AN ACT relative to the occupational therapy practice act.


SPONSORS: Rep. C. McGuire, Merr. 27; Rep. Mooney, Hills. 12; Rep. Cannon, Straf. 12; Rep. B. Boyd, Hills. 12


COMMITTEE: Executive Departments and Administration






This bill revises the statutory definitions relative to the practice of occupational therapy.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Three


AN ACT relative to the occupational therapy practice act.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  Occupational Therapists; Definitions.  RSA 326-C:1 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

326-C:1  Definitions.  In this chapter and RSA 328-F, unless the context otherwise requires:

I.  "Board" means the occupational therapy governing board established in RSA 328-F.

II.  "Occupational therapist" means a person currently licensed to practice occupational therapy in the state of New Hampshire.

III.  "Occupational therapy assistant" means a person currently licensed to assist in the practice of occupational therapy, under the supervision of an occupational therapist, in the state of New Hampshire.

IV.  "Occupational therapy" means the care and services provided by an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant who are licensed pursuant to this chapter.

(a)  Areas of occupation include but are not limited to:

(1)  Activities of daily living, which are the routine activities a person completes to meet their basic health and survival needs;

(2)  Instrumental activities of daily living, which are activities a person completes to live independently and particulate in the community;

(3)  Health management;

(4)  Rest and sleep;

(5)  Education;

(6)  Work;

V.  "Practice of occupational therapy" means the therapeutic use of everyday life occupations and activities with persons, groups, or populations to support occupational performance across their lifespans.  

(a)  Practice of occupational therapy includes but is not limited to:

(1)  Evaluation, analysis, and diagnosis of occupational performance, as well as interventions designed to address occupational performance and engagement in occupations.   

(2)  Assessment of occupations, occupational performance, and engagement which may include client performance skills (motor, process, social interaction), performance patterns (habits, roles, routines, rituals), contexts (environments and personal factors), and client factors (body functions and structures, values, beliefs, and spirituality).

(3)  Identification, development, remediation, or compensation of physical, neuromusculoskeletal, sensory-perceptual, emotional regulation, social interaction, visual, mental, and behavioral skills; cognitive functions; pain and pain management; praxis and developmental skills to improve or enhance occupational performance and engagement.

(4)  Compensation, modification, or adaptation of occupations, activities, performance patterns, and contexts, including the application of universal design and ergonomic principles to improve or enhance occupational performance and engagement.

(5)  Habilitation, rehabilitation, and the promotion of physical and mental health and wellness for clients with all levels of ability-related needs.  This includes occupational skills or performance abilities and patterns that are impaired, in decline, at risk of decline or impairment, or have not yet developed.

(6)  Health promotion, injury and disease management, and disability prevention through the identification and remediation of client skills, habits, roles, routines as well as current or potential contextual barriers impacting occupational performance and engagement.

(7)  Therapeutic exercises, including tasks and methods to increase motion, strength, endurance, and enhance healthy routines to support occupational performance and engagement.

(8)  Assessment, design, fabrication, application, fitting and training in seating and positioning, assistive technology, adaptive devices and orthotic devices, and training in the use of prosthetic devices.

(9)  Application of physical agent and mechanical modalities and use of a range specific therapeutic procedures (eg., wound care management; techniques to enhance sensory, motor, perpetual, and cognitive processing; manual therapy techniques) to enhance occupational performance and engagement.

(10)  Education and training of persons, including family members, caregivers, groups, populations to address occupational performance and engagement.

(11)  Consultative services to persons, groups, populations, programs, organizations and communities to address occupational performance and engagement.

(12)  Advocacy directed toward promoting opportunities for occupational performance and engagement that empower clients to seek and obtain resources to fully participate in their everyday life occupations.

(13)  Care coordination, case management, and transition services.

VI.  Occupational performance refers to the way occupations and related activities are completed in everyday life.

2  Examination and Treatment Authorization.  RSA 326-C:2 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

326-C:2  Evaluation and Treatment Authorization.  Occupational therapy services can be provided without a referral, subject to regulatory and payer requirements.


3  Reference Corrected; Allied Health Professionals; Definitions.  Amend RSA 328-F:2 VI to read as follows:

VI.  "Occupational therapy" means "occupational therapy" as defined in RSA 326-C:1, [III] IV.

4  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.