Sponsored Free Health Care Events (effective October 1, 2017)

The California Acupuncture Board (Board) is pleased to announce that regulations for licensed acupuncturists who volunteer to provide medical services at "Sponsored Free Health Care Events" will become effective October 1, 2017.

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 California Acupuncture 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 1399.407, 1399.407.1, 1399.407.2, and 1399.407.3 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 acupuncturists. 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 (DCA/2016 revised). 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 at the following address:

Department of Consumer Affairs
Attn: Sponsored Free Health-Care Events
Division of Programs and Policy Review
1625 North Market Blvd., Ste. S-308
Sacramento, CA 95834

Tel: (916) 574-7970 Fax: (916) 574-8613 E-mail: CRP2@dca.ca.gov

Posting of Notice: It is strongly recommended that sponsoring entities post a notice visible to patients at every station where patients are being seen by acupuncturists. The notice may be in at least 48-point type in Arial font and include a statement and information as shown here (link to page: http://www.acupuncture.ca.gov/pubs_forms/laws_regs/bpc138_orderofadoption.pdf).

Fingerprinting of Out-of-State acupuncturist volunteers: Sponsoring entities should be aware that all out-of-state acupuncturists must be fingerprinted before an authorization will be granted by the Board. (See more information, below.)

OUT-OF-STATE ACUPUNCTURIST VOLUNTEERS:

A person who is not licensed as an acupuncturist in California but who holds a current valid acupuncturist 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 acupuncturist cannot apply independently; each application must specify the event at which the acupuncturist wants to volunteer.

Note for California Licensees: A California licensed acupuncturist 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. All laws and regulations applicable to acupuncture licensees must be followed.

Application Process and Fees: An out-of-state licensed acupuncturist 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 (CAB-2016).

If the application is approved, the Board will notify both the out-of-state acupuncturist and the sponsoring entity that authorization has been given for the acupuncturist to participate in a specific free health care event; the authorization period may not be for more than 10 days. An acupuncturist may not participate in no more than four (4) or more sponsored events during the 12 month period immediately preceding the date the current request for authorization is received by the Board.

An out-of-state acupuncturist 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 acupuncturist at least 20 calendar days prior to the sponsored event. The form must be submitted to:

California Acupuncture Board
ATTN: Licensing - Health Care Events
1747 North Market Blvd, Suite 180
Sacramento, CA 95834

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 acupuncturist, a criminal record check must be performed by the California Department of Justice and the FBI. Applicants will not be notified of their fingerprint scan results unless the scan needs to be repeated or the application has been denied due to background check information; it is recommended the applicant follow up with the Board directly if there are any questions or concerns.

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

An out-of-state acupuncturist seeking authorization must submit a completed set of fingerprint cards and should do so promptly. The acupuncturist may contact the Board at (916) 515-5200 or via email: acupuncture@dca.ca.gov 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 acupuncturist 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, you must use this form. For a list of Live Scan locations in California, click on this link. (If you are an out-of-state acupuncturist 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.)

Posting of Notice: It is strongly recommended that any out-of-state acupuncturist who receives authorization to practice acupuncture at an event sponsored by a local government entity place a notice visible to patients at every station at which that person will be seeing patients. The notice should be in at least 48-point type in Arial font and include a statement and information as shown here. While the posting requirement is not required when a "local government entity" is sponsoring the event, the out-of-state acupuncturist 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

Acupuncturists requiring more information about registration for sponsored free health care events should contact the California Acupuncture Board at:

Telephone: (916) 515-5200
Email: acupuncture@dca.ca.gov