No out-of-state help for LA free clinic

Free Clinic CARENOWLA

Screenshot from CareNowLA

A screen shot of a caregiver at a CareNowLA event, coming to the L.A. sports arena October 20-23, 2011.

A Los Angeles free clinic run by Care Now USA will be without extra help after state officials failed to adopt legislation to would allow practitioners with out-of-state licenses to treat patients.

Last year's free clinic, also organized by Care Now USA, quickly overwhelmed volunteers as over 6,500 people showed up for care.

The 2010 onslaught prompted a September 2010 law that allowed out-of-state health care professionals to practice for short periods of time — so long as patients are uninsured or underinsured. Despite the 2010 law, detailed regulations are yet to be finalized, meaning only medical personnel licensed in California will allowed treat patients at this year's event.

The Medical Board of California started working on regulations after the law was signed, but say they won't be finished until next year.

The clinic will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and run from October 20-23. Patients will be treated at the Los Angeles Sports arena where California professionals will provide medical, dental and vision services to the uninsured and underinsured, according to the organizer's website.

Care Now has already lined up about 800 doctors, dentists, optometrists, gynecologists, cardiologists and other volunteers, but say that might not be enough. Organizers told the Los Angeles Times Wednesday that they may have to turn patients away.

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