AMN Launches Campaign to Help PT Professionals Seeking Multistate Privileges
In the face of growing clinician shortages, AMN Healthcare has announced a new initiative to give healthcare organizations and their patients greater access to high-quality physical therapy services.
In support of this goal, AMN will cover application fees for AMN physical therapists, or PTs, and PT assistants seeking multistate privileges under the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact. The Compact is a state-based initiative dedicated to reducing regulatory barriers to interstate practice for PT professionals.
Three of the Compact’s 21-member states have already begun issuing multistate practice privileges, and more states are expected to come online soon. Each member state must pass legislation to join the PT Compact.
“Multistate privileges for physical therapists can really benefit everybody involved,” said Robin Johnson, Division President, Allied, at AMN Healthcare. “Patients will have greater access to quality care, PTs will have more mobility and new career opportunities, and healthcare organizations can be provided with larger numbers of qualified professionals ¬-- a major advantage in these days of worker shortages.”
PT Compact Simplifies Applications
T.J. Cantwell, the Physical Therapy Compact Commission Administrator at the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, said the Compact makes it possible for PTs to work across state lines, which the physical therapy profession has been interested in for many years. “The question was how we could provide greater access to physical therapy services while also making it easier for PTs to work anywhere in the country,” he said. “The Compact was the best solution.”
Under the Compact system, qualified PTs and PT assistants, whose home state is a Compact participant, can apply for privileges to work in another Compact state without having to secure an additional license. Applicants apply through an online system that verifies their license and other credentials prior to issuing a privilege.
The Compact replaces the traditional system that requires PTs to be separately licensed in each state where they practice -- a time-consuming process that has long hampered their ability to take up residence and begin working in another state or to travel across state lines to provide care. The new application process takes only minutes as compared to weeks or even months under the old system.
Helping Supply Meet Demand
In addition to increasing access, proponents note that PT interstate privileges will allow the provision of electronic or telemedicine services by competent clinicians across state lines. Multistate privileges would help in rural areas, where shortages of all types of therapists are particularly acute and demand for their services is high. AMN data shows that demand is twice as strong relative to supply for rural areas when compared to urban areas.
Multistate compacts are also underway for nurses and physicians. They are part of an evolution in healthcare recognizing the need for greater clinician access and flexibility to meet the nation’s growing and changing patient needs, particularly with the nation’s population becoming older.