Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. Am I mandated to report a PT or PTA whom I suspect is diverting drugs or using drugs?
  2. How much does it cost to participate in the PTBC's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
  3. What do you mean by the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program Contractor?
  4. Will I need to stop working if I decide to enter the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
  5. How long will I be off work if I decide to enter the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
  6. How will my employer be notified that I am participating in the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
  7. Does a court ordered Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program take the place of the PTBC's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
  8. Do I have to enter the PTBC's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program if I plan to obtain treatment on my own?
  9. If I was successful in completing the PTBC's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program previously, am I still eligible to participate in the program again?
  10. Will anyone be able to determine that I am participating in the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program if they contact the Board?
  11. Will my name appear in the PTBC's Newsletter if I enter the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
  12. How long will I be in the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
  13. I am licensed in another state and participating in their Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program. I am thinking about transferring to California. Can I automatically transfer to California's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program while I am in the process of obtaining a California license?
  14. Am I treated differently if I refer myself to the Program versus waiting for a complaint to be filed?
  15. I have had one DUI, is this program for me?
  16. Who should I call to enter the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
  17. Can I withdraw from the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program at any time?
  18. How do I know if I am eligible to participate in the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?

1. Am I mandated to report a PT or PTA whom I suspect is diverting drugs or using drugs?
Filing a complaint is not mandatory; however, it is critical to ensure safe quality care in California. To learn more about filing a complaint, please refer to the information contained on this website under the File a Complaint.

2. How much does it cost to participate in the PTBC's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
Participants are required to pay for the entire cost of the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program: monthly administrative fee, drug testing, treatment, psychiatric or medical evaluations, and health support group attendance.

3. What do you mean by the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program Contractor?
The PTBC has the authority to contract out for the implementation of the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program. PTBC, however, has administrative oversight of the Program. The current contractor is Maximus.

4. Will I need to stop working if I decide to enter the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
The Clinical Case Manager at Maximus will determine during the intake interview if you will be required to stop practicing and the length of time you will not be allowed to practice.

5. How long will I be off work if I decide to enter the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
If it is determined you need to be off work, the length of time a PT or PTA will be off work is very individualized. The Clinical Case Manager at Maximus makes the determination on a case-by-case basis. This is a way of providing for immediate intervention and ensuring that the goal of public protection is being achieved. This is also a time for you to focus on recovery, which will greatly assist you in returning to work safely. In addition, the return to work will be a gradual progression. When you are allowed to return to work, there will be restrictions to your practice. Those restrictions may include, but are not limited to, non-patient care, no nights, no access to drugs, no home health, not to be the only PT or PTA on duty, and a limit on the number of hours you may work. As you progress in recovery, the restrictions are lifted until by the end of the program, there are no restrictions to your practice. You must also have a worksite monitor in place prior to returning to work. This worksite monitor must be someone in a supervisory capacity who will be able to assess how you are doing when you return to work and prepare quarterly reports for the Clinical Case Manager.

6. How will my employer be notified that I am participating in the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
Due to the confidentiality of the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program, neither the PTBC nor the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program Contractor can legally notify employers that PT or PTAs are participating in the program. It will be up to you to notify your employer that you are participating in the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program. Once you are accepted into the program, you may sign a release form authorizing your Clinical Case Manager to communicate with your employer. In order to comply with the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program, all participants are required to have a worksite monitor at his/her place of employment.

7. Does a court ordered Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program take the place of the PTBC's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
A court ordered diversion program does not take the place of the PTBC's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program. However, this may be part of you individualized recovery program.

8. Do I have to enter the PTBC's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program if I plan to obtain treatment on my own?
The Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program is voluntary. We recognize that there are many great treatment programs available, however, they do not take the place of the PTBC's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program. Maximus will want to know about any programs you have entered or completed, so they can determine what other elements to include in a treatment plan they develop for you. For example if you have completed an in-patient treatment program, the case manager may mandate completion of an aftercare program in addition to 12 step meetings, health support group meetings, etc. If you are currently in a treatment program, we recommend that you continue to participate in that program.

9. If I was successful in completing the PTBC's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program previously, am I still eligible to participate in the program again?
Yes, PT and PTAs who have successfully completed the PTBC's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program are eligible to participate in the program again. The Clinical Case Manager at Maximus will determine if you are accepted into the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program.

10. Will anyone be able to determine that I am participating in the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program if they contact the Board?
Not if you are a self-referral. If you are enrolled in the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program as a board referral, this information is included in your disciplinary order which is public information.

11. Will my name appear in the PTBC Newsletter if I enter the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
No.

12. How long will I be in the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
The average length of time is 3 to 5 years for PT and PTAs to successfully complete the program.

13. I am licensed in another state and participating in their Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program. I am thinking about transferring to California. Can I automatically transfer to California's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program while I am in the process of obtaining a California license?
PT and PTAs who are participating in another State's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program and not yet licensed in California are not eligible to participate in California's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program. By law, a PT or PTA must be licensed and practicing in California in order to be eligible to participate. Once a California license is obtained, however, we can communicate with the state you are from (with the written permission of the PT or PTA) and inform that state about your progress in California's program. Please check with your state to make sure you can transfer to another state and still be in compliance with their program. Note: there is nothing on California's application, which would require you to disclose that you are in another state's diversion program as long as your participation in that program is not considered discipline.

14. Am I treated differently if I refer myself to the program versus waiting for a complaint to be filed?
Once in the program, either type of referral is treated according to their recovery needs, not because of how they were referred to the program.

15. I have had one DUI, is this program for me?
The Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program is a very challenging and intensive program designed to help those who do have a chemical dependency problem. Keep in mind that just because you only had one DUI does not necessarily mean you haven't been driving under the influence before, or that you don't have a problem--it may mean that this was the only time you were caught. Only you know what is going on in your life.

16. Who should I call to enter the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
The PTBC contracts out with a private entity to monitor PT and PTAs in the program. The current contractor is Maximus. Please call Maximus at 1-800-522-9198 if you are interested in participating in this program.

17. Can I withdraw from the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program at any time?
Since the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program is a voluntary program, a PT or PTA may withdraw from the program at any time. However, the Clinical Case Manager will determine your status at the time of withdrawal. In addition, if the Clinical Case Manager determines that your continued practice of physical therapy is too great a risk to the public health, safety and welfare, at the time of withdrawal/termination, the Clinical Case Manager will advise the PTBC, who will then proceed with an investigation even if you were a self-referral to the program.

18. How do I know if I am eligible to participate in the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program?
You are eligible for the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program if:

  • You are licensed and practicing as a PT or PTA in California
  • You are abusing alcohol or drugs to the extent that your physical therapy practice may be affected
  • You voluntarily agree to enter the program and provide consent for appropriate medical or psychiatric evaluations

Maximus will always check your eligibility prior to your entry into the Program.