• Tuesday, June 28, 2011RSS Feed

    California AB 783 Defeated in Senate Business & Profession Committee

    In a major win for patients of physical therapy, California Assembly Bill 783 was defeated on Monday, June 27, during a reconsideration vote in the Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development. The final vote was 3 against, 3 for, and 3 abstentions. The defeat of the legislation in the Senate Committee essentially means that the legislation is "dead" for the year, although there is the possibility that the bill language from AB 783 could be amended onto a different bill in 2012. Such a legislative move would be unlikely, however, given the controversy generated by the bill. The fierce and often heated legislative battle gained the attention of the news media and was the subject of extensive coverage by the NBC affiliate in Los Angeles.

    Assembly Bill 783, sponsored by Assembly Member Mary Hayashi and strongly supported by the California Medical Association and California Podiatric Association, was introduced on February 17. The legislation would have amended the California Business and Professions Code and the California Corporations Code to specifically add licensed physical therapists (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 professionals 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.

    The defeat of AB 783 does not necessarily mean the end of this battle in California. States that have anti-POPTS statutes, such as South Carolina, have had to defend such laws from legislative and legal attempts to repeal them for the past several years.


    Comments

    Being a DPT student at Elon University I am completing my final internship at a private physical therapy clinic in the Bay Area of CA. The defeat of this bill makes me very proud of our profession and all the hard work that so many put in to defeat this bill. I was in Sacramento during the first vote to voice my objection to AB 783. It was a valuable personal and professional experience for myself and glad I was able to contribute to the continuing growth of our profession.
    Posted by Shawn Valentine on 6/30/2011 1:43 PM
    Kudos to the efforts of each CA therapist and their supporters for the defeat of AB 783. Your ability to prevail on this issue would/could/should appropriately inspire other PT associates to increase their participation level both financially and with their presence on future efforts. Hoping CA is once again on the leading edge of trends across America.
    Posted by J Scott Stephens, PT on 7/1/2011 7:53 PM
    I think that's awsome news, coming from a province in Canada where POPTs have been strictly forbidden since the 1980's I was shocked to encounter them here when I moved to the American Southwest. Keep up the fight, common sense will prevail over time.
    Posted by Jonathan Campbell on 7/1/2011 7:58 PM
    It is fantastic that this Bill did not pass, I for one was very afraid in my little independent out-patient clinic… but what good is it if nothing is done to discourage what is going on and has been going on for years…bill or no bill? Just about every orthopedist, podiatrist and chiropractor in my area of LA offers “PT” services; will the Board do something about it?
    Posted by G. Ferland, PT, DPT on 7/1/2011 10:00 PM
    Is a hospital 'not' a medical corporation in the state of California?
    Posted by Dave on 7/1/2011 10:35 PM
    A thousand congratulations! John Medeiros, PT, PhD
    Posted by John Medeiros on 7/2/2011 2:10 AM
    Three cheers for the defeat of the California bill! Sadly, the attached articles from LA affiliate stations of NBC and other news outlets don't portray physical therapists as 'doctors in a doctoring profession.' The comment by chiropractors (our 'uber' doctors?), podiatrists (same question), and the MDs (what do they know about treating these conditions, really?) are condescending and alarming. We have to do a better job of putting our profession before the public or we will continue to be 'handmaids' to the other professions. Thank you. Britt
    Posted by Britt Smith on 7/2/2011 8:56 AM
    Lots of us worked very hard on this one. It will not be the last time. The health care pie is shrinking and there are a lot of us at the table looking for a piece. When we get rid of the insurance companies that consume 20-45% of the pie and then blame us for being greedy? Why isn't the APTA, like the nursing associations pushing for single payer solutions? In CA, such a solution would save $8 B in the first year! It is time! Past time!
    Posted by Jonathan Holtz -> AHY[B on 7/2/2011 6:06 PM
    I hope that all other PTs are reading and understanding the level to which Hospitals and Physicains groups across America are will to profit from PTs. Until PTs are willing to stop prostituting themselves to another profession( Doctors, Chiro's,Podiatrist,ect.) , and gain the level of repect and autonomy that we deserve, we will continue to see others pofit from OUR hard work, and accomplishments...keep up the fight, never stop pushing for respect and independence! spend some of your$ for your PT PACS.
    Posted by john o'connor on 7/4/2011 12:28 PM
    Thanks for leading the fight!! I only wish our state would follow suit. wouldn't the hospital corps be included?
    Posted by Rick Johnson P.T. on 7/7/2011 11:13 AM
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