Patient Notification Issue To Be Taken Up In Review Hearing Of State Medical Board in Capitol On Monday

February 26, 2017

News Advisory -- Office of State Senator Jerry Hill – February 26, 2017

Should Patients Be Told If Their Doctor Is On Probation? Patient Notification Issue To Be Taken Up In Review Hearing Of State Medical Board in Capitol On Monday

Southern California Woman in Sexual Battery Case Plans To Testify In Joint Senate, Assembly Committee Hearing That Patients Have A Right To Know

What: Joint Sunset Review Hearing by the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development and the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions

When: Monday, February 27, 2017
Time Approximate: Noon or Early After Noon*

Where: John L. Burton Hearing Room
State Capitol, Room 4203, Fourth Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

Background: Patient notification and more than a dozen other issues related to the state Medical Board’s operations are up for consideration Monday as the Legislature’s committees on business and professions hold a hearing to review the board that licenses and regulates California’s more than 137,000 doctors.

The hearing is being conducted to determine whether the board is fulfilling its mission to protect health care consumers. The proceeding will shape legislation on whether the board should “sunset” at the end of the year, or whether it should continue to operate for another four years provided that reforms are made.

A Southern California woman in a sexual battery case involving a doctor under investigation by Los Angeles police and representatives of the Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project are expected to testify that patients have a right to know whether their doctor is on probation and be informed of the allegations that led to the discipline.

Roughly 500 doctors are currently on administrative probation in California. Documents on file with the Medical Board reveal that even though some doctors have been disciplined in response to allegations that they caused patient death, engaged in sexual misconduct with patients, and performed surgery under the influence of controlled substances, or because they were convicted of felonies, including health care fraud and assault with a deadly weapon, they continue to practice -- without their patients knowing of their probation.

In a report released last week, the staff of Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development recommended that the law “be amended to ensure that patients receive timely notification of their physician’s probationary status, that patients are easily able to obtain understandable information about violations leading to probation and that MBC [Medical Board of California] makes changes to the disciplinary enforcement information displayed on its website to allow for easier public access and understanding of actions MBC has taken.”

Resources:

Hearing Agenda and Committee Staff Reports
http://sbp.senate.ca.gov/informationalhearings

Other ways to watch or listen to the hearing:

View earlier news release: “What Most Patients Don’t Know…”
http://sd13.senate.ca.gov/news/2017-02-22-what-most-patients-don%E2%80%99t-know-more-500-doctors-statewide-are-probation

*The sunset review hearing on the Medical Board is one of several being conducted on Monday. The proceedings start at 9 a.m. The hearing for the Medical Board is the fifth of seven hearings on the agenda and is not expected to begin before noon.

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Media Contact: Leslie Guevarra, 415-298-3404, leslie.guevarra@sen.ca.gov