Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )

CHAPTER 7.7. Physician Assistants [3500 - 3546]

  ( Heading of Chapter 7.7 amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 427, Sec. 5. )

ARTICLE 7.5. International Medical Graduate Physician Assistants [3537.10 - 3537.50]
  ( Article 7.5 added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1042, Sec. 3. )

3537.10.
  

(a)Subject to the other provisions of this article, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, hereafter in this article referred to as the office, shall coordinate the establishment of an international medical graduate physician assistant training program, to be conducted at an appropriate educational institution or institutions. The goal of the program shall be to place as many international medical graduate physician assistants in medically underserved areas as possible in order to provide greater access to care for the growing population of medically indigent and underserved. The method for accomplishing this goal shall be to train foreign medical graduates to become licensed as physician assistants at no cost to the participants in return for a commitment from the participants to serve full time in underserved areas for a four-year period.

(b) By February 1, 1994, or one month after federal funds to implement this article become available, whichever occurs later, the office shall establish a training program advisory task force. The task force shall be comprised of representatives from all of the following groups:

(1) Physician assistant program directors.

(2) Foreign medical graduates.

(3) The California Academy of Physician Assistants.

(4) Nonprofit community health center directors.

(5) Physicians.

(6) The board, at the board’s option.

The office may, instead, serve solely as a consultant to the task force.

(c) The task force shall do all of the following:

(1) Develop a recommended curriculum for the training program that shall be from 12 to 15 months in duration and shall, at a minimum, meet curriculum standards consistent with the board’s regulations. The program shall be subject to the board’s approval. By April 1, 1994, or three months after federal funds to implement this article become available, whichever occurs later, the curriculum shall be presented by the office to the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation of the American Medical Association, or its successor organization, for approval.

(2) Develop recommended admission criteria for participation in the pilot and ongoing program.

(3) Assist in development of linkages with academic institutions for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating the pilot program.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 332, Sec. 77. (SB 1236) Effective January 1, 2013.)

3537.15.
  

(a) Prior to establishment of an ongoing international medical graduate physician assistant training program, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development shall coordinate the establishment of a pilot program commencing September 1, 1994, or eight months after federal funds to implement this article become available, whichever occurs later, to test the validity and effectiveness of the recommended training curriculum developed by the task force. The task force shall, with the advice and assistance of the academic institutions offering the pilot program curriculum, and subject to their approval, select 10 international medical graduates to participate in the pilot program.

(b) After two classes have graduated from the pilot program, the task force, with the advice and assistance of the academic institutions, shall evaluate the results of the pilot program, to determine whether a permanent program should be established. The office may modify curriculum as needed and make appropriate revisions in order to ensure program integrity and compliance with established standards. Any permanent international medical graduate physician assistant training program shall commence at the beginning of the year following the completion of the evaluation.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1042, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1994.)

3537.20.
  

Any person who has satisfactorily completed the program established by this article shall be eligible for licensure by the board as a “physician assistant” if the person has complied with all of the following requirements:

(a) Has successfully completed the written examination required under Section 3517.

(b) Has successfully completed the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 332, Sec. 78. (SB 1236) Effective January 1, 2013.)

3537.25.
  

Both the pilot and the ongoing training program shall provide training at no cost to the participants in return for a written, enforceable agreement by the participants to, upon obtaining licensure under this article, serve a minimum of four years as a full-time physician assistant in an area of California designated by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development as a medically underserved area pursuant to Section 3537.35.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1042, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1994.)

3537.30.
  

(a) The Legislature recognizes that the goal of this program would be compromised if participants do not observe their commitments under this program to provide the required service in a medically underserved area. The goal of this program would not be met if all that it accomplished was merely to license physician assistants that served populations that are not medically underserved.

(b) Since damages would be difficult or impossible to ascertain in the event of default by the participant, this section shall set forth the extent of liquidated damages that shall be recoverable by the program in the case of default.

(c) In the case of default by a participant who has successfully completed the program and has obtained licensure under this article, the program shall collect the following damages from the participant:

(1) The total cost expended by the program for the training of the applicant, and interest thereon from the date of default.

(2) The total amount needed for the program to seek cover as set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 3537.35.

