Unprofessional conduct constitutes grounds for citation, discipline, denial of a license, or issuance of a probationary license. The board may, after the conduct of appropriate proceedings under the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 11400) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), issue a citation, impose discipline, deny a license, suspend for not more than 12 months, or revoke, or impose probationary conditions upon any license issued under this chapter for unprofessional conduct that includes, in addition to other provisions of this chapter, but is not limited to, the following:
(a) Violating or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly, assisting in or abetting the violation of, or conspiring to violate any provision of this chapter, any regulations duly adopted under this chapter, or the Medical Practice Act (Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 2000)).
(b) Advertising in violation of Section 17500.
(c) Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license by fraud or misrepresentation.
(d) Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope of practice of physical therapy.
(e) Conviction of a crime that substantially relates to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. The record of conviction or a certified copy thereof shall be conclusive evidence of that conviction.
(f) Unlawful possession or use of, or conviction of a criminal offense involving, a controlled substance as defined in Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code, or any dangerous drug as defined in Article 2 (commencing with Section 4015) of Chapter 9, as follows:
(1) Obtaining or possessing in violation of law, or except as directed by a licensed physician and surgeon, dentist, or podiatrist, administering to himself or herself, or furnishing or administering to another, any controlled substance or any dangerous drug.
(2) Using any controlled substance or any dangerous drug.
(3) Conviction of a criminal offense involving the consumption or self-administration of, or the possession of, or falsification of a record pertaining to, any controlled substance or any dangerous drug, in which event the record of the conviction is conclusive evidence thereof.
(g) Failure to maintain adequate and accurate records relating to the provision of services to his or her patients.
(h) Gross negligence or repeated acts of negligence in practice or in the delivery of physical therapy care.
(i) Aiding or abetting any person to engage in the unlawful practice of physical therapy.
(j) The commission of any fraudulent, dishonest, or corrupt act that is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant.
(k) Except for good cause, the knowing failure to protect patients by failing to follow infection control guidelines of the board, thereby risking transmission of bloodborne infectious diseases from licensee to patient, from patient to patient, and from patient to licensee. In administering this subdivision, the board shall consider referencing the standards, regulations, and guidelines of the State Department of Public Health developed pursuant to Section 1250.11 of the Health and Safety Code and the standards, regulations, and guidelines pursuant to the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973 (Part 1 (commencing with Section 6300) of Division 5 of the Labor Code) for preventing the transmission of HIV, hepatitis B, and other bloodborne pathogens in health care settings. As necessary, the board shall consult with the Medical Board of California, the California Board of Podiatric Medicine, the Dental Board of California, the Board of Registered Nursing, and the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians of the State of California, to encourage appropriate consistency in the implementation of this subdivision.
(l) The commission of verbal abuse or sexual harassment.
(m) Engaging in sexual misconduct or violating Section 726.
(n) Permitting a physical therapist assistant or physical therapy aide under one’s supervision or control to perform, or permitting the physical therapist assistant or physical therapy aide to hold himself or herself out as competent to perform, professional services beyond the level of education, training, and experience of the physical therapist assistant or aide.
(o) The revocation, suspension, or other discipline, restriction, or limitation imposed by another state upon a license or certificate to practice physical therapy issued by that state, or the revocation, suspension, or restriction of the authority to practice physical therapy by any agency of the federal government.
(p) Viewing a completely or partially disrobed patient in the course of treatment if the viewing is not necessary to patient evaluation or treatment under current standards.
(q) Engaging in any act in violation of Section 650, 651, or 654.2.
(r) Charging a fee for services not performed.
(s) Misrepresenting documentation of patient care or deliberate falsifying of patient records.
(t) Except as otherwise allowed by law, the employment of runners, cappers, steerers, or other persons to procure patients.
(u) The willful, unauthorized violation of professional confidence.
(v) Failing to maintain confidentiality, except as otherwise required or permitted by law, of all information that has been received from a patient in confidence during the course of treatment and all information about the patient that is obtained from tests or other means.
(w) Habitual intemperance.
(x) Failure to comply with the provisions of Section 2620.1.
(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 71, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2015.)
A patient, client, or customer of a licentiate under this chapter is conclusively presumed to be incapable of giving free, full, and informed consent to any sexual activity which is a violation of Section 726.
(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1289, Sec. 19. Effective January 1, 1993.)
