Senate Passes Measure in Support of Occupational Therapy

Kenneth P. LaValle

June 29, 2010

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.”