The California Chapter's fight over Assembly Bill 783 continues to gain media attention, most recently on the KTVU morning news (FOX affiliate) in San Francisco. Despite massive opposition from the California Chapter concerning such physician-owned physical therapy services (POPTS) arrangements, and recent high-profile media coverage, the Assembly passed AB 783 May 12 by a vote of 66-0 (with 12 abstentions). The legislation now will be considered by the state Senate.
Assembly Bill 783, sponsored by Assembly Member Mary Hayashi and strongly supported by the California Medical Association, was introduced on February 17. The legislation would amend the California Business and Professions Code and the California Corporations Code to specifically add licensed PTs to the list of "healing arts practitioners" who may be employees of medical or podiatric medical corporations. The legislation is in response to an opinion issued by the State of California Legislative Counsel in 2010 that stated that based on existing law it is illegal for PTs to be employed by any professional other than naturopaths. In its opinion, the Legislative Counsel confirmed that, because the existing California Corporations Code does not specifically include PTs on the list of those who may be employed by a medical corporation, a PT is prohibited from providing physical therapy services as an employee of a medical corporation, podiatric corporation, or chiropractic corporation. This ruling means that PTs in these employment situations may be subject to discipline by the Physical Therapy Board of California.