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CHAPTER 468
MISCELLANEOUS PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS

 

PART III
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
(ss. 468.201-468.225)

 

468.201 Short title; purpose.
468.203 Definitions.
468.204 Authority to adopt rules.
468.205 Board of Occupational Therapy Practice.
468.207 License required.
468.209 Requirements for licensure.
468.211 Examination for licensure.
468.213 Licensure by endorsement.
468.215 Issuance of license.
468.217 Denial of or refusal to renew license; suspension and revocation of license and other disciplinary measures.
468.219 Renewal of license; continuing education.
468.221 Fees.
468.223 Prohibitions; penalties.
468.225 Exemptions.
468.201 Short title; purpose.—
(1) This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Occupational Therapy Practice Act.”
(2) It is the purpose of this act to provide for the regulation of persons offering occupational therapy services to the public in order to:
(a) Safeguard the public health, safety, and welfare.
(b) Protect the public from being misled by incompetent, unscrupulous, and unauthorized persons.
(c) Assure the highest degree of professional conduct on the part of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.
(d) Assure the availability of occupational therapy services of high quality to persons in need of such services.
History.—ss. 1, 2, ch. 75-179; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 12, 13, ch. 84-4; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
468.203 Definitions.—As used in this act, the term:
(1) “Association” means the Florida Occupational Therapy Association.
(2) “Board” means the Board of Occupational Therapy Practice.
(3) “Occupational therapist” means a person licensed to practice occupational therapy as defined in this act and whose license is in good standing.
(4) “Occupational therapy” means the use of purposeful activity or interventions to achieve functional outcomes.
(a) For the purposes of this subsection:
1. “Achieving functional outcomes” means to maximize the independence and the maintenance of health of any individual who is limited by a physical injury or illness, a cognitive impairment, a psychosocial dysfunction, a mental illness, a developmental or a learning disability, or an adverse environmental condition.
2. “Assessment” means the use of skilled observation or the administration and interpretation of standardized or nonstandardized tests and measurements to identify areas for occupational therapy services.
(b) Occupational therapy services include, but are not limited to:
1. The assessment, treatment, and education of or consultation with the individual, family, or other persons.
2. Interventions directed toward developing daily living skills, work readiness or work performance, play skills or leisure capacities, or enhancing educational performance skills.
3. Providing for the development of: sensory-motor, perceptual, or neuromuscular functioning; range of motion; or emotional, motivational, cognitive, or psychosocial components of performance.

These services may require assessment of the need for use of interventions such as the design, development, adaptation, application, or training in the use of assistive technology devices; the design, fabrication, or application of rehabilitative technology such as selected orthotic devices; training in the use of assistive technology; orthotic or prosthetic devices; the application of physical agent modalities as an adjunct to or in preparation for purposeful activity; the use of ergonomic principles; the adaptation of environments and processes to enhance functional performance; or the promotion of health and wellness.

(c) The use of devices subject to 21 C.F.R. s. 801.109 and identified by the board is expressly prohibited except by an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant who has received training as specified by the board. The board shall adopt rules to carry out the purpose of this provision.
(5) “Occupational therapy aide” means a person who assists in the practice of occupational therapy, who works under the direct supervision of a licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant, and whose activities require a general understanding of occupational therapy pursuant to board rules.
(6) “Occupational therapy assistant” means a person licensed to assist in the practice of occupational therapy, who works under the supervision of an occupational therapist, and whose license is in good standing.
(7) “Person” means any individual, partnership, unincorporated organization, or corporate body, except that only an individual may be licensed under this act.
(8) “Supervision” means responsible supervision and control, with the licensed occupational therapist providing both initial direction in developing a plan of treatment and periodic inspection of the actual implementation of the plan. Such plan of treatment shall not be altered by the supervised individual without prior consultation with, and the approval of, the supervising occupational therapist. The supervising occupational therapist need not always be physically present or on the premises when the assistant is performing services; however, except in cases of emergency, supervision shall require the availability of the supervising occupational therapist for consultation with and direction of the supervised individual.
History.—s. 3, ch. 75-179; s. 1, ch. 78-18; s. 333, ch. 81-259; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 12, 13, ch. 84-4; s. 1, ch. 90-22; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 107, ch. 92-149; s. 123, ch. 97-264.
