Q: What is the physical therapy license compact? How does it affect travel physical therapy?
A: Essentially, a compact is a contract between a group of two or more states creating an agreement on a particular policy or issue. All states in the compact work together to establish rules, regulations, guidelines, and standards on said policy.
An example of a compact in healthcare is the nursing compact, which allows nurses to work in all states in the compact as long their home state license is one of those states.
Simply put, the nursing compact revolutionized travel nursing. The physical therapy compact will do the same for travel therapy!
In 2017, the physical therapy compact legislation officially passed in the 10 states initially required to start the compact. It now includes 21 states and one that has introduced legislation to join. (See an interactive map here).
In order to work in the states in the compact, you must obtain a “compact privilege.” Basically, that is an authorization to work in another member state in the compact. To get the privilege, you must have a license in your home state (which has to be in the compact) and meet other requirements. For example, you must not have any disciplinary action against your license within the past 2 years.
As of October 1st, there are 5 states that are issuing compact privileges. Those states include Missouri, Tennessee, North Dakota, Mississippi, Oregon, and Utah.
For more information about the PT license compact, visit this website.
Ps. Unfortunately, there is no legislation passed for an OT or SLP compact. If you would like to help start the initiative, contact your representatives!
source: fsbpt.org and ptcompact.org