(3) The costs of enforcement, including, but not limited to, the costs of collecting the liquidated damages, the costs of litigation, and attorney’s fees.

(d) The Attorney General may represent the office, or the board, or both in any litigation necessitated by this article, or, if the Attorney General declines, the office, or the board, or both may hire other counsel for this purpose.

(e) Funds collected pursuant to subdivision (c) shall be allocated as follows:

(1) Costs of training recovered pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) shall be allocated to the office to be used upon appropriation for the continuing training program pursuant to this article.

(2) Costs of seeking cover recovered pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) shall be deposited in the Physician Assistant Training Fund established pursuant to Section 3537.40 for the purposes of providing grants pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 3537.35.

(3) Costs of enforcement recovered pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) shall be allocated between the office, and the Attorney General, or other counsel, according to actual costs.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 332, Sec. 79. (SB 1236) Effective January 1, 2013.)

3537.35.
  

The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development shall, in addition to other duties described in this article, do all of the following:

(a) Determine those areas of the state that are medically underserved in that they have a higher percentage of medically underserved and indigent persons and would benefit from the services of additional persons licensed as physician assistants.

(b) Determine the total cost of seeking cover as specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 3537.30. To determine the cost, the office shall study the market forces that are at work creating the scarcity of these physician assistants in these medically underserved areas, and determine the annual level of additional funding that would be required by a health facility, clinic, or other health care provider in those areas to motivate a physician assistant to serve full-time in those underserved areas. This amount shall be calculated so that when added to the prevailing rate for these services in the underserved area, would make these positions so attractive that physician assistants would be motivated to serve in those areas. This amount, which shall equal the cost to the office to place a qualified physician assistant in the underserved area, times four years shall be the total cost of seeking cover.

(c) Provide grants, as funds become available in the Physician Assistant Training Fund, to applicant health care providers that provide services in medically underserved areas for the purpose of funding additional full-time physician assistant positions in those areas to provide services in lieu of defaulting physician assistants. Participating providers shall use these grants to attract physician assistants that are from outside the area and shall demonstrate that the grant actually increases the number of physician assistants serving the underserved population. The grantee shall demonstrate that the grant did not merely shift a physician assistant from one medically underserved area to another, but rather, resulted in a net increase in the number of physician assistants serving the underserved population as a whole. Licensees under this article shall not directly or indirectly receive grants under this section.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1042, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1994.)

3537.40.
  

The Physician Assistant Training Fund is hereby created in the State Treasury for the purpose of receipt of funds collected pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 3537.30. The Physician Assistant Training Fund shall be available to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development for the purpose of providing grants pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 3537.35, upon appropriation by the Legislature.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1042, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1994.)

3537.45.
  

The program established pursuant to this article shall not be funded, directly or indirectly, from an increase in the fees charged to physician assistants, supervising physicians, or physician assistant training programs pursuant to Section 3521, 3521.1, or 3521.2. This article does not excuse physician assistants trained pursuant to this article or their supervising physicians from paying the fees established pursuant to Section 3521 or 3521.1.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1042, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1994.)

3537.50.
  

No General Fund revenues shall be expended to carry out this article. The implementation of the pilot program and, if applicable, the permanent program established by this article shall be contingent upon the availability of federal funds, which do not divert or detract from funds currently utilized to underwrite existing physician assistant training programs or to fund existing functions of the board. The new funding shall be sufficient to cover the full additional cost to the educational institution or institutions that establish the program or programs, the cost of tuition and attendance for the students in the program or programs, and any additional costs, including enforcement costs, that the office or the board incurs as a result of implementing this article. Nothing in this article shall be construed as imposing any obligations upon the office, the board, or any physician assistant training program in the absence of adequate funding as described in this section. Nothing in this article shall be construed either as precluding applicants for the program established by this article from seeking state or federal scholarship funds, or state and federal loan repayment funds available to physician assistant students, or as requiring that any applicants be granted preference in the award of those funds. Nothing in this article shall be construed as impairing the autonomy of any institution that offers a physician assistant training program.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 332, Sec. 80. (SB 1236) Effective January 1, 2013.)

BPCBusiness and Professions Code - BPC7.5.