Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today announced that legislation he sponsored that would allow Occupational Therapists to treat non-medical conditions and provide for the licensure of Occupational Therapy Assistants has passed the Senate.

According to Senator LaValle, current law allows Occupational Therapists to perform an evaluation of a non-medical condition, but not to treat the condition without a prescription or referral.  The law dates back to when occupational therapy was primarily a hospital, nursing home, and psychiatric based service.  Since that time, the profession has grown and services are provided to people of all ages in a wide variety of settings.  The measure sponsored by Senator LaValle would allow an Occupational Therapist to treat certain non-medical conditions without the need for a prescription or referral.  In addition, the legislation proposes to license Occupational Therapy Assistants so that these professionals would be more adequately regulated.

“Occupational therapy is a highly respected profession and recognized as a valued source of wellness and prevention services,” said Senator LaValle.  “The measure I sponsored would improve Occupational Therapists’ ability to evaluate and treat patients in their mission to promote a healthy and more productive lifestyle.”