physical therapists (PTs) are preparing for a key hearing and possible vote on
legislation aimed at prohibiting them from performing joint manipulation.
California Senate Bill 381 (SB 381),
authored by state Sen Leland Yee and
sponsored by the California Chiropractic Association, is scheduled to be heard on Monday, April 15, at 1:00 pm, in the California Senate Business,
Professions, and Economic Development Committee in Sacramento.
legislation would prohibit anyone other than a chiropractor, physician, or
osteopath from performing joint manipulation in the state and make the term
"joint manipulation" synonymous with "joint adjustment."
Under SB 381, any health care practitioner other than a chiropractor,
physician, or osteopath who performs a joint
manipulation in California would be considered to be engaged in the unlawful
practice of chiropractic and result in the possible revocation or suspension of
the health care practitioner's license.
The legislation has been introduced under the guise of "public
protection," despite that fact that there is no data or evidence suggesting that
there is a greater threat to patient safety from physical therapists performing
joint manipulation techniques. The performance of joint manipulation by
physical therapists is different from a joint adjustment performed by
chiropractors. The legislation is part of an ongoing turf battle against
qualified physical therapists who perform joint manipulation.
APTA and its California Chapter strongly oppose SB 381, as treatment
interventions do not fall under the exclusive domain of any one specific
profession. Physical therapists, chiropractors, medical doctors, and
osteopathic physicians are all educated and trained to employ joint
manipulation within the scope of their respective licenses and in a manner that
protects the public's health, safety, and welfare. Unnecessarily restricting
any qualified licensed health care providers whose education and scope of
practice includes joint manipulation from being able to provide joint
manipulation is anti-competitive, and would diminish patient choice and
increase health care costs.
California Chapter members are encouraged to contact their state legislator and the members of the Senate Business,
Professions, and Economic Development Committee to
oppose SB 381 and, if possible, attend the April 15 hearing at the state
capitol in Sacramento.
the chapter has a number of other contentious legislative battles looming this
year: legislation to provide for full patient access (Assembly Bill 1000) was
recently introduced in the California
Assembly, while legislation to repeal its current anti-POPTS law (Assembly Bill
1003) also has been introduced.
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