AOTA Launches Interstate Licensure Compact Initiative

September 5, 2019

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has signed a multi-year contract with the Council of State Governments (CSG) National Center for Interstate Compacts to create an interstate professional licensing compact for occupational therapy. The initiative will improve consumer access to occupational therapy and enhance the exchange of licensure, investigatory, and disciplinary information among states. The goal is to begin state participation by 2024.

“An interstate licensure compact will benefit consumers, states, and the profession of occupational therapy,” said Chuck Willmarth, AOTA Associate Chief Officer, Health Policy and State Affairs. “For example, it will improve job mobility for spouses of relocating military families or practitioners working for travel therapy companies. It will also improve continuity of care for consumers. AOTA is pleased to be spearheading this important initiative.”

Under the current system, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants must be licensed separately in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. This creates an arduous process that limits opportunities, such as offering telehealth services to those in underserved communities in a different state. Similar to a driver’s license, the interstate compact would allow occupational therapy practitioners to maintain licensure in their home state or territory while practicing in others. The Occupational Therapy Interstate Compact must be passed into law in each state where it will apply.

For the most current information about this initiative and to view an implementation timeline, visit https://www.aota.org/Advocacy-Policy/State-Policy/Licensure/Interstate-Professional-Licensing-Compact.aspx.

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