Notice to Consumers

On October 1, 2013, California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 1398.15, Notice to Consumers, went into effect requiring licensed physical therapists to provide Form NTC 12-01, August 2, 2012, (Notice) to patients. The Notice is required to be provided to the patient in at least one of two ways: 1) by prominently posting the Notice in an area visible to patients on the premises where physical therapy services are provided; or, 2) by providing a copy of the Notice to the patient or patientís representative, and retaining, in the patientís medical record, an acknowledgement, signed and dated by the patient or the patientís representative, that the patient or the patientís representative received the Notice.

The Notice can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Notice be altered?

No. Physical therapists must use the Form NTC 12-01, as provided by the PTBC.

If posting the Notice, where should it be posted?

The Notice must be posted in an area visible to patients on the premises where physical therapy services are provided.

What are the requirements if using the option to provide a copy of the Notice to the patient or the patientís representative?

The physical therapist must provide the patient or the patientís representative with a copy of the Notice, and have the patient or the patientís representative sign and date an acknowledgement that he or she received the Notice. The acknowledgement must be filed in the patientís medical record.

What if I practice in a setting other than a clinical setting, i.e., home health, school, or nursing facility?

There are no exceptions to the regulation. The Notice must either be posted in an area visible to patients on the premises where physical therapy services are provided, or a copy of the Notice must be provided to the patient or the patientís representative.

What are possible options for hospital acute care?

The Notice may be posted at the point of patient registration at the hospital; or, if providing a copy of the Notice directly to a patient or patientís representative, the copy of the Notice and acknowledgement may be included in the registration packet.

Are physical therapist and physical therapist assistant school programs required to comply?

Yes, if students are practicing physical therapy or assisting in the practice of physical therapy on patients as a part of their study.

What if I treat patients that are unable to accept the Notice, e.g., patients that are not lucid?

In circumstances where the patient or the patient's representative is unable to accept the Notice and acknowledge receipt, to ensure defensible documentation, a physical therapist may document, in the patient medical record, the attempt to provide the Notice and include a reason as to why the Notice could not be provided. This is not an exception to the regulation, nor should this be taken as compliance with the regulation in instances where the physical therapist does have reasonable opportunity and access to provide the Notice using either of the two options.

If I am not self-employed, am I still responsible for ensuring the Notice is provided to patients using either option?

Yes. Each physical therapist is responsible for ensuring their place of employment is in compliance.

Are there any exceptions to the regulation?

No.

Does the Board provide the patient acknowledgement form?

No. If using the option to provide a copy of the Notice to the patient or the patientís representative, it must be clear in the patientís medical record that the patient or the patientís representative received a copy of the Notice, and signed and dated that he or she acknowledged receipt; however, the format for such an acknowledgement is not specified by the Board.

Does the Notice have to be posted if there are already similar notices posted as required by other boards?

Yes, if physical therapy services are provided.

Is it required to provide the Notice to existing patients prior to the effective date of this regulation or only to new patients after October 1, 2013?

If the Notice is posted, then it will be accessible to all patients, whether new or existing. Therefore, if using the option to provide a copy of the Notice to the patient or patientís representative, the Notice must be provided to all new and/or existing patients to ensure all patients receive the same information.