Sponsored Free Health Care Events

The Physician Assistant Board (Board) is pleased to announce that regulations for physician assistants who volunteer to provide medical services at "Sponsored Free Health Care Events" became effective October 1, 2013.

The following information is meant to serve as a summary of the program and the requirements. However, all interested parties should read and become familiar with the law and the regulations.

ENACTING LEGISLATION:

Assembly Bill 2699 (Bass, Chapter 270, Statutes of 2010) added California Business and Professions Code Section 901 (B&P Section 901), which provides a framework whereby healing arts boards, including the Physician Assistant Board, are authorized to adopt regulations under which a health care practitioner licensed and in good standing in another state, district or territory of the United States may, under specified conditions, provide health care services for a limited time in California without obtaining California licensure. These professional services only can be provided at free health care events sponsored by certain entities.

GOVERNING REGULATIONS:

The Board has adopted Sections 1399.620, 1399.621, 1399.622, and 1399.623 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations to implement the provisions of B&P Section 901. Click on this link to view the regulations. These regulations only apply to out-of-state physician assistants. Other healthcare professionals should check with the appropriate California board for eligibility requirements to participate in free health care events.

SPONSORING ENTITIES:

Under the auspices of this program, free health care events can be sponsored either by a local government or a "sponsoring entity," or both.

A "sponsoring entity" is a non-governmental entity that wishes to sponsor a free health care event and must be either a nonprofit organization (organized pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code) or a community-based organization, which is defined as a public or private nonprofit organization that is representative of a community or a significant segment of a community, and is engaged in meeting human, educational, environmental, or public safety community needs.

A non-government organization sponsoring a free health care event to uninsured and underinsured individuals at no cost may include participation by certain healthcare practitioners licensed outside of California if the organization registers with the California licensing authorities having jurisdiction over those professions. Local government entities that plan to sponsor a free health care event are not required to register.

Registration Form: A sponsoring entity can register by submitting the completed "Registration of Sponsoring Entity under Business & Professions Code Section 901," Form 901-A. The Board has delegated the registration process for sponsoring entities to the Department of Consumer Affairs.

To register, download this form.

This form must be completed and submitted by the sponsoring entity at least 90 calendar days prior to the sponsored event.

The form must be submitted to the Department of Consumer Affairs, as indicated on page 3 of the form.

Posting of Notice: Sponsoring entities must post a notice visible to patients at every station where patients are being seen by a physician assistant. The notice shall be in at least 48-point type in Arial font and include a statement and information as shown in this document. Entities either can print and use this document or have a similar notice printed, so long as it meets the legal requirements.

Fingerprinting of Out-of-State physician assistant volunteers: Sponsoring entities should be aware that all out-of-state physician assistants must be fingerprinted before an authorization will be granted by the Board. (See more information, below.) The sponsoring entity may consider the services of mobile Live Scan operators who can travel to the entities' area; this would be a practical option if a number of healthcare volunteers (not just physician assistant volunteers) are coming from a single geographic area.

OUT-OF-STATE PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT VOLUNTEERS:

A person who is not licensed as a physician assistant in California but who holds a current valid physician assistant license in good standing in another state, district, or territory of the United States can volunteer to provide medical services at a sponsored free health care event.

An out-of-state physician assistant cannot apply independently; each application must specify the event at which the physician assistant wants to volunteer.

Note for California Licensees: A California licensed physician assistant may volunteer to provide medical services at a free health care event if the California license is renewed and current. No further action is required before offering/volunteering services.

Application Process and Fees: An out-of-state licensed physician assistant may request authorization to participate in a sponsored free health care event by submitting to the Board a completed "Request for Authorization to Practice Without a California License at a Sponsored Free Health Care Event," Form 901-B.

If the application is approved, the Board will notify both the out-of-state physician assistant and the sponsoring entity that authorization has been given for the physician assistant to participate in a specific free health care event; the authorization period may not be for more than 10 days.

An out-of-state physician assistant must submit a new application and processing fee for each health event at which he or she wants to volunteer.

To apply for authorization, download this form. This completed form must be submitted by the out-of-state physician assistant at least 20 calendar days prior to the sponsored event. The form must be submitted to:

Physician Assistant Board
ATTN: Licensing - Health Care Events
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1100
Sacramento, CA 95815

Every application form must be accompanied by payment of a non-refundable, non-transferable processing fee of $25.

Fingerprinting Process and Fees: Before authorization can be granted to an out-of-state physician assistant, a criminal record check must be performed by the California Department of Justice and the FBI.

A one-time, non-refundable fingerprint process fee of $49 must be paid by the out-of-state physician assistant. Once an out-of-state physician assistant has been fingerprinted and authorization has been granted by the Board, this fingerprinting process need not be repeated if the out-of-state physician assistant wishes to volunteer at future health care events in California.

An out-of-state physician assistant seeking authorization must submit a completed set of fingerprint cards and should do so promptly. The physician assistant may contact the Board at (916) 561-8780 to request fingerprint cards. The results of fingerprint cards generally are received within twelve (12) weeks after the cards have been submitted to the Board.

In the alternative, out-of-state physician assistants may come to California to use Live Scan, an electronic fingerprinting process; it is expeditious, but it is available only in California. The results of Live Scan generally are received within five (5) days after the prints are scanned. To use Live Scan, please use this form. For a list of Live Scan locations in California, click on this link. (If you are an out-of-state physician assistant and want to use Live Scan, you may want to discuss with the event sponsors about the services of mobile Live Scan operators who can travel to your area; this would be a practical option if a number of healthcare volunteers are coming from a single geographic area.)

Delegation of Services Agreement: An out-of-state physician assistant shall also furnish with their application a completed Delegation of Services Agreement (DSA), signed and dated by the applicant and each supervising physician.

The DSA is a document used by supervising physicians and physician assistants to meet requirements of Title 16, California Code of Regulations Section 1399.540. Click on this link for the Physician Assistant Laws and Regulations.

The DSA is the foundation of the relationship between a supervising physician and the physician assistant, and specifies the names of the supervising physicians and what types of medical services the physician assistant is allowed to perform, how they are performed, how the patient charts will be reviewed and countersigned, and what type of medications the physician assistant will transmit on behalf of the supervising physician.

For a sample Delegation of Services Agreement, click on this link.

Posting of Notice: An out-of-state physician assistant who receives authorization to practice medicine at an event sponsored by a local government entity shall place a notice visible to patients at every station at which that person will be seeing patients. The notice shall be in at least 48-point type in Arial font and include a statement and information as shown in this document. Volunteers either can print and use this document or have a similar notice printed, so long as it meets the legal requirements. While the posting requirement is not required when a "local government entity" is sponsoring the event, the out-of-state physician assistant must receive authorization from the Board before volunteering at the event.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Local government and sponsoring entities requiring more information about registration for sponsored free health care events should contact the Department of Consumer Affairs at:

Department of Consumer Affairs
Attn: Sponsored Free Health-Care Events
Complaint Resolution Program
1625 North Market Blvd., Ste. S-202
Sacramento, CA 95834

Telephone: (916) 574-7950
Fax: (916) 574-8676
E-mail: CRP2@dca.ca.gov

Physician assistant volunteers requiring more information about registration for sponsored free health care events should contact the Physician Assistant Board at:

Telephone: (916) 561-8783
Email: pacommittee@mbc.ca.gov