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Taking Inventory: A Framework for Understanding Health Care Regulation and Oversight in California

Brenda Klutz

How is health care regulated in California? Learn how state agencies oversee the delivery of medical services and what information is available to the public.

California state government has long been primarily responsible for regulation and oversight of health care facilities and professionals, and of providers of medical devices. These responsibilities are widely distributed among multiple state agencies, departments, boards, bureaus, and commissions.

Given this wide distribution of regulatory authority, it can be difficult to know exactly what is regulated by whom, and how to get basic information or file a complaint about a regulated entity. This report will improve understanding of what is regulated, how these various state government agencies work separately or together to oversee the delivery of health care services, and what information about such oversight is available to the public.

To compile the information provided in the report, the author inventoried the state government's regulatory oversight responsibilities through surveys completed by state departments, boards, committees, and programs. The survey responses provided information about the general characteristics of each program, including:

  • Regulatory oversight responsibilities
  • Initial applications, renewals, and fees
  • Funding for regulatory oversight functions
  • Frequency and intensity of oversight
  • Facility compliance domains and currency of requirements
  • Complaints and enforcement
  • Data collected and information maintained
  • Public availability of information about the regulated entity
  • Communication and data sharing between government agencies

The full report and an executive summary are available under Document Downloads. In addition, an interactive tool allows a deeper exploration of the source of regulation and oversight for California's health care facilities.

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