SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- California physical therapists are infuriated by the Assembly Appropriations Committee's action on August 16, 2012 to take hostile amendments to Senate Bill 924 in a "back room" deal without communicating with Senator Price, author of the bill, or the California Physical Therapy Association (CPTA), sponsor of the bill. The amendments were held for five days before being officially noticed and released today, which further contributes to a perception of underhanded actions.
SB 924 improves appropriate access to health care services for millions of Californians who often experience delays and extra co-pays before being unable to access timely physical therapy treatment. Patients often endure needless pain while waiting for treatment and are forced to make duplicative visits to physician offices for the same condition that a highly-qualified physical therapist can treat. SB 924 corrects this problem and provides access where it makes sense.
Dr. James Syms, PT, DSc, ATC, SCS, president of the CPTA, issued this statement:
"CPTA is very disappointed in the action of the Assembly Appropriation Committee, especially in Committee Chairman Felipe Fuentes.
"For months, CPTA made considerable efforts to work with opponents, including the California Medical Association and the California Orthopedic Association, and accepted significant compromises to the bill.
"We acted in good faith during negotiations spearheaded by Senator Darrell Steinberg's office. In its prior form, SB 924 was a good bill with strong bipartisan support.
"SB 924 was placed on Suspense based on a financial analysis and yet the issues raised were not addressed in the amendments, leaving us to believe this was a smokescreen for the secret deal made with the opponents of the bill.
"The amendments to SB 924 make it easier for physicians to control the health care delivery marketplace and perpetuate unnecessary visits, co-pays and costs to California consumers.
"We are calling for the amendments to be removed and SB 924 to be put back in its previous form."
SOURCE California Physical Therapy Association