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out this link.]
California Senate Bill SB577 (final version)
(Note: Text within the bill that is in Boldface has been added
as it went through the Assembly Health Committee.)
The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Based upon a comprehensive report by the National Institute of
Medicine and other studies, including a study published by the New England
Journal of Medicine, it is evident that millions of Californians, perhaps
more than five million, are presently receiving a substantial volume
of health care services from complementary and alternative health care
practitioners. Those studies further indicate that individuals utilizing
complementary and alternative health care services cut across a wide
variety of age, ethnic, socioeconomic, and other demographic categories.
(b) Notwithstanding the widespread utilization of complementary and
alternative medical services by Californians, the provision of many
of these services may be in technical violation of the Medical Practice
Act (Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 2000) of Division 2 of the Business
and Professions Code). Complementary and alternative health care practitioners
could therefore be subject to fines, penalties, and the restriction
of their practice under the Medical Practice Act even though there is
no demonstration that their practices are harmful to the public.
(c) The Legislature intends, by enactment of this act, to allow
access by California residents to complementary and alternative health
care practitioners who are not providing services that require medical
training and credentials. The Legislature further finds that these nonmedical
complementary and alternative services do not pose a known risk
to the health and safety of California residents, and that restricting
access to those services due to technical violations of the Medical
Practice Act is not warranted.
Section 2053.5 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:
2053.5. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person who
complies with the requirements of Section 2053.6 shall not be in
violation of Section 2051, 2052, or 2053 unless that person does any of
(1) Conducts surgery or any other procedure on another person that punctures
the skin or harmfully invades the body.
(2) Administers or prescribes x-ray radiation to another person.
(3) Prescribes or administers legend drugs or controlled substances to
(4) Recommends the discontinuance of legend drugs or controlled substances
prescribed by an appropriately licensed practitioner.
(5) Willfully diagnoses and treats a physical or mental condition of
any person under circumstances or conditions that cause or create risk
of great bodily harm, serious physical or mental illness, or death.
(6) Sets fractures.
(7) Treats lacerations or abrasions through electrotherapy.
(8) Holds out, states, indicates, advertises, or implies to a client
or prospective client that he or she is a physician, a surgeon, or a physician
(b) A person who advertises any services that
are not unlawful under Section 2051, 2052, or 2053 pursuant to subdivision
(a) shall disclose in the advertisement that he or she is not licensed
by the state as a healing arts practitioner.
SECTION 3. Section 2053.6 is added to the Business and Professions
Code, to read:
2053.6. (a) A person who provides services pursuant
to Section 2053.5 that are not unlawful under Section 2051, 2052, or 2053
shall, prior to providing those services, do the following:
(1) Disclose to the client in a written statement
using plain language the following information:
A) That he or she is not a licensed physician.
(B) That the treatment is alternative or
complementary to healing arts services licensed by the state.
(C) That the services to be provided are
not licensed by the state.
(D) The nature of the services to be provided.
(E) The theory of treatment upon which the
services are based.
(F) His or her educational, training, experience,
and other qualifications regarding the services to be provided.
(2) Obtain a written acknowledgement from
the client stating that he or she has been provided with the information
described in paragraph (1). The client shall be provided with a copy
of the written acknowledgement, which shall be maintained by the person
providing the service for three years.
(b) The information required by subdivision
(a) shall be provided in a language that the client understands.
(c) Nothing in this section or in Section 2053.5
shall be construed to do the following:
(1) Affect the scope of practice of licensed
physicians and surgeons.
(2) Limit the right of any person to seek
relief for negligence or any other civil remedy against a person providing
services subject to the requirements of this section.