Sponsored Free Health-Care Events

On September 23, 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 2699 (Bass, Chapter 270, Statutes of 2010), enacting Business and Professions Code (BPC) section 901, which took effect January 1, 2011. This statute provides a regulatory framework for certain health-care events at which free health care is offered to uninsured or under-insured individuals by volunteer health-care practitioners where those practitioners may include individuals who may be licensed in one or more states but are not licensed in California.

This legislation was introduced to help alleviate any shortages of California health-care practitioners at these events by permitting out-of-state health-care practitioners, who are willing to volunteer, the ability to practice in California, i.e., at these events, for a limited time.

Prior to this enactment, licensing laws precluded the participation of volunteers licensed outside of California. BPC section 901 defines "sponsoring entities," "sponsored events," and "health-care practitioners," and sets forth requirements for registration of sponsoring entities and authorization for participation by health-care practitioners licensed in other states by the various boards responsible for licensure and regulation of healing arts.

AB 2699 has been implemented, through regulations, by various Department of Consumer Affairs' healing arts boards: Dental Board, Dental Hygiene Committee, Medical Board, Occupational Therapy Board, Optometry Board, Physical Therapy Board, Physician Assistant Board, Registered Nursing Board, Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians Board.

The exemption provided for volunteer out-of-state health-care practitioners to participate in sponsored free health care events, under AB 2699, expired January 1, 2014; however, AB 512 (Rendon, Chapter 1111, Statutes of 2013) extended this exemption to January 1, 2018.