SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Claims that Assembly Bill 783 (Hayashi-D) is necessary to save jobs or preserve a physical therapist's license made by the author and the California Medical Association (CMA) are nothing more than a smokescreen contends the California Physical Therapy Association (CPTA), the third largest physical therapy association in the world.
AB 783 amends sections of the Business and Professions Code and Corporations Code to allow medical corporations, in effect, to control the point of access to physical therapy services and refer patients to themselves. According to a press release by Assembly Member Hayashi, the bill preserves physical therapy jobs and will revise current law to protect physical therapists from having to make difficult business choices.
"It's preposterous to suggest this bill throws a life raft to physical therapists," said Dr. James Syms, PT, CPTA president. "There are plenty of jobs available to physical therapists. The truth is, this bill is attempting to preserve self-referral practices within medical corporations that current statute prohibits and the California Legislative Counsel concurs is illegal."
According to the California Employment Development Department website, the demand for physical therapy services will increase at a faster than average growth rate, with jobs for physical therapists expected to increase nearly 30 percent or 4,400 jobs from 2008 to 2018. Additionally, during the same time period, an average of 440 new job openings per year are projected for physical therapists, not including the estimated 190 job openings based on net replacement needs. This translates into a total of 630 job openings annually.
CNNMoney.com's listing of the best 100 jobs in America ranks physical therapists number four and projects "job opportunities to be good for licensed physical therapists in all settings" with "30 percent growth from 2008 to 2018." The U.S. Department of Labor also projects job opportunities to be very good for physical therapists.
"It is easy to see from the numbers that physical therapists are not the ones begging to change policy 'to preserve jobs,'" said Stacy DeFoe, executive director, CPTA.
Physical therapists work in a wide variety of professional settings, including general and medical surgical hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, home health care, and long-term care facilities. AB 783 only applies to medical or podiatric medical corporations and does not affect the employment of physical therapists in these other professional settings.
In California, it is illegal for physical therapists to be employed by medical corporations, and this is what AB 783 is trying to change. Added Syms, "Making it legal for medical corporations to employ physical therapists will only benefit the bottom line for physicians and podiatrists. It will allow those medical professions to control the services provided by physical therapists and pricing of those services, leading to increased costs for consumers."
CPTA is the largest voice for the physical therapy profession in the state of California and the third largest physical therapy association in the world. CPTA is a chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association, representing more than 77,000 physical therapists and physical therapist assistants nationwide.
SOURCE California Physical Therapy Association