Defines occupational therapy assistant and provides requirements for a license as an occupational therapy assistant.
BILL NUMBER: S4538
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the education law, in relation to the profession of occupational therapy
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : The bill amends Article 156 of Title VIII of the education law, regarding occupational therapy. The licensing and regulation of occupational therapy practice was established in 1975. At the time of initial licensure, occupational therapy was primarily a hospital, nursing home and psychiatric hospital based profession. Since that time, the profession has grown dramatically, especially in early intervention with developmental delays, and in special education and school-based practice. Occupational therapy is now a large rehabilitation profession providing services to all ages and in a wide variety of settings, including private practice.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : Section 1 amends article 156 of the education law as follows:
Section 7901 amends the definition of occupational therapy to more accurately reflect current educational requirements and to clarify that occupational therapy practitioners may provide consultation on wellness and prevention services. Occupational therapy for non-medical conditions, as defined by commissioner's regulations, may be provided without a prescription or referral.
A new Section 7902-a is added to define an occupational therapy assistant and who may use the title. The section also defines the client related services that may be provided by an occupational therapy assistant.
A new Section 7902-b is added to require supervision of occupational therapy assistants by licensed occupational therapists
Section 7903 is amended to remove the physician and hospital administrator from the state board and add an occupational therapy assistant and two public members who are not licensed under Title VIII.
A new section 7904-a is added to set forth the requirements for a license as an occupational therapy assistant.
Section 7905 is amended to allow an individual with a limited permit to practice as an occupational therapist or occupation therapy assistant for a full year, under direct supervision, while attempting to pass the licensure exam. At present, a limited permit becomes null and void when a permitee fails the licensing exam.
Section 7906 is amended to add an exemption to practice occupational therapy, under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist, for students training to become an occupational therapy assistant.
Section 7907 is a grandfather clause for occupational therapy assistants with a current registration to become licensed without examination.
JUSTIFICATION : Occupational therapy is a natural source of wellness and prevention services since the profession encourages healthy engagement in activities that promote health and a fuller, more productive lifestyle. Occupational therapists currently provide consultation to clients, care-givers, family and organizations. Many occupational therapists have either pursued private practices in wellness and primary prevention services or integrated these interventions into their traditional rehabilitation practice. The State Education Department has established that an occupational therapist may perform an evaluation without a prescription or referral, but treatment may not begin until a prescription is obtained. This bill will allow for treatment of non-medical conditions, as defined by the commissioner of education, without the need for a prescription or referral.
Additionally, this bill proposes to license occupational therapy assistants. When occupational therapists were originally licensed, licensing practitioners with an associate's degree was not well recognized. Occupational therapy assistants are currently allowed to practice through an exemption in the law. By proposing to license occupational therapy assistants, these individuals will become more adequately regulated.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2005-2006 A.3566/S.1084 Referred to Higher Education 2003-2004 A.7104-A/S.6165-A Referred to Higher Education
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : Licensure fees collected by the State Education Department support the regulation of these professionals.
EFFECTIVE DATE : One hundred eighty days after it shall become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 4538 A. 7790 2009-2010 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y April 24, 2009 ___________IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sens. LAVALLE, OPPENHEIMER, DIAZ, MORAHAN, ONORATO, VOLKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. CANESTRARI -- read once and referred to the Committee on Higher Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to the profession of occupational therapy THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Article 156 of title 8 of the education law, as added by chapter 779 of the laws of 1975, section 7901 as amended by chapter 146 of the laws of 1993, section 7903 as amended by chapter 326 of the laws of 1977, subdivision 2 of section 7904 as amended by chapter 161 of the laws of 1978, subdivision 8 of section 7904, subdivision 4 of section 7905 and subdivision 6 of section 7906 as amended by chapter 62 of the laws of 1989, paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 7905 as amended by chapter 396 of the laws of 1977 and subdivision 2 of section 7905 as amended by chapter 173 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows: ARTICLE 156 OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY Section 7900. Introduction. 7901. Definition. 7902. Practice of occupational therapy and use of title "occu- pational therapist". 7902-A. DEFINITION OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT AND USE OF THE TITLE "OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT." 7902-B. SUPERVISION OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANTS. 7903. State board for occupational therapy.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD07948-02-9 S. 4538 2 A. 7790
