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Officials Making Gradual Progress on Efforts To Overhaul State Health Licensing Boards

California officials say they are making progress on plans to improve the efficiency of licensing boards that discipline health workers accused of misconduct.

The push for reform comes after the Los Angeles 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 resolve complaints against nurses.

Following the publication of the investigation, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) replaced most nursing board members and called for a review of all state licensing boards.

In a California Healthline Special Report by Mina Kim, experts discussed the latest proposals to overhaul California’s health licensing boards.

The Special Report includes comments from:

  • Ann Boynton, president of the California Board of Registered Nursing;
  • Julie D’Angelo Fellmeth, administrative director of UC-San Diego’s Center for Public Interest Law;
  • Charles Ornstein, senior reporter for ProPublica; and
  • Brian Stiger, director of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Boynton says the nursing board is undertaking efforts to raise licensing fees, which have not changed for 20 years.

The Department of Consumer Affairs says it hopes to release a timetable and budget for reforming the licensing boards within 30 to 45 days (Kim, California Healthline, 8/28).

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