468.204 Authority to adopt rules.—The board has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this part conferring duties upon it.
History.—ss. 2, 13, ch. 84-4; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 133, ch. 98-200.
468.205 Board of Occupational Therapy Practice.
(1) There is created within the department the Board of Occupational Therapy Practice, composed of seven members appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate.
(2) Four members shall be licensed occupational therapists in good standing in this state who are residents of this state and have been engaged in the practice of occupational therapy for at least 4 years immediately prior to their appointment. One member shall be a licensed occupational therapy assistant in good standing in this state who is a resident of the state and has been engaged in the practice of occupational therapy for at least 4 years immediately prior to the appointment. Two members shall be consumers who are residents of the state who are not connected with the practice of occupational therapy.
(3) Within 90 days after the effective date of this act, the Governor shall appoint the board as follows:
(a) Two members for terms of 2 years each.
(b) Two members for terms of 3 years each.
(c) Three members for terms of 4 years each.
(4) As the terms of the members expire, the Governor shall appoint successors for terms of 4 years and such members shall serve until their successors are appointed.
(5) All provisions of chapter 456 relating to activities of the board shall apply.
History.—s. 6, ch. 75-179; s. 171, ch. 77-104; s. 2, ch. 81-318; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; ss. 3, 12, 13, ch. 84-4; s. 2, ch. 90-22; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 124, ch. 97-264; s. 82, ch. 98-166; s. 140, ch. 2000-160.
468.207 License required.—No person shall practice occupational therapy or hold himself or herself out as an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant or as being able to practice occupational therapy or to render occupational therapy services in the state unless he or she is licensed in accordance with the provisions of this act.
History.—s. 4, ch. 75-179; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 12, 13, ch. 84-4; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 276, ch. 97-103.
468.209 Requirements for licensure.—
(1) An applicant applying for a license as an occupational therapist or as an occupational therapy assistant shall file a written application, accompanied by the application for licensure fee prescribed in s. 468.221, on forms provided by the department, showing to the satisfaction of the board that she or he:
(a) Is of good moral character.
(b) Has successfully completed the academic requirements of an educational program in occupational therapy recognized by the board, with concentration in biologic or physical science, psychology, and sociology, and with education in selected manual skills. Such a program shall be accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, or its successor.
(c) Has successfully completed a period of supervised fieldwork experience at a recognized educational institution or a training program approved by the educational institution where she or he met the academic requirements. For an occupational therapist, a minimum of 6 months of supervised fieldwork experience is required. For an occupational therapy assistant, a minimum of 2 months of supervised fieldwork experience is required.
(d) Has passed an examination conducted or adopted by the board as provided in s. 468.211.
(2) An applicant who has practiced as a state-licensed or American Occupational Therapy Association-certified occupational therapy assistant for 4 years and who, prior to January 24, 1988, completed a minimum of 6 months of supervised occupational-therapist-level fieldwork experience may take the examination to be licensed as an occupational therapist without meeting the educational requirements for occupational therapists made otherwise applicable under paragraph (1)(b).
(3) If the board determines that an applicant is qualified to be licensed by endorsement under s. 468.213, the board may issue the applicant a temporary permit to practice occupational therapy until the next board meeting at which license applications are to be considered, but not for a longer period of time. Only one temporary permit by endorsement shall be issued to an applicant, and it shall not be renewable.
(4) If the board determines that the applicant has not passed an examination, which examination is recognized by the board, to determine competence to practice occupational therapy and is not qualified to be licensed by endorsement, but has otherwise met all the requirements of this section and has made application for the next scheduled examination, the board may issue the applicant a temporary permit allowing her or him to practice occupational therapy under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist until notification of the results of the examination. An individual who has passed the examination may continue to practice occupational therapy under her or his temporary permit until the next meeting of the board. An individual who has failed the examination shall not continue to practice occupational therapy under her or his temporary permit; and such permit shall be deemed revoked upon notification to the board of the examination results and the subsequent, immediate notification by the board to the applicant of the revocation. Only one temporary permit by examination shall be issued to an applicant, and it shall not be renewable. However, applicants enrolled in a full-time advanced master’s occupational therapy education program who have completed all requirements for licensure except examination shall, upon written request, be granted a temporary permit valid for 6 months even if that period extends beyond the next examination, provided the applicant has not failed the examination. This permit shall remain valid only while the applicant remains a full-time student and, upon written request, shall be renewed once for an additional 6 months.