7904. Requirements for a professional license AS AN OCCUPA- TIONAL THERAPIST. 7904-A. REQUIREMENTS FOR A LICENSE AS AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT. 7905. Limited permits. 7906. Exempt persons. 7907. Special conditions. S 7900. Introduction. This article applies to the profession of occu- pational therapy. The general provisions for all professions contained in article one hundred thirty of this title apply to this article. S 7901. Definition. The practice of the profession of occupational therapy is defined as the functional evaluation of the client
[and], the planning and utilization of a program of purposeful activities [to], THE DEVELOPMENT AND UTILIZATION OF A TREATMENT PROGRAM, AND/OR CONSULTATION WITH THE CLIENT, FAMILY, CAREGIVER OR ORGANIZATION IN ORDER TO RESTORE, develop or maintain adaptive skills, AND/OR PERFORMANCE ABILITIES designed to achieve maximal physical, COGNITIVE and mental functioning of the [patient in]CLIENT ASSOCIATED WITH his or her ACTIVITIES OF DAILY LIVING AND daily life tasks, TO PREVENT ACTIVITY LIMITATION OR PARTICIPATION RESTRICTION, OR TO PROMOTE HEALTH AND WELLNESS. Such treatment program, WHEN PROVIDED FOR A MEDICAL CONDITION, shall be rendered on the prescription or referral of a physician [or], nurse practitioner OR REFERRAL OF AN OPTOMETRIST. OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY FOR NON-MEDICAL CONDITIONS AS DEFINED BY THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS MAY BE PROVIDED WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION OR REFERRAL. However, nothing contained in this article shall be construed to permit any licensee hereunder to practice medicine or psychology, including psychotherapy. S 7902. Practice of occupational therapy and use of title "occupa- tional therapist". Only a person licensed or otherwise authorized to practice under this article shall practice occupational therapy or use the title "occupational therapist". S 7902-A. DEFINITION OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT AND USE OF THE TITLE "OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT." (1) AN "OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT" MEANS A PERSON LICENSED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS ARTICLE WHO PROVIDES OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SERVICES WITH THE SUPERVISION OF A LICENSED OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST AND PERFORMS CLIENT RELATED ACTIVITIES AS ARE ASSIGNED BY THE SUPERVISING OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST. ONLY A PERSON LICENSED OR OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS ARTICLE SHALL PARTIC- IPATE IN THE PRACTICE OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY AS AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT AND ONLY A PERSON LICENSED UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL USE THE TITLE "OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT". (2) CLIENT RELATED SERVICES PROVIDED BY OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSIST- ANTS SHALL BE DEFINED AS: (A) CONTRIBUTING TO THE EVALUATION OF A CLIENT BY GATHERING DATA, REPORTING OBSERVATIONS AND IMPLEMENTING ASSESSMENTS DELEGATED BY THE SUPERVISOR; (B) CONSULTING WITH THE SUPERVISING OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST IN ORDER TO ASSIST THE SUPERVISING OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST IN MAKING DETERMINATIONS RELATED TO THE TREATMENT PLAN, MODIFICATION OF CLIENT PROGRAMS OR TERMI- NATION OF A CLIENT'S TREATMENT; (C) THE UTILIZATION OF A PROGRAM OF PURPOSEFUL ACTIVITIES, A TREATMENT PROGRAM, AND/OR CONSULTATION WITH THE CLIENT, FAMILY, CAREGIVER, OR OTHER HEALTH CARE OR EDUCATION PROVIDERS, IN KEEPING WITH THE TREATMENT PLAN AND THE DIRECTION OF THE SUPERVISING OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST; (D) THE USE OF TREATMENT MODALITIES AND TECHNIQUES THAT ARE BASED ON APPROACHES TAUGHT IN AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT EDUCATIONALS. 4538 3 A. 7790
PROGRAM APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT, AND THAT THE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT HAS DEMONSTRATED TO THE SUPERVISING OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST THAT HE OR SHE IS COMPETENT IN USING; OR (E) IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION OF ANY TREATMENT INTERVENTION THAT APPEARS HARMFUL TO THE CLIENT AND IMMEDIATE NOTIFICATION OF THE SUPERVISING OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST. S 7902-B. SUPERVISION OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANTS. (1) SUPER- VISION OF AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT, AS DEFINED BY COMMISSION- ER'S REGULATIONS, SHALL BE BY A LICENSED OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST. (2) IN NO INSTANCE SHALL ANY PERSON DIRECT AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST TO DELEGATE RESPONSIBILITIES TO AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT THAT MAY BE HARMFUL TO A CLIENT OR DIMINISH THE REASONABLE QUALITY OF CARE OF THAT CLIENT, PROVIDE INADEQUATE SUPERVISION TO AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT, OR DIRECT AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT TO ASSUME CLIENT SERVICE RESPONSIBILITIES THAT ARE NOT APPROVED BY A SUPERVISING OCCUPA- TIONAL THERAPIST. (3) IN NO INSTANCE SHALL THE RATIO OF SUPERVISOR TO OCCUPATIONAL THER- APY ASSISTANT EXCEED ONE TO FOUR. S 7903. State board for occupational therapy. A state board for occu- pational therapy shall be appointed by the board of regents on the recommendation of the commissioner for the purpose of assisting the board of regents and the department on matters of professional licensing and professional conduct in accordance with section sixty-five hundred eight of this title. The board shall be composed of not less than
