California Health and Safety Code Section 1248.15

CA Health & Safety Code § 1248.15 (2017)  

(a) The board shall adopt standards for accreditation and, in approving accreditation agencies to perform accreditation of outpatient settings, shall ensure that the certification program shall, at a minimum, include standards for the following aspects of the settings’ operations:

(1) Outpatient setting allied health staff shall be licensed or certified to the extent required by state or federal law.

(2) (A) Outpatient settings shall have a system for facility safety and emergency training requirements.

(B) There shall be onsite equipment, medication, and trained personnel to facilitate handling of services sought or provided and to facilitate handling of any medical emergency that may arise in connection with services sought or provided.

(C) In order for procedures to be performed in an outpatient setting as defined in Section 1248, the outpatient setting shall do one of the following:

(i) Have a written transfer agreement with a local accredited or licensed acute care hospital, approved by the facility’s medical staff.

(ii) Permit surgery only by a licensee who has admitting privileges at a local accredited or licensed acute care hospital, with the exception that licensees who may be precluded from having admitting privileges by their professional classification or other administrative limitations, shall have a written transfer agreement with licensees who have admitting privileges at local accredited or licensed acute care hospitals.

(iii) Submit for approval by an accrediting agency a detailed procedural plan for handling medical emergencies that shall be reviewed at the time of accreditation. No reasonable plan shall be disapproved by the accrediting agency.

(D) The outpatient setting shall submit for approval by an accreditation agency at the time of accreditation a detailed plan, standardized procedures, and protocols to be followed in the event of serious complications or side effects from surgery that would place a patient at high risk for injury or harm or to govern emergency and urgent care situations. The plan shall include, at a minimum, that if a patient is being transferred to a local accredited or licensed acute care hospital, the outpatient setting shall do all of the following:

(i) Notify the individual designated by the patient to be notified in case of an emergency.

(ii) Ensure that the mode of transfer is consistent with the patient’s medical condition.

(iii) Ensure that all relevant clinical information is documented and accompanies the patient at the time of transfer.

(iv) Continue to provide appropriate care to the patient until the transfer is effectuated.

(E) All physicians and surgeons transferring patients from an outpatient setting shall agree to cooperate with the medical staff peer review process on the transferred case, the results of which shall be referred back to the outpatient setting, if deemed appropriate by the medical staff peer review committee. If the medical staff of the acute care facility determines that inappropriate care was delivered at the outpatient setting, the acute care facility’s peer review outcome shall be reported, as appropriate, to the accrediting body or in accordance with existing law.

(3) The outpatient setting shall permit surgery by a dentist acting within his or her scope of practice under Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 1600) of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code or physician and surgeon, osteopathic physician and surgeon, or podiatrist acting within his or her scope of practice under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 2000) of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code or the Osteopathic Initiative Act. The outpatient setting may, in its discretion, permit anesthesia service by a certified registered nurse anesthetist acting within his or her scope of practice under Article 7 (commencing with Section 2825) of Chapter 6 of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code.

(4) Outpatient settings shall have a system for maintaining clinical records.

(5) Outpatient settings shall have a system for patient care and monitoring procedures.

(6) (A) Outpatient settings shall have a system for quality assessment and improvement.

(B) (i) Members of the medical staff and other practitioners who are granted clinical privileges shall be professionally qualified and appropriately credentialed for the performance of privileges granted. The outpatient setting shall grant privileges in accordance with recommendations from qualified health professionals, and credentialing standards established by the outpatient setting.

(ii) Each licensee who performs procedures in an outpatient setting that requires the outpatient setting to be accredited shall be, at least every two years, peer reviewed, which shall be a process in which the basic qualifications, staff privileges, employment, medical outcomes, or professional conduct of a licensee is reviewed to make recommendations for quality improvement and education, if necessary, including when the outpatient setting has only one licensee. The peer review shall be performed by licensees who are qualified by education and experience to perform the same types of, or similar, procedures. The findings of the peer review shall be reported to the governing body, which shall determine if the licensee continues to meet the requirements described in clause (i). The process that resulted in the findings of the peer review shall be reviewed by the accrediting agency at the next survey to determine if the outpatient setting meets applicable accreditation standards pursuant to this section.

(C) Clinical privileges shall be periodically reappraised by the outpatient setting. The scope of procedures performed in the outpatient setting shall be periodically reviewed and amended as appropriate.

(7) Outpatient settings regulated by this chapter that have multiple service locations shall have all of the sites inspected.

(8) Outpatient settings shall post the certificate of accreditation in a location readily visible to patients and staff.

(9) Outpatient settings shall post the name and telephone number of the accrediting agency with instructions on the submission of complaints in a location readily visible to patients and staff.

(10) Outpatient settings shall have a written discharge criteria.

(b) Outpatient settings shall have a minimum of two staff persons on the premises, one of whom shall either be a licensed physician and surgeon or a licensed health care professional with current certification in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), as long as a patient is present who has not been discharged from supervised care. Transfer to an unlicensed setting of a patient who does not meet the discharge criteria adopted pursuant to paragraph (10) of subdivision (a) shall constitute unprofessional conduct.

(c) An accreditation agency may include additional standards in its determination to accredit outpatient settings if these are approved by the board to protect the public health and safety.

(d) No accreditation standard adopted or approved by the board, and no standard included in any certification program of any accreditation agency approved by the board, shall serve to limit the ability of any allied health care practitioner to provide services within his or her full scope of practice. Notwithstanding this or any other provision of law, each outpatient setting may limit the privileges, or determine the privileges, within the appropriate scope of practice, that will be afforded to physicians and allied health care practitioners who practice at the facility, in accordance with credentialing standards established by the outpatient setting in compliance with this chapter. Privileges may not be arbitrarily restricted based on category of licensure.

(e) The board shall adopt standards that it deems necessary for outpatient settings that offer in vitro fertilization.

(f) The board may adopt regulations it deems necessary to specify procedures that should be performed in an accredited outpatient setting for facilities or clinics that are outside the definition of outpatient setting as specified in Section 1248.

(g) As part of the accreditation process, the accrediting agency shall conduct a reasonable investigation of the prior history of the outpatient setting, including all licensed physicians and surgeons who have an ownership interest therein, to determine whether there have been any adverse accreditation decisions rendered against them. For the purposes of this section, “conducting a reasonable investigation” means querying the Medical Board of California and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California to ascertain if either the outpatient setting has, or, if its owners are licensed physicians and surgeons, if those physicians and surgeons have, been subject to an adverse accreditation decision.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 287, Sec. 3. (SB 396) Effective January 1, 2016.)

Last modified: October 25, 2018