(5) An applicant seeking reentry into the profession who has not been in active practice within the last 5 years must, prior to applying for licensure, submit to the board documentation of continuing education as prescribed by rule.
History.—s. 7, ch. 75-179; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 2, ch. 78-18; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 4, 12, 13, ch. 84-4; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 277, ch. 97-103; s. 125, ch. 97-264.
468.211 Examination for licensure.—
(1) Any person applying for licensure shall, in addition to demonstrating his or her eligibility in accordance with the requirements of s. 468.209, make application to the board or the appropriate examining entity for examination, upon a form and in such a manner as the board or the examining entity prescribes. Such application shall be accompanied by the nonrefundable fee prescribed by s. 468.221 or by a fee established by the examining entity. A person who fails an examination may make application for reexamination accompanied by the prescribed fee; such person shall also reapply to the board for licensure in the manner prescribed in s. 468.209.
(2) Each applicant for licensure under this act shall be examined in a manner determined by the board in a written examination to test his or her knowledge of the basic and clinical sciences relating to occupational therapy and occupational therapy theory and practice, including the applicant’s professional skills and judgment in the utilization of occupational therapy techniques and methods, and such other subjects as the board may deem useful to determine the applicant’s fitness to practice. The board shall establish standards for acceptable performance.
(3) Applicants for licensure shall be examined at such times and places and under such supervision as the board may determine. Examinations shall be given at least twice each year at such places within this state as the board may determine, and the board shall give reasonable public notice of such examinations in accordance with its rules at least 60 days prior to their administration and shall notify by mail each individual examination applicant of the time and place of their administration.
(4) The board may, by rule, adopt the use of a national examination in lieu of part or all of the examination required by this section; and a reasonable passing score shall be set by rule of the board.
(5) Applicants may obtain their examination scores and review their papers in accordance with such rules as the board may establish.
(6) If an applicant fails to pass the examination in three attempts, the applicant shall not be eligible for reexamination unless the applicant completes additional education or training requirements prescribed by the board. An applicant who has completed the additional education or training requirements prescribed by the board may take the examination on two more occasions. If the applicant has failed to pass the examination after five attempts, the applicant is no longer eligible to take the examination.
History.—s. 8, ch. 75-179; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 5, 12, 13, ch. 84-4; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 278, ch. 97-103; s. 126, ch. 97-264.
468.213 Licensure by endorsement.
(1) The board may waive the examination and grant a license to any person who presents proof of current certification as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant by a national certifying organization if the board determines the requirements for such certification to be equivalent to the requirements for licensure in this act.
(2) The board may waive the examination and grant a license to any applicant who presents proof of current licensure as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant in another state, the District of Columbia, or any territory or jurisdiction of the United States or foreign national jurisdiction which requires standards for licensure determined by the board to be equivalent to the requirements for licensure in this act.
History.—s. 9, ch. 75-179; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 12, 13, ch. 84-4; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 127, ch. 97-264.
468.215 Issuance of license.—
(1) The board shall issue a license to any person who meets the requirements of this act upon payment of the license fee prescribed.
(2) Any person who is issued a license as an occupational therapist under the terms of this act may use the words “occupational therapist,” “licensed occupational therapist,” or “occupational therapist registered,” or he or she may use the letters “O.T.,” “L.O.T.,” or “O.T.R.,” in connection with his or her name or place of business to denote his or her registration hereunder.
(3) Any person who is issued a license as an occupational therapy assistant under the terms of this act may use the words “occupational therapy assistant,” “licensed occupational therapy assistant,” or “certified occupational therapy assistant,” or he or she may use the letters, “O.T.A.,” “L.O.T.A.,” or “C.O.T.A.,” in connection with his or her name or place of business to denote his or her registration hereunder.
History.—s. 10, ch. 75-179; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 12, 13, ch. 84-4; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 279, ch. 97-103.
468.217 Denial of or refusal to renew license; suspension and revocation of license and other disciplinary measures.
(1) The following acts constitute grounds for denial of a license or disciplinary action, as specified in s. 456.072(2):
(a) Attempting to obtain, obtaining, or renewing a license to practice occupational therapy by bribery, by fraudulent misrepresentation, or through an error of the department or the board.
