Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Open Payments Database (AB 1278)

What physicians are subject to this law and are any physicians exempt from these requirements?

The law applies to those with a “physician and surgeon” license issued by either the Medical Board of California (allopathic physicians) or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California (osteopathic physicians).

The following physicians are not subject to the requirements of this law:

  • Those working in a hospital emergency room
  • Those practicing medicine pursuant to a Postgraduate Training License
  • California licensed physicians who are practicing medicine outside of California

If a physician does not diagnose or treat patients in a medical office or telehealth setting, then they are not subject to the requirements to provide patients with a written or electronic notice or to post a visible notice regarding the database at each location where the physician practices. Those physicians, however, still must post the required notice on a website used in their practice, if they have one, beginning January 1, 2024.

Are physicians who do not accept Medi-Cal or Medicare payments, or who do not accept payments from drug and medical device companies, subject to the requirements of this law?

Yes. Those physicians are subject to this law.

Is there a sample notice available that will comply with the requirement to post a notice visible to those who enter the physician’s office and on the physician’s website?

Yes, please see this sample notice. If the notice is printed and placed in each location where the physician practices in an area likely to be seen by all who enter the office (e.g., a patient waiting room) then that physician will be in compliance with this particular requirement of the law. Placing the wording of the sample notice in a conspicuous location on the physician’s website will comply with the website notice requirement that takes effect on January 1, 2024.

What does it mean to “conspicuously” post the required notice on a physician’s website?

The law does not further clarify what that means but instead provides the physician flexibility to post the notice in a location on their website that a reasonable person would believe is a conspicuous location. For example, if the required notice was posted on the homepage of the physician’s website, that would be compliant with this requirement.

During the initial office visit, do physicians need to obtain a signature from their patient (or their representative) for electronic notices or only for paper-based notices?

The law does not require this but obtaining a signature for electronic notices would help confirm, if necessary, that the notice was provided to the patient. Signatures are required for any paper-based notice provided to a patient.

The law states that the notice must be provided "to each patient at the initial office visit." Does this mean these rules only apply to new patients? Are existing patients excluded?

Yes, this is only required when seeing a new patient at their first office visit. This requirement does not apply to existing patients.

Are osteopathic physicians subject to these requirements?

Yes. Osteopathic physicians should contact the Osteopathic Medical Board of California for guidance on compliance with this law:

Are other health care providers subject to these requirements?

No. Only licensed physicians and surgeons regulated by the Medical Board of California, or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California are subject to the requirements of Assembly Bill 1278.

How can I learn more or get answers to my other questions?

You may read the bill that created this law on the California Legislative Information Website or email the Board at with any questions.