Like for Physical Therapists?

physical therapy license defense austin houston

Most license investigations begin when someone files a complaint with the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners. The general pattern for investigations and disciplinary procedures includes the following.

Investigation Stage: After receiving a complaint, the Board determines whether or not the complaint has any weight through an investigation. They may ask the PT named in the complaint to respond to the charges, request documents, conduct visits, interview witnesses, and more.

Consent Orders: If the Board finds considerable evidence that the complaint was justified, they may offer to negotiate a consent form. A consent form is an agreement in which the accused PT admits to the charges and submits themselves to disciplinary action to avoid a hearing.

Administrative Hearings: Sometimes, the Board may not offer consent forms. In this case, or if the accused physical therapist refuses the consent order, a formal hearing occurs. During this stage, the accused will present their defense to the Board.

Board Actions: After the hearing, the Board makes their final decision about the physical therapist’s guilt or innocence. If they determine the PT is guilty, they decide on the appropriate disciplinary action.

Appeals: If a physical therapist believes that the Board was unfair in its decision or operated against procedure, they may appeal the decision to an appellate court.

What Are the Potential Outcomes of Disciplinary Actions?

Many physical therapists fear losing their license to practice if they are found guilty of the charges in the initial complaint. While this is certainly one of the worst outcomes, it is not the only possible outcome. Other potential outcomes include the following.

  • Temporary license suspensions
  • Restrictions on the scope of practice
  • Fines
  • Formal reprimands
  • Treatment programs as alternatives to discipline

Healthcare Compliance Requirements

It is required that healthcare organizations identify all regulations and standards that apply to their area of practice. Each state has its own set of laws, regulations, and policies that relate to health and patient care. Each state must follow both their state’s regulations and federal laws in order to maintain their professional license. In the state of Texas, fees, architectural and life safety code approval, initial on-site surveys, and application reviews are all necessary measures that must be taken to retain medical licenses.

Due to the complexity of the nature of healthcare compliance and regulations, it is important to have a compliance lawyer who can implement and regularly update these policies as needed.

Physical Therapist License Defense FAQs

You might hear a physical therapist license defense lawyer referred to as a compliance lawyer. The purpose of a compliance lawyer is to serve as the representative of a company’s ethics and compliance program. They ensure that the company uses due diligence and maintains a sense of integrity within their operations. They do so to protect the company against legal risk and potential lawsuits.

A compliance lawyer for a physical therapist will develop a standard of ethics and compliance policies that meet all the necessary requirements. Once these ethics have been created and documented, they will manage risk training on all compliance-related issues. The compliance lawyer will then seek to implement and maintain this code of ethics within the workplace. They often work alongside the human resources department and senior management in enforcing these policies.

In the case of an investigation or audit, the lawyer will also be responsible for handling legal support and defense. Their job is to evaluate the violation and respond to it through remedial action protocols.

In a high-risk industry such as healthcare, compliance is necessary. It requires that employees follow any rules, regulations, laws, and policies that relate to their practices. Healthcare compliance covers a broad area of practices and policies. This includes (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Patient billing
  • Reimbursement
  • Patient care
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • HIPAA privacy and security
  • Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
  • Managed care contracting

Though any of these could become a problem in healthcare compliance, the majority of issues that arise have to do with patient safety, privacy and patient billing practices.

There are several different government agencies that regulate healthcare compliance. Each focuses on its own area of control. For example, agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services focus on protecting healthcare programs from things like fraud, waste, or abuse. The Drug Enforcement Administration enforces laws that pertain to controlled substances and how to properly administer them.

Every organization or provider in the field of healthcare must adhere to a compliance program. A larger organization will need a compliance program that reflects their size. It must involve a large group of diverse individuals with many different disciplines. Some organizations might have as many as several hundreds of individuals within their program.

While in a smaller practice area, like a private or solo practice, physicians might not need nearly as large of a compliance program, but they need one just the same.

Healthcare compliance is always required, and it’s always changing. Organizations must remain up-to-date on any new laws, regulations, or professional standards in their field. Both federal and state healthcare laws are constantly changing, as well as the way we interpret those laws. Healthcare workers must constantly review and update their program if necessary. With these updates should also come continuous training to ensure each staff member is aware of new and changing regulations. They must also audit their performances routinely to make certain that they’re meeting these standards.

Every organization relating to healthcare must follow the compliance rules set in place to operate efficiently and effectively. This especially applies to physical therapy. The stakes in areas like this are much higher than in other industries because a deviation from procedure could result in serious injury to a patient.

Patient care is based on healthcare compliance, which is based on appropriate and current clinical standards. Healthcare compliance protects patients from injuries that might result from broken protocol.

Healthcare compliance isn’t just about protecting the patients, though. It is also about protecting doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Complying with the standards set in place helps these professionals work in a safe manner while continuously improving the quality of their care. Violation of these standards and regulations can bring about lawsuits, large fines, or even the loss of a professional license.

Government agencies are in charge of punishing organizations and providers for not complying with set standards. Having a good healthcare compliance system in place can help identify any problems and quickly find solutions before the need for the government to step in. It can also help providers avoid liability for medical malpractice suits. By ensuring that medical professionals are following the current clinical standards to the best of their ability, they are less likely to come under fire for malpractice claims.

What Should You Do If You Face a Complaint Against Your Physical Therapy License?

texas physical therapist license defense attorney

If you are a physical therapist facing a complaint against your license, it is crucial to take immediate and strategic action to protect your professional standing and reputation. One of the most important steps you can take is to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A Texas license defense lawyer can provide guidance on navigating the complaint process, understanding your rights, and formulating an effective defense strategy.

Refrain from providing statements or responses to the licensing board or investigators without consulting your attorney. Anything you say or submit can be used against you, and legal counsel can help you respond appropriately and protect your interests.

Work with your attorney to gather all relevant documents, records, and evidence related to the complaint. Having a comprehensive understanding of the facts will aid in building a strong defense.

Carefully review the details of the complaint with your attorney. Understanding the specific allegations and any supporting evidence is essential for formulating an effective defense strategy.

Collaborate with your attorney to develop a robust defense strategy tailored to the circumstances of your case. This may involve challenging the validity of the complaint, presenting evidence in your favor, or negotiating a resolution with the licensing board.

Contact A Physical Therapy License Defense Lawyer Today

If you’re a physical therapist and you need a license defense (or compliance) lawyer, you need Leichter. The dedicated Texas attorneys of the Leichter Law Firm have years of combined experience in handling a variety of license defense cases. Malpractice suits, litigation, and the everchanging compliance policies in the healthcare arena have created stricter licensing guidelines and disciplinary procedures for licensees.

Whether you are facing initial licensing concerns or are the subject of a disciplinary action or misconduct investigation, we’ll advocate for you. Request your free initial consultation today by calling 512-495-9995.

Get in Touch

Office Locations

Austin Office

1602 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78702
Phone: (512) 495-9995
Get Directions

Houston Office

3700 N Main St
Houston, TX 77009
Phone: (713) 714-2446
Get Directions

McAllen Office

214 N 16th St #128
McAllen, TX 78501
Phone: (956) 205-0884
Get Directions