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Legal, Ethical and Defensible Documentation: Protecting Your License
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Legal, Ethical and Defensible Documentation: Protecting Your License

When: Saturday, May 14
8:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Where: Alta Bates Summit Medical Center – Herrick Campus
Maffly Auditorium
2001 Dwight Way
Berkeley, CA  94704
United States
Presenter: Leslie Torburn, PT, DPT & Dave Powers, PT, DPT, MBA
Contact: Rita Pierson
(916) 929-2782

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Course Description

Everyone wants to get paid for the services they provide. In order to be paid your practice must follow the laws and regulations set by the state and federal government. Legal and ethical requirements for physical therapists are some of the most important and complicated aspects of patient care. There has been an increase in disciplinary actions against physical therapist over the recent years. The common basis for most discipline is failure to meet documentation requirements and unprofessional conduct. This course will provide an overview of common legal and ethical issues and how to avoid them. State and federal laws are the foundation for legal and ethical patient care and defensible documentation. Physical therapists that need support in strengthening current documentation practices and understanding what is required would greatly benefit from this course. This program will provide a detailed look into legal and ethical documentation while arming yourself with the knowledge to document justifiably.

Course Objectives

  • Review the minimum documentation requirements as defined by state laws and regulations.
  • Understand the components important for “legal, ethical & defensible documentation.
  • Learn about the utilization review process for injured workers treated under the California workers compensation system.
  • Learn differences between legal issues vs. ethical practice.
  • Learn PT professional responsibility.
  • Learn fraud vs. abuse issues.
  • Identify common scenarios where physical therapists find themselves in legal trouble.
  • Learn appropriate steps to take when the Physical Therapy Board investigates your practice.
  • Learn preventative steps to take to protect your practice from legal action.


Saturday, May 14
8:00-8:30       Registration and Coffee
8:30-10:30     Defensible Documentation
10:30-11:00   Break
11:00-1:00      Legal and Ethical consideration
1:00                 Adjourn (evaluations are done electronically)


Leslie Torburn, PT, DPT, has over 30 years of experience in a variety settings including 11 years doing utilization review (UR) for a large worker’s compensation carrier in California. While doing UR, she had the opportunity to review PT documentation from many different practitioners; this is where she gained an appreciation for the importance of good documentation. Leslie is a member of CPTA’s Payment Policy Committee, and Education Committee. She received her MSPT at the University of Southern California, and her DPT from Temple University.

Dave Powers, PT, DPT, MBA has been a physical therapist for more than 35 years. He has a doctorate degree in physical therapy. He also has graduate degrees in both Management and Business. He has extensive experience and training, management and leadership, yet has maintained his hands on clinical skills throughout his professional career. Dr. Powers owns and operates his own clinics in Southern California. He teaches at three of the local physical therapy schools. He has also consulted on more than 500 legal cases involving rehabilitation. He is a Rehab Advisor for CAN/HPSO Insurance Company out of Chicago, having worked on cases across the country. He has also consulted for the State of California Physical Therapy Licensing Board for 25 plus years.


Target Audience

Clinic owners, Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, PT/PTA Students who want to get a good professional practice foundation before entering practice.


Free surface parking at Milva Street and Dwight Way (see campus map).


Courtyard by Marriott Oakland/Emeryville – 5555 Shellmound Way, Emeryville, CA
Four Points Sheraton San Francisco Bay Bridge – 1603 Powell Street, Emeryville, CA
Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge – 1800 Powell Street, Emeryville, CA
Hyatt House Emeryville – 5800 Shellmound Way, Emeryville, CA
Doubletree by Hilton – 200 Marina Boulevard, Berkeley, CA 


 4.0 contact hours or 0.4 CEUs

Registration Fees

Registration received by May 11, 2016
$75 APTA PT members
$60 APTA PTA members
$25 APTA Student members
$125 Non-members

Add $50 for late registration.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellation requests must be received in writing – no exceptions. A full refund, less 20% service fee, if cancellation is received 7 days prior to the start of the course.

No refunds after May 7, 2016.

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