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(a)(1) By January 1, 2021, the department shall develop and make available for use by licensed physicians and surgeons an electronic, standardized, statewide medical exemption certification form that shall be transmitted directly to the department's California Immunization Registry (CAIR) established pursuant to Section 120440. Pursuant to Section 120375, the form shall be printed, signed, and submitted directly to the school or institution at which the child will attend, submitted directly to the governing authority of the school or institution, or submitted to that governing authority through the CAIR where applicable. Notwithstanding Section 120370, commencing January 1, 2021, the standardized form shall be the only documentation of a medical exemption that the governing authority may accept.
(2) At a minimum, the form shall require all of the following information:
(A) The name, California medical license number, business address, and telephone number of the physician and surgeon who issued the medical exemption, and of the primary care physician of the child, if different from the physician and surgeon who issued the medical exemption.
(B) The name of the child for whom the exemption is sought, the name and address of the child's parent or guardian, and the name and address of the child's school or other institution.
(C) A statement certifying that the physician and surgeon has conducted a physical examination and evaluation of the child consistent with the relevant standard of care and complied with all applicable requirements of this section.
(D) Whether the physician and surgeon who issued the medical exemption is the child's primary care physician. If the issuing physician and surgeon is not the child's primary care physician, the issuing physician and surgeon shall also provide an explanation as to why the issuing physician and not the primary care physician is filling out the medical exemption form.
(E) How long the physician and surgeon has been treating the child.
(F) A description of the medical basis for which the exemption for each individual immunization is sought. Each specific immunization shall be listed separately and space on the form shall be provided to allow for the inclusion of descriptive information for each immunization for which the exemption is sought.
(G) Whether the medical exemption is permanent or temporary, including the date upon which a temporary medical exemption will expire. A temporary exemption shall not exceed one year. All medical exemptions shall not extend beyond the grade span, as defined in Section 120370.
(H) An authorization for the department to contact the issuing physician and surgeon for purposes of this section and for the release of records related to the medical exemption to the department, the Medical Board of California, and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California.
(I) A certification by the issuing physician and surgeon that the statements and information contained in the form are true, accurate, and complete.
(3) An issuing physician and surgeon shall not charge for either of the following:
(A) Filling out a medical exemption form pursuant to this section.
(B) A physical examination related to the renewal of a temporary medical exemption.
(b) Commencing January 1, 2021, if a parent or guardian requests a licensed physician and surgeon to submit a medical exemption for the parent's or guardian's child, the physician and surgeon shall inform the parent or guardian of the requirements of this section. If the parent or guardian consents, the physician and surgeon shall examine the child and submit a completed medical exemption certification form to the department. A medical exemption certification form may be submitted to the department at any time.
(c) By January 1, 2021, the department shall create a standardized system to monitor immunization levels in schools and institutions as specified in Sections 120375 and 120440, and to monitor patterns of unusually high exemption form submissions by a particular physician and surgeon.
(d)(1) The department, at a minimum, shall annually review immunization reports from all schools and institutions in order to identify medical exemption forms submitted to the department and under this section that will be subject to paragraph (2).
(2) A clinically trained immunization department staff member, who is either a physician and surgeon or a registered nurse, shall review all medical exemptions from any of the following:
(A) Schools or institutions subject to Section 120375 with an overall immunization rate of less than 95 percent.
(B) Physicians and surgeons who have submitted five or more medical exemptions in a calendar year beginning January 1, 2020.
(C) Schools or institutions subject to Section 120375 that do not provide reports of vaccination rates to the department.
(3)(A) The department shall identify those medical exemption forms that do not meet applicable CDC, ACIP, or AAP criteria for appropriate medical exemptions. The department may contact the primary care physician and surgeon or issuing physician and surgeon to request additional information to support the medical exemption.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the department, based on the medical discretion of the clinically trained immunization staff member, may accept a medical exemption that is based on other contraindications or precautions, including consideration of family medical history, if the issuing physician and surgeon provides written documentation to support the medical exemption that is consistent with the relevant standard of care.
