AB 899 – California

Status: Enacted
Year Introduced: 2019
Link: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB899

Clinic licensing – Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of clinics by the State Department of Public Health, including primary care clinics, as defined. Existing law authorizes a primary care clinic that meets identified requirements, including specified minimum construction standards of adequacy and safety for clinics, to add a physical plant under a consolidated license or an affiliate clinic license. This bill would exempt an additional physical plant under a consolidated license or an affiliate clinic license from the above-specified minimum construction standards if the physical plant was, prior to being acquired, an outpatient setting or a previously licensed primary care clinic that was actively seeing patients within the previous 18 months. The bill would also require that the minimum construction standards of adequacy and safety prescribed for primary care clinics be developed in consideration of the unique and distinct needs of clinics in contrast to health facilities, as defined. According to the author, when a licensed Community clinic purchases another clinic or a physicians’ office, the acquiring clinic is required to remodel the purchased facility to meet the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development “OSHPD 3” building standards, even though the purchased site was serving patients previously. However, the clinic standards are “one-size fits all”. A community clinic that is providing outpatient care must meet standards almost identical to a surgical center, outpatient department of a hospital, or dialysis clinic. The author notes that this is especially burdensome in rural areas when a clinic wants to purchase a practice from a retiring physician in order to maintain access to care for the physician’s patients.

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