Medical Board to Take Public Comment on Proposed Reforms in Aftermath of Register Investigation
The Medical Board of California will meet Wednesday to hold discussions and take public comments about proposed reforms, the Orange County Register reports (Heisel/Sarr, Orange Country Register, 4/22). The medical board decided to meet after a Register investigation found that the board investigates only about 20% of the 10,600 complaints received from patients each year and does not disclose most complaints to the public. In addition, the investigation found that although the medical board may fine and suspend "repeatedly negligent physicians," doctors "rarely" lose their licenses (California Healthline, 4/10). Representatives from the Center for Public Interest Law, who have recommended medical board reforms in the past, will attend the meeting Wednesday in San Diego. Julie Fellmeth, administrative director at the center, said she hopes that the medical board will support a plan to establish an "outside monitor" to oversee the board's decisions. "I hope (board members) come out with some sort of affirmative proposal to fix some of these problems, and I hope that one of the centerpieces of their proposal is strongly enhanced public disclosure," she added. The Register reports that the board also faces "heavy scrutiny" from state lawmakers, who will hold a hearing on the issues May 1 (Orange County Register, 4/22).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.