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Classifying Exercise Facilities and Sports Medicine Specialists

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Classifying Exercise Facilities and Sports Medicine Specialists

March 30, 2016

There are some common operations performed at both exercise facilities and medical practices that specialize in sports medicine. In this e-newsletter, we will review the characteristics that define and distinguish fitness-related operations assigned to Classifications 9053(2), Exercise or Health Institutes, and 8834, Physicians’ Practices and Outpatient Clinics.

The complete description defining each classification appears in the California Workers’ Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan—1995, (USRP), as follows:

EXERCISE OR HEALTH INSTITUTES – all employees – including restaurant employees and receptionists  9053(2)
PHYSICIANS’ PRACTICES AND OUTPATIENT CLINICS – all employees – including Clerical Office Employees 

This classification applies to physicians’ practices and clinics that provide outpatient medical services that are less than 24 hours in duration to treat patients for illness, disease and disorders. Outpatient medical services also include but are not limited to surgery; medical weight loss treatment; physical therapy; acupuncture; chiropractic care; dialysis; x-ray laboratory services; and blood, body fluid and tissue collection and testing.

Physicians employed by facilities, including but not limited to hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and residential care facilities shall be assigned to the classification applicable to the facility.


It is significant that both classifications include the descriptive phrase all employees. This phrase is defined in the USRP at Part 3, Standard Classification System, Section II, Classification Terminology, Rule 1:

1. All
If a classification carries a descriptive phrase beginning with all, as in the expression all employees, all other employees, all operations, and all work to completion, division of payroll shall not be made for any employee or operations (other than the Standard Exceptions or General Exclusions), without regard to the location of such operations, except for an operation not incidental to and not usually associated with the enterprise described by such classification.

Employers that are commonly assigned to Classification 9053(2) include membership gyms, health clubs, yoga studios, aerobic dance studios and exercise facilities. Operations typically include fitness instruction and personal training, and the maintenance of facilities that often contain a variety of exercise equipment for use by customers to promote general fitness. In some cases, customers may use a facility assignable to Classification 9053(2), Exercise or Health Institutes, while undergoing physical therapy or rehabilitation from a sports injury. Classification 9053(2), however, does not contemplate the provision of physical therapy or practice of medicine by employees of the exercise or health institute.

There are medical professionals and practices that specialize in physical therapy and sports medicine. The equipment and exercises that are used in connection with these medically based treatments may resemble equipment and exercises that are otherwise associated with Classification 9053(2); however, because the operations pertain to providing physical therapy and medical treatment to patients, Classification 8834, Physicians' Practices and Outpatient Clinics, applies. Classification 8834 does not apply to the operation of a membership gym, health club or similar facility for use by customers to promote general fitness.

As both Classifications 9053(2) and 8834 are designated for all employees, it is correct to assign both classes to an employer only if it is established that the exercise or health institute and the physical therapy/medical treatment operations are separate enterprises, each not incidental to and not usually associated with the enterprise described by the other classification.

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Online Guide to Workers' Compensation: The Standard Classification System