Medical Board Could Change Structure
The Medical Board of California will meet on Thursday to discuss plans for restructuring the board to provide better consumer protections, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
An independent evaluation of the board conducted in 2004 found that cases of substandard care can take an average of two-and-a-half years to resolve and an additional year if the board's disciplinary decision is appealed.
The Press-Enterprise reports that critics of the board's current structure have questioned whether it has "rendered [the board] ineffective in disciplining doctors who provide substandard care, in helping doctors who struggle with drug or alcohol abuse or in considering broader policy issues affecting physician regulation."
At the meeting, the board will consider whether to consolidate its medical quality and licensing divisions and whether it should continue reviewing administrative sanctions against doctors who provide substandard care. The board also will consider reducing its number of members.
The Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) must approve any changes to the board's structure. The board must submit a plan for its structure to the Legislature by July 2008 (Beeman, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 6/4).