Incidental Medical Services

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On January 1, 2016, Chapter 744, Assembly Bill (AB) 848 authorized alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facilities licensed by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to provide incidental medical services (IMS). AB 848 amends Health and Safety Code (HSC) Division 10.5 Chapter 7.5 Sections 11834.03 and 11834.36, and adds Sections 11834.025 and 11834.026 to allow licensed residential facilities the option to apply for approval from DHCS to provide IMS in their facilities. AB 848 allows DHCS to implement the provisions contained in the bill via a provider bulletin until the adoption of regulations.

IMS means optional services provided at a facility by a health care practitioner, or staff under the supervision of a health care practitioner, to address medical issues associated with detoxification, treatment, or recovery services. IMS must be provided at the facility in compliance with the community standard of practice. IMS does not include general primary medical care or medical services required to be performed in a licensed health facility, as defined by HSC Section 1200 or 1250.

The following six IMS services must be provided after receiving approval from DHCS:

  1. Obtaining medical histories;
  2. Monitoring health status;
  3. Testing associated with detoxification from alcohol or drugs;
  4. Providing alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment services;
  5. Overseeing patient self-administered medications;
  6. Treating substance abuse disorders, including detoxification.

The process for obtaining a license to operate an alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facility is set forth in the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 9, Division 4, Chapter 5, Subchapter 2. Initial applicants seeking to provide IMS shall submit an Initial Treatment Provider Application (DHCS 6002), together with applicable fees and supporting documentation. DHCS will review the application in accordance with Title 9, CCR Section 10522. Existing licensed residential facilities seeking to provide IMS shall submit a Supplemental Application (DHCS 5255), together with applicable fees and supporting documentation.

For more information, please refer to IMS Information Notice 18-031 on the Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder Services Information Notices website.

Applications, forms, and fees, FAQs associated with providing IMS and Resources are available on this website.

Please contact the Licensing and Certification Division by calling (916) 322-2911 for more information.​

Last modified date: 3/23/2021 8:59 AM