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California Senate Bill SB-577, effective January 1, 2003, enables complementary and alternative health practitioners to provide and advertise their services legally, according to certain rules of compliance specified in the legislation. Section 2053.6 of the California Business and Professions Code requires the following disclosures:

What does Senate Bill SB-577 mean for you, the patient?
SB-577 gives you access to alternative and complementary health care practitioners. You must be given information about the nature of treatment and the practitioner’s qualifications. Feel free to ask a practitioner any question you might have about your treatment. Check to see if your practitioner has been certified by a professional membership society. In addition, tell your doctor about any alternative treatment you are pursuing. You can also request that your licensed and unlicensed health care providers communicate with each other and work collaboratively to meet your health care needs.
SB-577 helps to protect you. SB-577 requires unlicensed alternative health care practitioners to follow certain guidelines and restrictions.

Here are the things that unlicensed alternative practitioners are NOT allowed to do:

  • Perform any form of surgery or any procedure that punctures your skin or harmfully invades your body.

  • Use X-ray radiation.

  • Prescribe prescription drugs, or recommending that you discontinue drugs that were prescribed by a licensed physician.

  • Set fractures.

  • Treat wounds with electrotherapy.

  • Put you at risk of great bodily harm, serious physical or mental illness, or death.

  • Imply in any way that they are licensed physicians.


Disclosure to the client in plain, written language that:

  • that the practitioner is not a licensed physician;

  • that the treatment is a complementary or alternative healing modality and not licensed by the state;

  • the nature of the service to be provided and the theory of treatment upon which the services are based; and

  • the practitioner‘s education and other training, experience, and other qualifications regarding the services to be provided.