[seven]EIGHT licensed occupational therapists, [and two additional members who shall include one physician and one member who is primarily and actively engaged in hospital administration. Members of the first board, who are occupational therapists, need not be licensed prior to their appointment to the board]ONE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT, AND TWO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC WHO ARE NOT LICENSED UNDER THIS TITLE. An executive secretary to the board shall be appointed by the board of regents on recommendation of the commissioner. S 7904. Requirements for a professional license AS AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST. To qualify for a license as an occupational therapist, an applicant shall fulfill the following requirements: (1) File an application with the department. (2) Have satisfactorily completed an approved occupational therapy curriculum in a baccalaureate or masters program, or a certificate program satisfactory to the department which is substantially equivalent to a baccalaureate degree program, in accordance with the [commissioner of education's]COMMISSIONER'S regulations. (3) Have a minimum of six months of supervised occupational therapy experience which supervision and experience shall be satisfactory to the board of occupational therapy and in accordance with the commissioner's regulations. (4) Pass an examination satisfactory to the board of occupational therapy and in accordance with the commissioner's regulations. (5) Be at least twenty-one years of age. (6) Meet no requirements as to United States citizenship. (7) Be of good moral character as determined by the department. (8) [Fees: pay]PAY a fee of one hundred forty dollars to the depart- ment for admission to a department conducted examination and for an initial license, a fee of seventy dollars for each re-examination, a fee of one hundred fifteen dollars for an initial license for persons not requiring admission to a department conducted examination, and a fee of one hundred fifty-five dollars for each triennial registration period.S. 4538 4 A. 7790
S 7904-A. REQUIREMENTS FOR A LICENSE AS AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT. TO QUALIFY FOR A LICENSE AS AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSIST- ANT, AN APPLICANT SHALL FULFILL THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS: (1) FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT; (2) HAVE RECEIVED AN EDUCATION INCLUDING COMPLETION OF AN ACCREDITED TWO-YEAR COLLEGE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT PROGRAM OR EQUIVALENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS; (3) HAVE A MINIMUM OF THREE MONTHS CLINICAL EXPERIENCE SATISFACTORY TO THE STATE BOARD FOR OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS; (4) BE AT LEAST EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE; (5) BE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT; (6) MEET NO REQUIREMENTS AS TO UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP; (7) ALL OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANTS SHALL REGISTER TRIENNIALLY WITH THE DEPARTMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS; (8) PAY A FEE FOR AN INITIAL LICENSE OF FORTY-FIVE DOLLARS, AND A FEE OF FIFTY DOLLARS FOR EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION PERIOD; AND (9) PASS AN EXAMINATION ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT. S 7905. Limited permits. Permits limited as to eligibility, practice, and duration, shall be issued by the department to eligible applicants, as follows: (1) The following persons shall be eligible for a limited permit: (a) An occupational therapist who has graduated from an occupational therapy curriculum with a baccalaureate degree or certificate in occupa- tional therapy which is substantially equivalent to a baccalaureate degree satisfactory to the board of occupational therapy and in accord- ance with the commissioner's regulations; or (b) A foreign occupational therapist who is in this country on a non- immigration visa for the continuation of occupational therapy study, pursuant to the exchange student program of the United States Department of State; OR (C) AN INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS GRADUATED FROM AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT CURRICULUM WITH AN ASSOCIATES DEGREE OR CERTIFICATE IN OCCUPA- TIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT WHICH IS SUBSTANTIALLY EQUIVALENT TO AN ASSOCI- ATES DEGREE SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS. (2) A LIMITED permittee shall be authorized to practice occupational therapy only under the DIRECT supervision of a licensed occupational therapist
[or a licensed physician and shall practice only in a public, voluntary, or proprietary hospital, health care agency or in a preschool or an elementary or secondary school for the purpose of providing occu- pational therapy as a related service for a handicapped child]. (A) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, SUPERVISION OF AN INDIVIDUAL WITH A LIMITED PERMIT TO PRACTICE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT SHALL BE DIRECT SUPERVISION AS DEFINED BY THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS. (B) SUPERVISION OF AN INDIVIDUAL WITH A LIMITED PERMIT ISSUED TO PRAC- TICE AS AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT, SHALL BE DIRECT SUPERVISION BY A LICENSED OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST AS DEFINED BY THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS. (3) A limited permit shall be valid for one year. It may be renewed once for a period not to exceed one additional year, at the discretion of the department, upon the submission of an explanation satisfactory to the department for an applicant's failure to become licensed within the original one-year period. [A limited permit shall become null and void if and when the holder thereof fails to pass a licensing examination.]S. 4538 5 A. 7790
