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AB-2423 Physical therapists: direct access to services: plan of care approval.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 06/28/2018 09:00 PM
AB2423:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 28, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 09, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2423


Introduced by Assembly Member Holden

February 14, 2018


An act to amend Section 2620.1 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to healing arts.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2423, as amended, Holden. Physical therapists: direct access to services: plan of care approval.
The Physical Therapy Practice Act creates the Physical Therapy Board of California and makes it responsible for the licensure and regulation of physical therapists. The act makes it a crime to violate any of its provisions.
The act authorizes a patient to access physical therapy treatment directly from a licensed physical therapist if the treatment is within the scope of practice of physical therapists and prescribed conditions are met, including a treatment limit prohibiting the physical therapist from continuing treatment beyond 45 calendar days or 12 visits, whichever occurs first, without receiving specified doctor approval of the physical therapist’s plan of care. The act exempts from that plan of care approval condition for continuing treatment the provision of certain wellness physical therapy services to a patient.
This bill would also exempt from that condition the provision of physical therapy services as part of an individualized family service plan or an individualized education plan pursuant to specified state statutes and the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to an individual who does not have a medical diagnosis.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 2620.1 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

2620.1.
 (a) In addition to receiving those services authorized by Section 2620, a person may initiate physical therapy treatment directly from a licensed physical therapist if the treatment is within the scope of practice of physical therapists, as defined in Section 2620, and all of the following conditions are met:
(1) If, at any time, the physical therapist has reason to believe that the patient has signs or symptoms of a condition that requires treatment beyond the scope of practice of a physical therapist or the patient is not progressing toward documented treatment goals as demonstrated by objective, measurable, or functional improvement, the physical therapist shall refer the patient to a person holding a physician and surgeon’s certificate issued by the Medical Board of California or by the Osteopathic Medical Board of California or to a person licensed to practice dentistry, podiatric medicine, or chiropractic.
(2) The physical therapist shall comply with Section 2633, and shall disclose to the patient any financial interest he or she has in treating the patient and, if working in a physical therapy corporation, shall comply with Article 6 (commencing with Section 650) of Chapter 1.
(3) With the patient’s written authorization, the physical therapist shall notify the patient’s physician and surgeon, if any, that the physical therapist is treating the patient.
(4) The physical therapist shall not continue treating the patient beyond 45 calendar days or 12 visits, whichever occurs first, without receiving, from a person holding a physician and surgeon’s certificate from the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California or from a person holding a certificate to practice podiatric medicine from the California Board of Podiatric Medicine and acting within his or her scope of practice, a dated signature on the physical therapist’s plan of care indicating approval of the physical therapist’s plan of care. Approval of the physical therapist’s plan of care shall include an in-person patient examination and evaluation of the patient’s condition and, if indicated, testing by the physician and surgeon or podiatrist.
(b) The conditions in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) do not apply to a physical therapist under either of the following circumstances:
(1) When he or she is only providing wellness physical therapy services to a patient as described in subdivision (a) of Section 2620.
(2) Pursuant to Section 56363 of the Education Code or Section 7572 of the Government Code, when he or she is providing physical therapy services as part of an individualized family service plan or an individualized education plan pursuant to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.) and the individual receiving those services does not have a medical diagnosis.
(c) (1) This section does not expand or modify the scope of practice for physical therapists set forth in Section 2620, including the prohibition on a physical therapist diagnosing a disease.
(2) This section does not restrict or alter the scope of practice of any other health care professional.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a health care service plan, insurer, workers’ compensation insurance plan, employer, or state program to provide coverage for direct access to treatment by a physical therapist.
(e) When a person initiates physical therapy treatment services directly, pursuant to this section, the physical therapist shall not perform physical therapy treatment services without first providing the following notice to the patient, orally and in writing, in at least 14-point type and signed by the patient:
 
“Direct Physical Therapy Treatment Services
 
You are receiving direct physical therapy treatment services from an individual who is a physical therapist licensed by the Physical Therapy Board of California.
Under California law, you may continue to receive direct physical therapy treatment services for a period of up to 45 calendar days or 12 visits, whichever occurs first, after which time a physical therapist may continue providing you with physical therapy treatment services only after receiving, from a person holding a physician and surgeon’s certificate issued by the Medical Board of California or by the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, or from a person holding a certificate to practice podiatric medicine from the California Board of Podiatric Medicine and acting within his or her scope of practice, a dated signature on the physical therapist’s plan of care indicating approval of the physical therapist’s plan of care and that an in-person patient examination and evaluation was conducted by the physician and surgeon or podiatrist.
Patient’s Signature/Date”