Occupational Therapy Referrals

Section 34-39-3. Definitions.

In this chapter, the following terms shall have the respective meanings provided in this section unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:

1.  ASSOCIATION. The Alabama Occupational Therapy Association.

2.  BOARD. The Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy.

3.  LICENSE. A valid and current certificate of registration issued by the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy.

4.  OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY. The application of purposeful activity in which one engages for evaluation, treatment, and consultation related to problems interfering with functional performance in persons impaired or threatened by physical illness or injury; psychosocial dysfunction; congenital dysfunction; developmental and learning dysfunction; the aging process; environmental deprivation or anticipated dysfunction; in order to maximize independence, prevent disability, and maintain health. Specific occupational therapy services include, but are not limited to, evaluation techniques such as assessment of sensory motor abilities; assessment of the development of self-care activities and capacity for independence; assessment of the capacity for work readiness and work tasks; assessment of play and leisure performance; and assessment of environmental areas for the handicapped. Specific occupational therapy treatment techniques include activities of daily living (ADL); the design, fabrication, and application of selected splints or orthotics, or both; sensorimotor activities and exercise; the use of specifically designed goal oriented arts and crafts; design, fabrication, selection, and use of adaptive equipment; therapeutic activities, modalities, and exercises to enhance functional performance; work readiness evaluation and training. An occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant is qualified to perform the above activities for which they have received training and any other activities for which appropriate training or education, or both, has been received. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, no occupational therapy treatment programs to be rendered by an occupational therapist, occupational therapy assistant, or occupational therapy aide shall be initiated without the referral of a licensed physician, a licensed chiropractor, a licensed optometrist, or a licensed dentist who shall establish a diagnosis of the condition for which the individual will receive occupational therapy services. In cases of long-term or chronic disease, disability, or dysfunction, or any combination of the foregoing, requiring continued occupational therapy services, the person receiving occupational therapy services shall be reevaluated by a licensed physician, a licensed chiropractor, a licensed optometrist, or a licensed dentist at least annually for confirmation or modification of the diagnosis. Occupational therapists employed by state agencies and those employed by the public schools and colleges of this state who provide screening and rehabilitation services for the educationally related needs of the students are exempt from this referral requirement.

5.  OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST. A person licensed to practice occupational therapy whose license is in good standing.

6.  OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT. A person licensed to assist in the practices of occupational therapy under the supervision of, or with the consultation of, a licensed occupational therapist whose license is in good standing.

7.  OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY AIDE. A person who assists in the delivery of occupational therapy, who works under direct on-site supervision of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant, or both, and whose activities require an understanding of occupational therapy but do not require professional or advanced training in the basic anatomical, biological, psychological, and social sciences involved in the practice of occupational therapy.

8.  PERSON. A human person only, not a legal entity.

9.  WITH THE CONSULTATION OF. The collaboration of two or more persons on a regularly scheduled basis for the purpose of planning, review, or evaluation of occupational therapy services.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-383, p. 515, §3; Acts 1995, No. 95-279, p. 502, §3; Act 99-92, p. 108, §3; Act 2003-62, §3.)

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