(4) The fee for a limited permit shall be seventy dollars FOR A GRADU- ATE OF AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PROGRAM AND FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR A GRADUATE OF AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT PROGRAM. S 7906. Exempt persons. This article shall not be construed to affect or prevent the following, provided that no title, sign, card or device shall be used in such manner as to tend to convey the impression that the person rendering such service is a licensed occupational therapist OR A LICENSED OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT: (1) A licensed physician from practicing his OR HER profession as defined under article one hundred thirty-one and article one hundred
[thirty-one-A, as added by chapter eleven hundred thirty-five of the laws of nineteen hundred seventy-one, respectively]THIRTY-ONE-B OF THIS TITLE. (2) Qualified members of other licensed or legally recognized professions from performing work incidental to the practice of their profession, except that such persons may not hold themselves out under the title occupational therapist OR UNDER THE TITLE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT or as performing occupational therapy. (3) A student from engaging in clinical practice as part of an accred- ited program in occupational therapy, pursuant to subdivision three of section seventy-nine hundred four of this article. (4) AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT STUDENT FROM ENGAGING IN CLIN- ICAL PRACTICE UNDER THE DIRECT SUPERVISION OF AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST AS PART OF AN ACCREDITED OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT PROGRAM, PURSU- ANT TO SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION SEVENTY-NINE HUNDRED FOUR-A OF THIS ARTICLE, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS. NOTWITH- STANDING ANYTHING TO THE CONTRARY IN THIS SECTION, AN OCCUPATIONAL THER- APY ASSISTANT STUDENT SHALL BE PERMITTED TO WORK WITH AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST. (5) The care of the sick by any person, provided such person is employed primarily in a domestic capacity. This shall not authorize the treatment of patients in a home care service of any hospital, clinic, institution or agency. [(5)](6) An employee of a federal agency from using the title [of]OR practicing as an occupational therapist insofar as such activities are required by his salaried position and the use of such title shall be limited to such employment. [(6) The following people from working under the direct supervision of a licensed occupational therapist or a licensed physician: Occupational therapy assistants certified by the commissioner as having successfully completed a program for occupational therapy assist- ants in accordance with the commissioner's regulations. However, in the case of those working under a licensed physician such exemption shall apply only in a public, voluntary or proprietary hospital or health or home care agency. All such certified occupational therapy assistants shall register with the education department in accordance with regu- lations of the commissioner. The fee for such certification shall be forty-five dollars. The registration fee shall be fifty dollars for each triennial registration period.](7) [The following people from working under the direct supervision of a licensed occupational therapist:]An individual employed by the state or municipal government at the effective date of this [act]ARTICLE who performs supportive services in occupational therapy solely for the time such person continues in that employment AND UNDER THE DIRECT SUPERVISION OF AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST.S. 4538 6 A. 7790
(8) Any occupational therapist who is licensed in another state, United States possession or country or who has received at least a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in occupational therapy and who is either in this state for the purposes of (a) consultation, provided such practice is limited to such consultation; or (b) an occupational therapist authorized to practice in another state or country from conducting a teaching clinical demonstration in connection with a program of basic clinical education, graduate education or post graduate education in an approved school of occupational therapy or its affil- iated clinical facility or health care agency or before a group of licensed occupational therapists; or (c) because he OR SHE resides near a border of this state, provided such practice is limited in this state to the vicinity of such border and said occupational therapist does not maintain an office or place to meet patients or receive calls in this state. S 7907. Special conditions. A person who on the effective date of this
[act]ARTICLE: (1) submits evidence of a minimum of three years experience with training satisfactory to the board in occupational therapy and in accordance with the regulations of the commissioner; or (2) a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in occupational therapy, shall be licensed upon the filing of an application with the department [of education]within six months of the effective date of this [act]ARTICLE. (3) HAS A CURRENT REGISTRATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT AS AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT, IF SUCH PERSON MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A LICENSE ESTABLISHED WITHIN THIS ARTICLE, EXCEPT FOR EXAMINATION, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL LICENSE WITHOUT EXAMINATION. S 2. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi- sion, section or part contained in any part of this act shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, para- graph, subdivision, section or part contained in any part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the legislature that this act would have been enacted even if such invalid provisions had not been included herein. S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, the commissioner of education and the board of regents are authorized, prior to such effec- tive date, to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the timely implementation of this act.