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The analysis of any legal or medical billing is dependent on numerous specific facts — including the factual situations present related to the patients, the practice, the professionals and the medical services and advice. Additionally, laws and regulations and insurance and payer policies are subject to change. The information that has been accurate previously can be particularly dependent on changes in time or circumstances. The information contained in this web site is intended as general information only. It is not intended to serve as medical, health, legal or financial advice or as a substitute for professional advice of a medical coding professional, healthcare consultant, physician or medical professional, legal counsel, accountant or financial advisor. If you have a question about a specific matter, you should contact a professional advisor directly. CPT copyright American Medical Association. All rights reserved. CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.

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New Jersey Physical Therapy Advertising

Advertising Misconduct

A licensee who engages in the use of advertising which contains any of the following shall be deemed to have engaged in professional misconduct:

    • Any statement, claim or format including, but not limited to, a graphic representation which is false, fraudulent, misleading or deceptive;
    • Any misrepresentation of a material fact;
    • The suppression, omission or concealment of any material fact under circumstances which the licensee knows or should have known is improper or prevents a prospective patient from making a full and informed judgment on the basis of the information set forth in the advertisement;
    • Any claim that the service performed or the materials used are superior to that which is ordinarily performed or used in the profession;
    • Any promotion of professional service that the licensee knows or should know is beyond the licensee's ability to perform;
    • A technique or communication which appears to intimidate, exert undue pressure or to unduly influence a prospective patient or consumer;
    • Any personal testimonial attesting to the quality or competence of service or treatment by a licensee involving medical or technical assessments that are beyond the patient's competency to assess, or any testimonial not in compliance with N.J.A.C. 13:39A-8.3;
    • The communication of any fact, data or information that may personally identify a patient without the patient's signed written permission obtained in advance;
    • An offer to pay, give or accept a fee or other consideration to or from a third party for the referral of a patient;
    • Any print, language or format that directly or indirectly obscures a material fact; or
    • Any guarantee of results from any procedure.

A licensee shall not engage, either directly or through the use of any agent, employee or representative, in solicitation of a prospective patient or a consumer. This subsection shall not prohibit a PT from offering services through materials provided to a community service organization which makes known the availability of all professional services listed; nor shall it prohibit the offering of services by a licensed physical therapist to any bona fide representative of prospective patients including, but not limited to, employers, labor union representatives or insurance carriers.

Minimum Content in Ads

A licensee shall include the following in all advertisements and professional representations (other than an office entry sign), including advertisements in a classified directory, business cards and professional stationery:

    • The name, identification of licensure and license number of at least one principal of the corporation; and
    • The street address and telephone number of the practice.

Advertising Fees

Advertising making reference to or setting forth fees shall be limited to that which contains a stated fee schedule for specifically described routine professional services or goods offered by licensees.

    • A licensee who advertises a fee shall disclose all relevant and material variables and considerations that are ordinarily included in such a service so that the fee will be clearly understood by prospective patients or consumers.
    • In the absence of such disclosure, the stated fees shall be presumed to include everything ordinarily required for such a service.

No additional charges shall be made for an advertised service unless the advertisement specifically delineates the additional services contemplated and the fee to be charged therefor.

The time period during which an advertised fee will remain in effect shall be set forth on the face of the advertisement. In the absence of such disclosure, the effective period shall be deemed to be thirty (30) days from the date of the advertisement's final publication.

Adverting a Specialty

Any licensed physical therapist advertising certification in a specialty area shall possess certification by a certifying entity and shall maintain documentary proof of certification from the entity as part of his or her records. A licensed physical therapist who advertises a specialty certification shall include the full name of the certification and the certifying entity in any advertisements and, except as provided below, shall not use initials or acronyms for the certification or certifying entity. For example, except as providedbelow, a licensee may indicate in advertisements that he or she is an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties but shall not indicate that he or she is an OCS certified by the ABPTS.

A licensed physical therapist who has included the full name of a certification and certifying entity in an advertisement may use initials or acronyms for that certification immediately following its full name. For example, a licensed physical therapist who indicates that he or she is an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist certified by the American Board of Physical Therapists in an advertisement may use the acronyms OCS and ABPTS after these full names (Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) by the American Board of Physical Therapists (ABPTS).

Advertising Free or Discounted Services

An advertisement offering a fee reduction shall state the reduced fee and the licensed physical therapist's usual fee for each service for which a reduction is advertised. The usual fee shall be the fee charged for the advertised service for a period of not less than ninety (90) days prior to the advertised reduction.

All offers of free services or discounts shall include a statement of the specific charges for all associated or reasonably anticipated services which are not included in the offer of free or discounted services. If the discount or free service does not apply to all services to be rendered, the advertisement shall specify any associated or reasonably anticipated services which are not included.

Except for those services specifically excluded in the advertisement offering free services, the licensed physical therapist shall not charge for any service whatsoever rendered during a period of seventy-two (72) hours from the time the free service was rendered.

Testimonial Advertising

All testimonials involving a specific or identifiable procedure shall truthfully reflect the actual experience of the patient.

The licensee shall be able to substantiate any objective, verifiable statement of fact appearing in a testimonial. The failure to do so, if required by the Board, may be deemed professional misconduct.

Where an advertiser directly or indirectly provides compensation to a testimonial giver, the fact of such compensation shall be conspicuously disclosed in a clear, legible and readable manner in any advertisement as follows: "COMPENSATION HAS BEEN PROVIDED FOR THIS TESTIMONIAL."

Use of Professional Credentials and Certifications

A licensee shall accurately and objectively represent his or her competence, education, training and experience.

A licensee shall use the designation "physical therapist" or "physical therapist assistant" or the abbreviation "PT" or "PTA" in conjunction with the use of his or her name and license number. Academic degree designations, including initials, may be placed after the name and the title.

An advertisement that includes information on professional credentials shall contain the academic degrees attained related to the practice of physical therapy and shall refer only to degrees obtained from accredited academic institutions.

Advertising by a Business Entity

A licensee who uses or participates in the use of any form of public communication relating to a business entity offering physical therapy services shall include in that communication the name of the person holding an ownership interest in the advertising entity and the professional license held by that person. If the entity is owned by more than four persons, the notice need only include the names of officers in that entity and the licenses they hold.

The responsibility for the form and content of any advertisement offering services or goods by a licensee shall be jointly and severally that of each licensed physical therapist who is a principal, partner or officer of the firm or entity identified in the advertisement.

Record Retention

The licensee shall retain, for a period of three (3) years from the date of initial publication or dissemination, a copy of every advertisement appearing in print media, a video or audio tape of every advertisement communicated by electronic media, and a computer record of any advertisement posted on the internet. The licensee shall indicate on all advertisements in his or her possession the date and place of publication.

Documentation relating to the use of testimonials shall be retained for a period of three years from the date of last use of the testimonial. Documentation shall include, but not be limited to, the name, address and telephone number of the testimonial giver and the type and amount or value of compensation, if any.

Citation

N.J.A.C. ยง 13:39A-8. Ect.



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