Legislation that would allow the state to recognize additional out-of-state occupational therapist licenses unanimously passed the Virginia Senate on Tuesday.
Senate Bill 1189, sponsored by Sen. Ghazala Hashmi, D-Richmond, would enter Virginia into the Occupational Therapy Interjurisdictional Licensure Compact. All states in the compact would recognize licenses granted by other states in the compact after 10 states enter the agreement. The bill has a delayed effective date of Jan. 1, 2022.
The compact, which has been pushed by the American Occupational Therapy Association, is in its early stages. The association hopes to begin state participation by 2024. According to the association, the compact would improve customer access to occupational therapy, enhance mobility for practitioners and allow therapists to practice across state lines at a time when telehealth is rising.
Under the legislation, a person with an out-of-state license who seeks recognition still would be subject to Virginia’s licensing fees and continuing competence and education requirements when seeking a renewal. A person seeking recognition also would be subject to background checks required by the state before attaining that recognition.
The legislation now heads to the Virginia House for consideration.
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