(a) The board may refuse a license to any applicant guilty of unprofessional conduct or sexual activity referred to in Section 2660.1. The board may, in its sole discretion, issue a public letter of reprimand or may issue a probationary license to any applicant for a license who is guilty of unprofessional conduct but who has met all other requirements for licensure. The board may issue the license subject to any terms or conditions not contrary to public policy, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Medical or psychiatric evaluation.
(2) Continuing medical or psychiatric treatment.
(3) Restriction of the type or circumstances of practice.
(4) Continuing participation in a board-approved rehabilitation program.
(5) Abstention from the use of alcohol or drugs.
(6) Random fluid testing for alcohol or drugs.
(7) Compliance with laws and regulations governing the practice of physical therapy.
(b) The applicant shall have the right to appeal the denial, or the issuance with terms and conditions, of any license in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and the board shall have all the powers granted therein. The action shall be final, except that the propriety of the action is subject to review by the superior court pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(c) In lieu of refusing a license, the board may, upon stipulation or agreement by the licensee, issue a public letter of reprimand after it has conducted an investigation or inspection as provided for in this chapter. The public letter of reprimand may include a requirement for specified training or education, and cost recovery for investigative costs. The board shall notify the licensee of its intention to issue the letter 30 days before the intended issuance date of the letter. The licensee shall indicate in writing at least 15 days prior to the letter’s intended issuance date whether he or she agrees to the issuance of the letter. The board, at its option, may extend the time within which the licensee may respond to its notification. If the licensee does not agree to the issuance of the letter, the board shall not issue the letter and may proceed to file the accusation. The board may use a public letter of reprimand only for minor violations, as defined by the board, committed by the applicant. A public letter of reprimand issued pursuant to this section shall be disclosed by the board to an inquiring member of the public and shall be posted on the board’s Internet Web site.
(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 389, Sec. 55. Effective January 1, 2014.)
In lieu of filing or prosecuting a formal accusation against a licensee, the board may, upon stipulation or agreement by the licensee, issue a public letter of reprimand after it has conducted an investigation or inspection as provided for in this chapter. The public letter of reprimand may include a requirement for specified training or education, and cost recovery for investigative costs. The board shall notify the licensee of its intention to issue the letter 30 days before the intended issuance date of the letter. The licensee shall indicate in writing at least 15 days prior to the letter’s intended issuance date whether he or she agrees to the issuance of the letter. The board, at its option, may extend the time within which the licensee may respond to its notification. If the licensee does not agree to the issuance of the letter, the board shall not issue the letter and may proceed to file the accusation. The board may use a public letter of reprimand only for minor violations, as defined by the board, committed by the licensee. A public letter of reprimand issued pursuant to this section shall be disclosed by the board to an inquiring member of the public and shall be posted on the board’s Internet Web site.
(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 389, Sec. 56. Effective January 1, 2014.)
A licensee who fails or refuses to comply with a request from the board for the medical records of a patient, that is accompanied by that patient’s written authorization for release of records to the board, within 15 days of receiving the request and authorization shall pay to the board a civil penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day for each day that the records have not been produced after the 15th day, unless the licensee is unable to provide the records within this time period for good cause.
(Added by Stats. 2013, Ch. 389, Sec. 57. Effective January 1, 2014.)
The board shall deny a physical therapist license or physical therapist assistant license to an applicant who is required to register pursuant to Section 290 of the Penal Code. This section does not apply to an applicant who is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Section 290 of the Penal Code solely because of a misdemeanor conviction under Section 314 of the Penal Code.
(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 389, Sec. 58. Effective January 1, 2014.)
In addition to the penalties prescribed by Section 123, if the board determines that an applicant for licensure or a licensee has engaged, or has attempted to engage, in conduct that subverts or undermines the integrity of the examination process as described in Section 123, the board may disqualify the applicant from taking the examination or may deny his or her application for licensure or may revoke the license of the licensee.
(Added by Stats. 2008, Ch. 301, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 2009.)
A licensee whose matter has been heard by an administrative law judge of the Medical Quality Hearing Panel as designated in Section 11371 of the Government Code, or whose default has been entered or who has entered into a stipulation for disciplinary action with the board, may, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter:
(a) Have his or her license revoked upon order of the board.
(b) Have his or her right to practice suspended for a period not to exceed one year upon order of the board.
(c) Be placed on probation and required to pay the costs of probation monitoring upon order of the board.
