Frequently Asked Questions

1) What does TMAS do?

TMAS registers and regulates businesses that provide telephone medical advice to California consumers (e.g., advice nurse call centers). We verify that all persons employed by registrants have an appropriate valid license to provide telephone medical advice. We process complaints from consumers regarding telephone medical advice that they have received and forward those complaints to the Department of Managed Health Care and other licensing boards as appropriate.

TMAS does not employ medical professionals and we do not provide medical advice.

2) What businesses need to be registered with TMAS?

Any business that employs, or contracts or subcontracts, directly or indirectly, with the full-time equivalent of five or more persons functioning as health care professionals, whose primary function is to provide telephone medical advice and that provides that advice to a patient at a California address needs to be registered (B&P Code § 4999).

3) Under California law, which health-care practitioners may provide medical advice over the telephone?

Pursuant to B&P Code § 4999.2, the following health-care practitioners may provide medical advice over the telephone:

  • Physician and surgeon
  • Osteopathic physician and surgeon
  • Dentist
  • Dental hygienist
  • Registered nurse
  • Psychologist
  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Licensed clinical social worker
  • Optometrist
  • Chiropractor

4) Do health-care practitioners providing telephone medical advice need to be licensed in California?

Practitioners must be licensed and operate consistent with the laws governing their respective scopes of practice in California and in the state within which they are providing the telephone medical advice services (B&P Code § 4999.2).

5) How does a business register with TMAS?

A business must complete the registration form in its entirety and pay the registration fee ($7,500). The registration fee is good for two years (B&P Code § 4999.1; 16 CCRs § 4010 and 4040).

6) How do I keep my business in good standing with TMAS?

See the following publication:

7) Can a business located outside the United States provide telephone medical advice for Californians?

No. Current law requires that registrant businesses and the health-care practitioners providing the telephone medical advice be located within the United States.