Physical Therapy Board of California

Complaint Information

The Physical Therapy Board of California (PTBC) is responsible for investigating complaints to determine if a licensee has violated the Physical Therapy Practice Act and if so, pursuing disciplinary action against the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant license accordingly.

PTBC investigates complaints involving:

  • Physical Therapists
  • Physical Therapy Assistants
  • Physical Therapy Aides (non-licensed personnel under direct supervision of the Physical Therapist)
  • Non-Licensed Practitioners Practicing Physical Therapy

For complaints regarding licensees not listed above, please visit the Department of Consumer Affairs website to determine the appropriate Board to investigate the complaint.

PTBC receives more than 300 complaints each year from a variety of sources (e.g., patients, family members, insurance companies, other health care practitioners, etc.). The staff of the PTBC’s Consumer Protection Services (CPS) Program review all complaints to determine the nature of the allegations and whether the complaint falls within the PTBC's jurisdiction. Complaints are reviewed to determine if a violation of the laws governing the profession may have occurred which would warrant further investigation.

If an individual or organization appears to have violated the laws within the PTBC's jurisdiction, CPS staff will investigate the allegations, and charges may be filed against the licensee(s). The following are the types of complaints reviewed by PTBC:

  • Substandard Care (Negligent Treatment, Delay in Treatment, etc.)
  • Unlicensed Practice or Aiding/Abetting Unlicensed Practice
  • Sexual Misconduct/Harassment/Unprofessional Conduct (Breach of Confidence, Record Alteration, Fraud, Misleading Advertising, Arrest or Conviction)
  • Office Practice (Failure to Provide Medical Records to Patient, Patient Abandonment)
  • Provider Impairment (Drug, Alcohol, Mental, Physical)
  • Conviction of a Criminal Offense

PTBC does not have jurisdiction over billing/fee disputes, general business practices (contracts, office policies, appointment times/duration, etc.) or personal conflicts, unless the behavior in question interferes with the safe delivery of health care. Please contact your insurance company or the individual healthcare provider’s office to resolve general billing or fee disputes.

PTBC cannot assist with any coordination of patient care or provide financial compensation. Should you require assistance of this nature, please contact your individual insurance company or medical providers.

You must fill out a separate complaint form for each provider you wish to file a complaint against.

IMPORTANT: PTBC may ask you to sign a medical records release form (Authorization for Release of Patient Health Information) to obtain copies of your medical records. PTBC will request the medical records from the providing physical therapist and from your physician, hospital, or other source, if necessary, to investigate the complaint. The patient or other authorized person must sign the Authorization for Release of Patient Health Information form. If the patient is unable to sign the release, it may be signed by:

  • The next of kin, if the patient is deceased.
  • The parent of a minor child.
  • The person named by the patient in a signed "Power of Attorney" granting the person authority to make medical decisions for the patient. Your complaint may be closed without further review for failure to provide the medical release.

Your complaint may be closed without further review for failure to provide the medical release.

If you have concerns regarding a physical therapist, physical therapist assistant, and/or a non-licensed practitioner practicing physical therapy, you may contact the Consumer Protection Services program or file a complaint with PTBC.

Except for special circumstances, complaints must be filed in writing by mail, email, fax, or online. For further information regarding PTBC’s complaint review process, contact us.