(d) Be publicly reprimanded by the board.
(e) Be required to surrender his or her license based on an order of the board.
(f) Have any other action taken in relation to discipline as part of an order of probation, as the board or an administrative law judge may deem proper.
(Added by Stats. 2013, Ch. 389, Sec. 59. Effective January 1, 2014.)
A plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere is deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this article. The board may order discipline of the licensee in accordance with Section 2660 or the board may take action as authorized in Section 2660.2 on an application when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code allowing that person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information, or indictment.
(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 389, Sec. 60. Effective January 1, 2014.)
(a) In any order issued in resolution of a disciplinary proceeding before the board, the board may request the administrative law judge to direct any licensee found guilty of unprofessional conduct to pay to the board a sum not to exceed the actual and reasonable costs of the investigation and prosecution of the case.
(b) The costs to be assessed shall be fixed by the administrative law judge and shall not in any event be increased by the board. When the board does not adopt a proposed decision and remands the case to an administrative law judge, the administrative law judge shall not increase the amount of the assessed costs specified in the proposed decision.
(c) When the payment directed in an order for payment of costs is not made by the licensee, the board may enforce the order of payment by bringing an action in any appropriate court. This right of enforcement shall be in addition to any other rights the board may have as to any licensee directed to pay costs.
(d) In any judicial action for the recovery of costs, proof of the board’s decision shall be conclusive proof of the validity of the order of payment and the terms for payment.
(e) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the board shall not renew or reinstate the license or approval of any person who has failed to pay all of the costs ordered under this section.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the board may, in its discretion, conditionally renew or reinstate for a maximum of one year the license or approval of any person who demonstrates financial hardship and who enters into a formal agreement with the board to reimburse the board within that one year period for those unpaid costs.
(f) All costs recovered under this section shall be deposited in the Physical Therapy Fund as a reimbursement in either the fiscal year in which the costs are actually recovered or the previous fiscal year, as the board may direct.
(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 829, Sec. 51. Effective January 1, 1997.)
(a) The board shall establish a probation monitoring program to monitor probationary licenses.
(b) The program may employ nonpeace officer staff to perform its probation monitoring.
(c) The program shall be funded with moneys in the Physical Therapy Fund.
(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1150, Sec. 13. Effective January 1, 2003.)
(a) A person whose license has been revoked or suspended, or who has been placed on probation, may petition the board for reinstatement or modification of penalty, including modification or termination of probation, after a period of not less than the following minimum periods has elapsed from the effective date of the decision ordering that disciplinary action:
(1) At least three years for reinstatement of a license or approval revoked for unprofessional conduct, except that the board may, for good cause shown, specify in a revocation order that a petition for reinstatement may be filed after two years.
(2) At least two years for early termination or one year for modification of a condition of probation of three years or more.
(3) At least one year for reinstatement of a license revoked for mental or physical illness, or for modification of a condition, or termination of probation of less than three years.
(b) The petition shall state any facts as may be required by the board. The petition shall be accompanied by at least two verified recommendations from physical therapists licensed by the board who have personal knowledge of the activities of the petitioner since the disciplinary penalty was imposed.
(c) The petition may be heard by the board. The board may assign the petition to an administrative law judge designated in Section 11371 of the Government Code. After a hearing on the petition, the administrative law judge shall provide a proposed decision to the board that shall be acted upon in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.
(d) The board or the administrative law judge hearing the petition may consider all activities of the petitioner since the disciplinary action was taken, the offense for which the petitioner was disciplined, the petitioner’s activities during the time the license was in good standing, and the petitioner’s rehabilitative efforts, general reputation for truth, and professional ability. The hearing may be continued, as the board or the administrative law judge designated in Section 11371 of the Government Code finds necessary.
(e) The administrative law judge designated in Section 11371 of the Government Code when hearing a petition for reinstating a license, or modifying a penalty, may recommend the imposition of any terms and conditions deemed necessary.
(f) No petition shall be considered while the petitioner is under sentence for any criminal offense, including any period during which the petitioner is on court-imposed probation or parole. No petition shall be considered while there is an accusation or petition to revoke probation pending against the petitioner. The board may deny, without a hearing or argument, any petition filed pursuant to this section within a period of two years from the effective date of the prior decision following a hearing under this section.
(g) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to alter Sections 822 and 823.
(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 389, Sec. 61. Effective January 1, 2014.)