Section 650.4

(a)

Notwithstanding Section 650, subdivision (o) of Section 4982, or any other provision of law, it shall not be unlawful for a person licensed pursuant to Chapter 13 (commencing with Section 4980) or any other person, to participate in or operate a group advertising and referral service for marriage and family therapists if all of the following conditions are met:

(1)

The patient referrals by the service are the result of patient-initiated responses to service advertising.

(2)

The service advertises, if at all, in conformity with Section 651 and subdivision (p) of Section 4982.

(3)

The service does not employ a solicitor to solicit prospective patients or clients.

(4)

The service does not impose a fee on the member marriage and family therapists that is dependent upon the number of referrals or amount of professional fees paid by the patient to the marriage and family therapist.

(5)

Participating marriage and family therapists charge no more than their usual and customary fees to any patient referred.

(6)

The service registers with the Board of Behavioral Sciences, providing its name, street address, and telephone number.

(7)

The service files with the Board of Behavioral Sciences a copy of the standard form contract that regulates its relationship with member marriage and family therapists, which contract shall be confidential and not open to public inspection.

(8)

If more than 50 percent of its referrals are made to one individual, association, partnership, corporation, or group of three or more marriage and family therapists, the service discloses that fact in all public communications, including, but not limited to, communications by means of television, radio, motion picture, newspaper, book, list, or directory of healing arts practitioners.

(9)

(A)When member marriage and family therapists pay any fee to the service, any advertisement by the service shall clearly and conspicuously disclose that fact by including a statement as follows: Paid for by participating marriage and family therapists. In print advertisements, the required statement shall be in at least 9-point type. In radio advertisements, the required statement shall be articulated so as to be clearly audible and understandable by the radio audience. In television advertisements, the required statement shall be either clearly audible and understandable to the television audience, or displayed in a written form that remains clearly visible to the television audience for at least five seconds.

(B)

The Board of Behavioral Sciences may suspend or revoke the registration of any service that fails to comply with subparagraph (A). No service may reregister with the board if its registration currently is under suspension for a violation of subparagraph (A), nor may a service reregister with the board for a period of one year after it has had a registration revoked by the board for a violation of subparagraph (A).

(b)

The Board of Behavioral Sciences may adopt regulations necessary to enforce and administer this section.

(c)

The Board of Behavioral Sciences or 10 individual licensed marriage and family therapists may petition the superior court of any county for the issuance of an injunction restraining any conduct that constitutes a violation of this section.

(d)

It is unlawful and shall constitute a misdemeanor for a person to operate a group advertising and referral service for marriage and family therapists without providing its name, address, and telephone number to the Board of Behavioral Sciences.

(e)

It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section not to otherwise affect the prohibitions of Section 650. The Legislature intends to allow the pooling of resources by marriage and family therapists for the purpose of advertising.

(f)

This section shall not be construed in any manner that would authorize a referral service to engage in the practice of marriage and family therapy.

Location: https://www.weblaws.org/california/codes/ca_bus_and_prof_code_section_650.4.

Original source: https://­leginfo.­legislature.­ca.­gov/­faces/­codes_displaySection.­xhtml?lawCode=BPC&sectionNum=650.­4.­ External link icon (last accessed December 5, 2016).