Registration Information

Which Businesses Must Register as a Provider of Telephone Medical Advice Services (TMAS)?

Any business that employs the equivalent of five or more full-time employees to provide medical advice by telephone to California residents must register. This includes businesses located inside and outside the state of California. (Please note: those individuals who offer these services incidental to their primary practice are not required to register. For example, a physician’s office staff that occasionally follows up a patient’s office visit with a telephone call.)

Businesses that may be required to register with the Department include:

  • Health management organizations (HMOs)
  • Physician hospital organizations (PHOs)
  • Practice management companies (PMCs)
  • Management service organizations (MSOs)
  • Preferred provider organizations (PPOs)
  • Independent practice associations (IPAs)
  • Physicians’ groups
  • Hospitals
  • Disability insurers
  • Disease management organizations
  • Demand management services
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Case management services
  • Wellness organizations
  • Eldercare/childcare assistance organizations
  • Stand-alone call centers and call centers that contract with the above businesses

TMAS Application for Registration

To register a business, your organization must complete and submit the TMAS Application for Registration, Provider List and appropriate fees to:

Telephone Medical Advice Services Bureau
1625 North Market Boulevard, Suite N-112
Sacramento, CA 95834

The Department will review your application and notify you in approximately 30 days of the status of your application. Once approved, we’ll issue a registration number for your organization and a wall certificate for your place of business.

Professional Licensure Requirements for Personnel

A registrant’s employees who are providing telephone medical advice must be appropriately licensed in the state from which they are providing the advice. Additionally, registered nurses who are providing telephone medical advice to California consumers – whether the nurse is working in California or in another state – must be registered in California in accordance with the California Business and Professions Code. This may not be a complete list of the professional licensing requirements; these are only the laws that apply for the purposes of TMAS registration. To review the licensing requirements for the following health-care professionals in California, contact the appropriate health-care licensing authority.

  • Physicians and surgeons
  • Registered nurses
  • Dentists
  • Dental hygienists
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage, family and child therapists
  • Optometrists
  • Chiropractors
  • Osteopaths
  • Social workers

Links to many California health-care boards can be found in the Links to Health-Care Boards.

How to Maintain a TMAS Registration

In order to maintain a registration, registrants have 30 days after the end of each calendar quarter to submit a Quarterly Report. Failure to do so will result in the registrant’s inability to renew the registration and possibly disciplinary proceedings.

It is also necessary to maintain records of telephone medical advice services provided to patients in California, including records of complaints, for a period of at least five years; ensure that the telephone medical advice provided is consistent with good professional practice; and notify the Department of Consumer Affairs in writing of a name or address change within 30 days of the change.

For complete information on how to maintain a TMAS registration, please review the PDF document "Maintaining Your Telephone Medical Advice Services Registration".