Efforts To Reform State Health Licensing Boards Encounter Roadblocks
California officials have yet to develop a plan or timetable for reforming state boards that discipline health professionals accused of misconduct, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) called for sweeping changes to all state health licensing agencies.
The push for reform comes after the Times and the not-for-profit news organization ProPublica reported that the California Board of Registered Nursing takes an average of more than three years to settle complaints against nurses.
Following the publication of the investigation, Schwarzenegger replaced most nursing board members and called for a review of all state licensing boards.
Consensus Still Elusive
On Monday and last week, officials failed to forge agreement on various proposals to reform the state health boards.
Some new nursing board members recommended that agencies could alert employers of major misconduct charges filed against workers. However, board staff members and lawyers dismissed the proposal, citing legal and logistical challenges.
An attorney with the state attorney general's office also suggested that investigators and lawyers could work together on cases. Another attorney in the office said this plan would not improve the efficiency of the enforcement process.The new director of the Department of Consumer Affairs, which oversees state licensing boards, has called for significant changes to the agencies' operations. However, the department has not provided a concrete plan for reforming the health boards (Lin, Los Angeles Times, 8/17). 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.