Assembly Committee Approves Bill to Reform State Medical Board, Adds Doctor Response Deadline
The Assembly Business and Professions Committee yesterday voted 9-2 to approve a Senate-passed bill (SB 1950) that would require the Medical Board of California to disclose more information to the public about doctors who have settled malpractice claims for more than $30,000, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Ainsworth, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/19). The bill, sponsored by Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont), would require the disclosure of misdemeanor criminal convictions that could affect medical care, malpractice settlements against a physician that courts have upheld on appeal, training and specialty certifications and investigations referred to the state attorney general for prosecution. The legislation, which the Senate approved last month on a 35-2 vote, also would add two public members to the medical board, which currently includes 12 physicians and seven members of the public. In addition, the bill would establish an enforcement program monitor to evaluate the board's disciplinary system and report to lawmakers (California Healthline, 6/4). The committee also approved an amendment to the legislation that would require doctors to respond to a medical board investigation within 10 days. The bill, as introduced, would not have established a deadline for doctors to respond. Although the California Medical Association had opposed the legislation, which consumer advocacy groups support, the CMA has begun "working with Figueroa on how much doctors should have to disclose about their pasts" (Quach, Orange County Register, 6/19). The Assembly Health Committee will consider the bill next week (San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.