Florida Physical Therapists: Stick to What You Know
If you are a licensed physical therapist in the state of Florida, practicing outside the scope of your license can lead to more than lawsuits and criminal penalties: You can lose your license, and with it your ability to earn a living. You can also face up to $8,000 in administrative fines for each offense, and these fines may not be covered by your liability insurance.
If you are a Florida-licensed physical therapist and have received an administrative complaint from the Department of Health (DOH), you are probably concerned about how this may affect your license. To set up a FREE no-obligation consultation with attorney Jeff Howell or attorney Rickey Strong, contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law at 850-877-7776. We represent licensed physical therapists statewide, including out-of-state clients who are concerned about the status of their Florida license.
Sections 486.021(11) and Section 486.125(1)(d), Florida Statutes, prohibit physical therapists from treating patients by means other than physical therapy which is defined as:
the performance of physical therapy assessments and the treatment of any disability, injury, disease, or other health condition of human beings, or the prevention of such disability, injury, disease, or other condition of health, and rehabilitation as related thereto by the use of the physical, chemical, and other properties of air; electricity; exercise; massage; the performance of acupuncture only upon compliance with the criteria set forth by the Board of Medicine, when no penetration of the skin occurs; the use of radiant energy, including ultraviolet, visible, and infrared rays; ultrasound; water; the use of apparatus and equipment in the application of the foregoing or related thereto; the performance of tests of neuromuscular functions as an aid to the diagnosis or treatment of any human condition; or the performance of electromyography as an aid to the diagnosis of any human condition only upon compliance with the criteria set forth by the Board of Medicine.
According to Rule 64B17-7.001(d), Florida Administrative Code, the penalty for even a single violation of this statute is fines in the amount of $1,000 to $5,000 per violation, and a possible one-year suspension of your license, if you have no prior disciplinary history. If you do have a prior history, the penalties include fines in the amount of between $2,000 and $8,000, and suspension or revocation of your license. Your disciplinary history is a matter of public record, and will be viewable by patients and prospective employers.
However, these penalties are not set in stone. The Board of Physical Therapy can take into account any number of aggravating or mitigating factors to increase or lesson the penalties set down in the rules. When you have an experienced health care attorney fighting for you, you stand a much better chance of receiving the lowest possible penalty, and even of getting the complaint against you dismissed.
Contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law at 850-877-7776 to set up your FREE no-obligation consultation with attorney Jeff Howell or attorney Rickey Strong today. DOH has experienced attorneys on its side. So should you!