Law To Bring In Medical Workers From Outside State Facing Delays
California lawmakers passed a law (AB 2699) last year to make it easier for out-of-state health care professionals to provide treatment to California residents on a short-term basis, but the state has not yet adopted regulations to implement the law, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Background on the Law
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed theÂ measure in September 2010 after more than 6,600 individuals sought care at a no-cost health clinic in Los Angeles.
The law permits volunteer physicians, nurses and other licensed health care workers from states other than California to treat underinsured or uninsured patients in California on a short-term basis.
Details of the Implementation Delay
Officials have not completed regulations to set up the process for authorizing the visiting medical professionals.
Jennifer Simoes of the Medical Board of California said that the agency began developing regulations as soon as the law took effect in January. However, the regulations are not expected to be finalized until next year.
Russ Heimerich -- a spokesperson for the California Department of Consumer Affairs -- said several other health care boards also are in the process of preparing regulations.
Former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), who sponsored the measure, said fewer people will receive care at no-cost clinics because regulatory agencies failed to work quickly enough.
OnlyÂ medical personnel licensed in California will be able to treat patientsÂ at a four-day, no-cost clinic scheduled to begin Oct. 20 in Los Angeles (Gorman, Los Angeles Times, 10/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.