(C) A medical exemption that the reviewing immunization department staff member determines to be inappropriate or otherwise invalid under subparagraphs (A) and (B) shall also be reviewed by the State Public Health Officer or a physician and surgeon from the department's immunization program designated by the State Public Health Officer. Pursuant to this review, the State Public Health Officer or physician and surgeon designee may revoke the medical exemption.
(4) Medical exemptions issued prior to January 1, 2020, shall not be revoked unless the exemption was issued by a physician or surgeon that has been subject to disciplinary action by the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California.
(5) The department shall notify the parent or guardian, issuing physician and surgeon, the school or institution, and the local public health officer with jurisdiction over the school or institution of a denial or revocation under this subdivision.
(6) If a medical exemption is revoked pursuant to this subdivision, the child shall continue in attendance. However, within 30 calendar days of the revocation, the child shall commence the immunization schedule required for conditional admittance under Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 6000) of Division 1 of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations in order to remain in attendance, unless an appeal is filed pursuant to Section 120372.05 within that 30-day time period, in which case the child shall continue in attendance and shall not be required to otherwise comply with immunization requirements unless and until the revocation is upheld on appeal.
(7)(A) If the department determines that a physician's and surgeon's practice is contributing to a public health risk in one or more communities, the department shall report the physician and surgeon to the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, as appropriate. The department shall not accept a medical exemption form from the physician and surgeon until the physician and surgeon demonstrates to the department that the public health risk no longer exists, but in no event shall the physician and surgeon be barred from submitting these forms for less than two years.
(B) If there is a pending accusation against a physician and surgeon with the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California relating to immunization standards of care, the department shall not accept a medical exemption form from the physician and surgeon unless and until the accusation is resolved in favor of the physician and surgeon.
(C) If a physician and surgeon licensed with the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California is on probation for action relating to immunization standards of care, the department and governing authority shall not accept a medical exemption form from the physician and surgeon unless and until the probation has been terminated.
(8) The department shall notify the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, as appropriate, of any physician and surgeon who has five or more medical exemption forms in a calendar year that are revoked pursuant to this subdivision.
(9) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a clinically trained immunization program staff member who is a physician and surgeon or a registered nurse may review any exemption in the CAIR or other state database as necessary to protect public health.
(e) The department, the Medical Board of California, and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California shall enter into a memorandum of understanding or similar agreement to ensure compliance with the requirements of this section.
(f) In administering this section, the department and the independent expert review panel created pursuant to Section 120372.05 shall comply with all applicable state and federal privacy and confidentiality laws. The department may disclose information submitted in the medical exemption form in accordance with Section 120440, and may disclose information submitted pursuant to this chapter to the independent expert review panel for the purpose of evaluating appeals.
(g) The department shall establish the process and guidelines for review of medical exemptions pursuant to this section. The department shall communicate the process to providers and post this information on the department's website.
(h) If the department or the California Health and Human Services Agency determines that contracts are required to implement or administer this section, the department may award these contracts on a single-source or sole-source basis. The contracts are not subject to Part 2 (commencing with Section 10100) of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code, Article 4 (commencing with Section 19130) of Chapter 5 of Part 2 of Division 5 of Title 2 of the Government Code, or Sections 4800 to 5180, inclusive, of the State Administrative Manual as they relate to approval of information technology projects or approval of increases in the duration or costs of information technology projects.
(i) Notwithstanding the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the department may implement and administer this section through provider bulletins, or similar instructions, without taking regulatory action.
(j) For purposes of administering this section, the department and the California Health and Human Services Agency appeals process shall be exempt from the rulemaking and administrative adjudication provisions in the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340), Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 11370), Chapter 4.5 (commencing with 11400), and Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - California Code, Health and Safety Code - HSC § 120372 - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/health-and-safety-code/hsc-sect-120372/
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