The Medical Board of California is the first licensing board to adopt regulations for AB 2699, Bass (Chapter 270, Statutes of 2010). AB 2699 specifically provides an exemption from the licensure and regulation requirements for a health care practitioner licensed or certified in good standing in another state or states, who offers or provides health care services through a sponsored event as defined below:
- To uninsured or underinsured persons;
- On a short-term voluntary basis;
- In association with a sponsoring entity that registers with the applicable healing arts board and provides specified information to the county health department of the county in which the health care services will be provided; and
- Without charge to the recipient or a 3rd party on behalf of the recipient, as specified.
There are thousands of individuals in California lacking basic health care services and preventive care. There is also a shortage of volunteer healthcare professionals in this state. California’s restrictions that prohibited volunteer out-of-state licensed medical professionals from providing short-term services at these free health fairs, regrettably resulted in residents being turned away.
With the passing of this legislation, medical doctors who are licensed in states other than California can now volunteer to provide services at health care events in California. No California medical license is needed; however, medical doctors must register with the Medical Board of California and hold a current valid medical license in good standing in another state, and the practitioner must submit fingerprints for a criminal background check. The out-of-state practitioner must provide the services only on a voluntary basis, without charge to uninsured and underinsured persons at a sponsored healthcare event lasting 10 days or less.
“The mission of the Medical Board is public protection, and this action reflects the Board’s ongoing commitment to that mission,” said Linda Whitney, executive director of the Medical Board.
Physicians (M.D.s) and free health care event sponsors can download the regulations, registration forms, required signage, and instructions at the Medical Board of California Website. Sponsors of free health care events must register with the Medical Board at least 90 days before the event is held.