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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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Tennessee PT Advertising 

Definitions

Advertisement

Informational communication to the public in any manner designed to attract public attention to the practice of a physical therapist who is licensed to practice in Tennessee.

Licensee

Any person holding a license to practice physical therapy in the State of Tennessee. Where applicable this shall include partnerships and/or corporations.

Material Fact

Any fact which an ordinary reasonable and prudent person would need to know or rely upon in order to make an informed decision concerning the choice of physical therapists to serve his or her particular needs.

Bait and Switch Advertising

An alluring but insincere offer to sell a product or service which the advertiser in truth does not intend or want to sell. Its purpose is to switch consumers from buying the advertised service or merchandise, in order to sell something else, usually for a higher fee or on a basis more advantageous to the advertiser.

Discounted Fee

Shall mean a fee offered or charged by a person for a product or service that is less than the fee the person or organization usually offers or charges for the product or service. Products or services expressly offered free of charge shall not be deemed to be offered at a "discounted fee".

Advertising Fees and Services

Fixed Fees

Fixed fees may be advertised for any service. It presumed unless otherwise stated in advertisement that a fixed fee for a service shall include the cost of all professional recognized components within generally accepted standards that are required to complete the service.

Range of Fees

A range of fees may be advertised for services and the advertisement must disclose the factors used in determining the actual fee, necessary to prevent deception of the public.

Discount Fees

Discount fees may be advertised if:

    • The discount fee is in fact lower than the licensee's customary or usual fee charged for the service; and
    • The licensee provides the same quality and components of service and material at the discounted fee that are normally provided at the regular, non-discounted fee for that service.

Related Services and Additional Fees

Related services which may be required in conjunction with the advertised services for which additional fees will be charged must be identified as such in any advertisement.

Time Period of Advertised Fees

    • Advertised fees shall be honored for those seeking the advertised services during the entire time period stated in the advertisement whether or not the services are actually rendered or completed within that time.
    • If no time period is stated in the advertisement of fees, the advertised fee shall be honored for thirty (30) days from the last date of publication or until the next scheduled publication whichever is later whether or not the services are actually rendered or completed within that time.

Advertising Content

The following acts or omissions in the context of advertisement by any licensee shall constitute unethical conduct and subject the licensee to disciplinary action pursuant to T.C.A. ยงยง 63-13-312 and 63-13-313.

    • Claims that the services performed, personnel employed, materials or office equipment used are professionally superior to that which is ordinarily performed, employed, or used, or that convey the message that one licensee is better than another when superiority of services, personnel, materials or equipment cannot be substantiated.
    • The misleading use of an unearned or non-health degree in any advertisement.
    • Promotion of professional services which the licensee knows or should know are beyond the licensee's ability to perform.
    • Techniques of communication which intimidate, exert undue pressure or undue influence over a prospective patient.
    • Any appeals to an individual's anxiety in an excessive or unfair manner.
    • The use of any personal testimonial attesting to a quality or competency of a service or treatment offered by a licensee that is not reasonably verifiable.
    • Utilization of any statistical data or other information based on past performances for prediction of future services, which creates an unjustified expectation about results that the licensee can achieve.
    • The communication of personal identifiable facts, data, or information about a patient without first obtaining patient consent.
    • Any misrepresentation of a material fact.
    • The knowing suppression, omission or concealment of any material fact or law without which the advertisement would be deceptive or misleading.
    • Statements concerning the benefits or other attributes of therapeutic procedures or products that involve significant risks without including:
      • A realistic assessment of the safety and efficiency of those procedures or products; and
      • The availability of alternatives; and
      • Where necessary to avoid deception, descriptions or assessment of the benefits or other attributes of those alternatives.
    • Any communication which creates an unjustified expectation concerning the potential results of any treatment.
    • Failure to comply with the rules governing advertisement of fees and services, or advertising records.
    • The use of "bait and switch" advertisements. Where the circumstances indicate "bait and switch" advertising, the Board may require the licensee to furnish data or other evidence pertaining to those sales at the advertised fee as well as other sales.
    • Misrepresentation of a licensee's credentials, training, experience, or ability.
    • Failure to include the corporation, partnership or individual licensee's name, address, and telephone number in any advertisement. Any corporation, partnership or association which advertises by use of a trade name or otherwise fails to list all licensees practicing at a particular location shall:
      • Upon request provide a list of all licensees practicing at that location; and
      • Maintain and conspicuously display at the licensee's office, a directory listing all licensees practicing at that location.
    • Failure to disclose the fact of giving compensation or anything of value to representative of the press, radio, television or other communicative medium in anticipation of or in return for any advertisement (for example, newspaper article) unless the nature, format or medium of such advertisement make the fact of compensation apparent.
    • After thirty (30) days of the licensee’s departure, the use of the name of any licensee formerly practicing at or associated with any advertised location or on office signs or buildings. This rule shall not apply in the case of a retired or deceased former associate who practiced in association with one or more of the present occupants if the status of the former associate is disclosed in any advertisement or sign.
    • Stating or implying that a certain licensee provides all services when any such services are performed by another licensee.
    • Directly or indirectly offering, giving, receiving, or agreeing to receive any fee or other consideration to or from a third party for the referral of a patient in connection with the performance of professional services.

Advertising Records and Responsibility

Each licensee who is a principal partner, or officer of a firm or entity identified in any advertisement, is jointly and severally responsible for the form and content of any advertisement. This provision shall also include any licensed professional employees acting as an agent of such firm or entity.

Any and all advertisements are presumed to have been approved by the licensee named therein.

A recording of every advertisement communicated by electronic media, and a copy of every advertisement communicated by print media, and a copy of any other form of advertisement shall be retained by the licensee for a period of two (2) years from the last date of broadcast or publication and be made available for review upon request by the Board or its designee.

At the time any type of advertisement is placed, the licensee must possess and rely upon information which, when produced, would substantiate the truthfulness of any assertion, omission or representation of material fact set forth in the advertisement or public communication.

Citations

Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1150-01-.13

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