"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Creeping Corporate Physical Therapy in California

Business interests in California are prevailing over consumer protection.

New legislation has now passed in two committees to add physical therapists to the list of professionals allowed to be employed by non-professionals.

As of April 5th, AB 783 (Hayashi Bill) has now passed, unanimously in both cases in the Assembly of Business and Professions and the Assembly of Business, Professions and Consumer protection.

The new legislation will circumvent the intention of California's Moscone-Knox Professional Corporations Law that passed in 2003, which is to protect the actions of professional from being corrupted by corporate business interests, primarily motivated by profit.

The main corporate business interest employing physical therapists is physicians, podiatrists and chiropractors.

Until now, California has been viewed as having one of the stronger professional corporations laws in the country.

The Hayashi Bill reads, in part:
"Existing law regulating professional corporations provides that certain healing arts practitioners may be shareholders, officers, directors, or professional employees of a medical corporation, podiatric medical corporation, or a chiropractic corporation, subject to certain limitations.

This bill would add licensed physical therapists and licensed occupational therapists to the list of healing arts practitioners who may be shareholders, officers, directors, or professional employees of those corporations."
There is heated debate on both sides of this issue: physicians affirm their right to practice medicine, including physical therapy, within their professional license.

Physical therapists oppose AB 783 mainly as an issue of costs - physicans who own their own physical therapy clinics drive up service volume by 30% and reimbursement by 40%.

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Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

Bulletproof Expert Systems: Clinical Decision Support for Physical Therapists in the Outpatient Setting is a manager's workbook with stories, checklists, charts, graphs, tables, and templates describing how you can use paper-based or computerized tools to improve your clinic's Medicare compliance, process adherence and patient outcomes.

Tim has implemented a computerized Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system in his clinic since 2006 that serves as a Reminder, Alerting, Prompting and Predicting CDS using evidence-based tests and measures.

Tim can be reached at
TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

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American Physical Therapy Association

American Physical Therapy Association
Consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020, the American Physical Therapy Association supports exclusive physical therapist ownership and operation of physical therapy services.