On April 12 and 13, Steve Simas was one of several presenters in two seminars provided by the California Physical Therapy Association (CPTA) in San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively. Mr. Simas was selected to present due to his deep experience in health care reform law. Mr. Simas’s participation in the seminars was mentioned in our law firm’s most recent newsletter. The seminar, entitled Direct Access in California – It’s Here! Are You Ready?, was on the impact the recently-passed Assembly Bill 1000 (AB 1000) would have on the practice of physical therapy in the state of California. AB 1000 made a number of changes, but the most notable change was eliminating the prohibition on consumers’ direct access to physical therapy. “Prior to AB 1000,” explained Mr. Simas, “one could not see a physical therapist without first seeing a physician. Such a requirement was antiquated and creating an unwanted or need conflict of interest between physician and PTs.” Advocates of this change have always opined that the old requirement did not recognize the professional training and expertise of the licensed physical therapist nor did it serve the needs of those patients who require physical therapy but must first be seen by a physician. “Well, that bar is no
longer in place,” continued Mr. Simas. “So, our seminar was designed to help navigate PTs through the new environment, both legally and operationally.” Overall, the seminar was a success. “We had approximately 30 attendees at both locations,” replied Simas. “As a presenter, it was a little competitive, trying to make sure that the material was professional, yet engaging, when compared to my fellow presenters. As the attorney of the group, I needed to make sure to keep the content easy to understand and engaging, lest I bore everyone to sleep with hyper-specific legal ramifications that only a law professor would find enthralling. But, I got lots of questions from attendees, both during and after the presentations. A lot of questions comparing California’s law to other states. Also, the discussion turned a bit to some of the other changes that AB 1000 propelled – such as physician-owned PT practices. So, it was very illuminating and fun to shift the concept to topics that the audience wanted to hear about.” For more information on AB 1000, please see our recent blog entry on the topic, Analysis of Assembly Bill 1000.