(b) Having a license to practice occupational therapy revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted against, including the denial of licensure, by the licensing authority of another state, territory, or country.
(c) Being convicted or found guilty, regardless of adjudication, of a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of occupational therapy or to the ability to practice occupational therapy. A plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for the purposes of this part.
(d) False, deceptive, or misleading advertising.
(e) Advertising, practicing, or attempting to practice under a name other than one’s own name.
(f) Failing to report to the department any person who the licensee knows is in violation of this part or of the rules of the department or of the board.
(g) Aiding, assisting, procuring, or advising any unlicensed person to practice occupational therapy contrary to this part or to a rule of the department or the board.
(h) Failing to perform any statutory or legal obligation placed upon a licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.
(i) Making or filing a report which the licensee knows to be false, intentionally or negligently failing to file a report or record required by state or federal law, willfully impeding or obstructing such filing or inducing another person to do so. Such reports or records include only those which are signed in the capacity as a licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.
(j) Paying or receiving any commission, bonus, kickback, or rebate to or from, or engaging in any split-fee arrangement in any form whatsoever with, a physician, organization, agency, or person, either directly or indirectly, for patients referred to providers of health care goods and services, including, but not limited to, hospitals, nursing homes, clinical laboratories, ambulatory surgical centers, or pharmacies. The provisions of this paragraph shall not be construed to prevent an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant from receiving a fee for professional consultation services.
(k) Exercising influence within a patient-therapist relationship for purposes of engaging a patient in sexual activity. A patient is presumed to be incapable of giving free, full, and informed consent to sexual activity with the patient’s occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.
(l) Making deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent representations in the practice of occupational therapy or employing a trick or scheme in the practice of occupational therapy if such scheme or trick fails to conform to the generally prevailing standards of treatment in the occupational therapy community.
(m) Soliciting patients, either personally or through an agent, through the use of fraud, intimidation, undue influence, or a form of overreaching or vexatious conduct. A “solicitation” is any communication which directly or implicitly requests an immediate oral response from the recipient.
(n) Failing to keep written records justifying the course of treatment of the patient, including, but not limited to, patient histories, examination results, and test results.
(o) Exercising influence on the patient or client in such a manner as to exploit the patient or client for financial gain of the licensee or of a third party which includes, but is not limited to, the promoting or selling of services, goods, appliances, or drugs.
(p) Performing professional services which have not been duly authorized by the patient or client, or his or her legal representative, except as provided in s. 768.13.
(q) Gross or repeated malpractice or the failure to practice occupational therapy with that level of care, skill, and treatment which is recognized by a reasonably prudent similar occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant as being acceptable under similar conditions and circumstances.
(r) Performing any procedure which, by the prevailing standards of occupational therapy practice in the community, would constitute experimentation on a human subject without first obtaining full, informed, and written consent.
(s) Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope permitted by law or accepting and performing professional responsibilities which the licensee knows or has reason to know that he or she is not competent to perform.
(t) Being unable to practice occupational therapy with reasonable skill and safety to patients by reason of illness or use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material or as a result of any mental or physical condition. In enforcing this paragraph, the department shall have, upon probable cause, authority to compel an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant to submit to a mental or physical examination by physicians designated by the department. The failure of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant to submit to such examination when so directed constitutes an admission of the allegations against him or her, upon which a default and final order may be entered without the taking of testimony or presentation of evidence, unless the failure was due to circumstances beyond his or her control. An occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant affected under this paragraph shall at reasonable intervals be afforded an opportunity to demonstrate that he or she can resume the competent practice of occupational therapy with reasonable skill and safety to patients. In any proceeding under this paragraph, neither the record of proceedings nor the orders entered by the board shall be used against an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant in any other proceeding.
(u) Delegating professional responsibilities to a person when the licensee who is delegating such responsibilities knows or has reason to know that such person is not qualified by training, experience, or licensure to perform them.
(v) Violating a lawful order of the board or department previously entered in a disciplinary hearing or failing to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena of the department.
(w) Conspiring with another licensee or with any other person to commit an act, or committing an act, which would tend to coerce, intimidate, or preclude another licensee from lawfully advertising his or her services.
(x) Violating any provision of this chapter or chapter 456, or any rules adopted pursuant thereto.
