Welcome to APTA Pennsylvania, a chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association

APTA Pennsylvania is a chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and represents more than 5,700 dedicated physical therapy professionals and students across the commonwealth. With educational opportunities, networking, and resources for the PT professional, APTA Pennsylvania is committed to fostering advancements in physical therapy practice, research, and education for its members and its community.

NEW: APTA Pennsylvania MovePA Conference Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for APTA PA's 2021 MovePA Annual Conference. Join us Oct. 22-24, 2021, at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA, for an educational experience to help you and over 300 physical therapy professionals continue to move the physical therapy profession forward. Visit the MovePA webpage to view the brochure and register.

NEW! Important Update on Telehealth Waiver Expiration

APTA Pennsylvania Leadership has been receiving numerous inquiries about the expiring telehealth waivers in Pennsylvania. The following represents the best information that the association can provide at this time.

Please know that, as representatives of APTA PA, we are not permitted to provide legal advice or to interpret the Pennsylvania PT Practice Act. What we can do is provide guidance and references to help you make an informed decision. 

There is no easy answer to question about telehealth as a method of practice, as there are many issues that are not specifically addressed. For background, on Aug. 5, 2021, all Pennsylvania licensed physical therapists and certified physical therapist assistants received an email notification from K. Kalonji Johnson, Commissioner of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA), regarding the licensing waivers that will begin to expire in Pennsylvania on Aug. 17, 2021. This action is in response to Act 21 of 2021, legislation passed into law and signed by Governor Wolf on June 11, 2021. One waiver that is expiring on Sept. 30, 2021 is the waiver allowing licensed Health Care Practitioners to provide Telemedicine Services: Specifically, this waiver allowed health care professionals licensed under any of the Department of State’s BPOA licensing boards to provide services to patients via telemedicine during the coronavirus emergency. 

Suspension of the above waiver requires that licensed physical therapists and certified physical therapist assistants must return to abiding by the regulations in the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Practice Act 110 PTM - Physical Therapy Practice Act.pdf (pa.gov) and accompanying regulations in Chapter 40 49 Pa. Code Chapter 40. State Board Of Physical Therapy (pacodeandbulletin.gov) which constitute the jurisdictional or legal scope of practice. APTA defines the Physical Therapist's jurisdictional/legal Scope of Practice | APTA as the scope of physical therapist practice established by the practice act governing the specific physical therapist’s license and the rules adopted pursuant to that act. Unfortunately, these documents in Pennsylvania are both silent on the use of Telehealth, creating a level of uncertainty. However, the original waiver 2020-03-18-Telemedicine-Summary.pdf (pa.gov) issued by the BPOA makes the following, clear statement: 

Currently no Pennsylvania statute...prohibits the practice of telemedicine.”

In addition to the above statement from BPOA, Pennsylvania therapists can find evidence to support the use of telehealth as a method of practice delivery from the Professional Scope of Practice, which APTA defines as “grounded in basic, behavioral, and clinical sciences…supported by education, based on a body of evidence, and linked to existing and emerging practice frameworks. The professional scope of practice evolves in response to innovation, research, collaboration, and changes in societal needs.”

There is a significant amount of information on APTA's Telehealth webpage indicating that telehealth is included in the professional scope as a method of practice delivery. There are numerous articles discussing the use of telehealth, and there is also a certificate course for therapists. 

Be advised that APTA suggests that, In states where the Practice Act is silent on the use of telehealth, as it is in Pennsylvania, you should contact your state licensure board to ensure there are no limitations or restrictions for practicing telehealth. Given limitations on the Pennsylvania State Board of Physical Therapy’s ability to provide an advisory opinion on this issue, APTA-PA continues to assess legislative and regulatory options to clarify the use of telehealth by physical therapists. 

APTA PA encourages member therapists who elect to continue using telehealth, to monitor the Payment Specialist’s Telehealth/E-Visit Quick Reference Guide for updates on which insurers are providing reimbursement for telehealth services.

We will continue to monitor Pennsylvania.gov websites and will inform you of any new information as it becomes known.

We hope this overview provides some guidance for your decision on whether or not to continue to practice via telehealth.

IMPORTANT Request for PTAs:

Medicare Part B Differential: Impact on the PTA | APTA is asking PTAs to comment on this quick, four-question survey. Responses will help APTA's advocacy efforts at CMS and on Capitol Hill!

Important Message to PA Licensed Therapists

6/28/2021: COVID Mitigation Updates

From PA.gov: Responding to COVID-19 | PA.GOV: “COVID-19 mitigation measures have been lifted in Pennsylvania. Businesses and organizations may continue to implement mask policies.
All businesses and individuals are encouraged to follow CDC safety guidance.


Practice Resources

Research Participation Opportunities

Latest News

2021 APTA PA MovePA Conference - Register Today!

View the full conference brochure and register through the MovePA Conference page.

Early bird pricing now available until Oct. 3, 2021!

APTA PA 2021 Centennial Events

Visit the APTA Pennsylvania Centennial site to register for upcoming events, submit your Flat Mollie photo, review the APTA PA timeline, and more!

The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research Opens 2021 Research Grants

The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research (FPTR) is now accepting grant applications for 7 different mechanisms.
Read the application guidelines and instructions on the FPTR website here