(2) The board may enter an order denying licensure or imposing any of the penalties in s. 456.072(2) against any applicant for licensure or licensee who is found guilty of violating any provision of subsection (1) of this section or who is found guilty of violating any provision of s. 456.072(1).
(3) The board may not reinstate the license of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant, or cause a license to be issued to a person it has deemed unqualified, until such time as the board is satisfied that such person has complied with all the terms and conditions set forth in the final order and is capable of safely engaging in the practice of occupational therapy.
History.—s. 11, ch. 75-179; s. 36, ch. 78-95; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 7, 12, 13, ch. 84-4; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 280, ch. 97-103; s. 39, ch. 2001-277; s. 15, ch. 2005-240.
468.219 Renewal of license; continuing education.—
(1) Licenses issued under this part are subject to biennial renewal as provided in s. 456.004.
(2) The board may by rule prescribe continuing education requirements, not to exceed 30 contact hours biennially, as a condition for renewal of licensure. The program criteria for those requirements must be approved by the board.
History.—s. 12, ch. 75-179; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 8, 12, 13, ch. 84-4; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 194, ch. 94-119; s. 83, ch. 98-166; s. 141, ch. 2000-160.
468.221 Fees.
(1) The board shall prescribe, and publish in the manner established by its rules, fees in amounts determined by the board for the following purposes:
(a) Application for license.
(b) Examination fee.
(c) Initial license fee.
(d) Renewal of active license fee.
(e) Delinquency fee.
(f) Application for inactive license fee.
(g) Renewal of inactive license fee.
(h) Reactivation fee.
(2) Such fees shall be set in such amounts as to reimburse the state, to the extent feasible, for the cost of the services rendered.
History.—s. 13, ch. 75-179; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 9, 12, 13, ch. 84-4; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 195, ch. 94-119.
468.223 Prohibitions; penalties.—
(1) A person may not:
(a) Practice occupational therapy unless such person is licensed pursuant to ss. 468.201-468.225;
(b) Use, in connection with his or her name or place of business, the words “occupational therapist,” “licensed occupational therapist,” “occupational therapist registered,” “occupational therapy assistant,” “licensed occupational therapy assistant,” “certified occupational therapy assistant”; the letters “O.T.,” “L.O.T.,” “O.T.R.,” “O.T.A.,” “L.O.T.A.,” or “C.O.T.A.”; or any other words, letters, abbreviations, or insignia indicating or implying that he or she is an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant or, in any way, orally or in writing, in print or by sign, directly or by implication, to represent himself or herself as an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant unless the person is a holder of a valid license issued pursuant to ss. 468.201-468.225;
(c) Present as his or her own the license of another;
(d) Knowingly give false or forged evidence to the board or a member thereof;
(e) Use or attempt to use a license which has been suspended, revoked, or placed on inactive or delinquent status;
(f) Employ unlicensed persons to engage in the practice of occupational therapy; or
(g) Conceal information relative to any violation of ss. 468.201-468.225.
(2) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.—s. 14, ch. 75-179; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 10, 12, 13, ch. 84-4; s. 3, ch. 90-22; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 196, ch. 94-119; s. 281, ch. 97-103.
468.225 Exemptions.—
(1) Nothing in this act shall be construed as preventing or restricting the practice, services, or activities of:
(a) Any person licensed in this state by any other law from engaging in the profession or occupation for which he or she is licensed.
(b) Any person employed as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant by the United States, if such person provides occupational therapy solely under the direction or control of the organization by which he or she is employed.
(c) Any person pursuing a course of study leading to a degree or certificate in occupational therapy at an accredited or approved educational program, if such activities and services constitute a part of a supervised course of study and if such a person is designated by a title which clearly indicates his or her status as a student or trainee.
(d) Any person fulfilling the supervised fieldwork experience requirements of s. 468.209, if such activities and services constitute a part of the experience necessary to meet the requirements of that section.
(2) No provision of this act shall be construed to prohibit physicians, physician assistants, nurses, physical therapists, osteopathic physicians or surgeons, clinical psychologists, speech-language pathologists, or audiologists from using occupational therapy as a part of or incidental to their profession, when they practice their profession under the statutes applicable to their profession.
History.—s. 5, ch. 75-179; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 12, 13, ch. 84-4; s. 4, ch. 90-22; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 282, ch. 97-103; s. 128, ch. 97-264.

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