Skip to main content

Enough is Enough

Last month, at an emotional in hearing in Sacramento and in a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed, we called for the state agency that oversees doctors to become a stronger regulator or to go out of business.  The Legislature has to renew the doctor-run medical board every ten years, and that’s this year. Sacramento apparently agrees with us.

After an emotional outpouring from families who lost their love ones to dangerous doctors, and thousands of emails from Californians, the chairmen of the Senate and Assembly Business and Professions Committees sent a message.  The Los Angeles Times is reporting that chairs Curren Price and Richard Gordon have written the medical board to state that they will not reauthorize the board unless it commits to major changes.

This is a big and important step toward strong patient protections in this state. The California Medical Association has for too long stymied real change for patients in the Capitol, and now Gordon and Price have upped the ante by acknowledging the depth of the problem for patients.

Three important areas need to be reformed, as Carmen Balber and I outlined in the San Francisco Chronicle op-ed:

A true overhaul of physician discipline would move complaint investigators into the attorney general's office to work hand in hand with prosecutors and would create a public-member majority on the medical board.

Real reform should also include mandatory random drug testing of high-risk surgeons and physicians - as is mandated now for bus drivers, college athletes and pilots.

Finally, the state's 38-year-old limits on the rights of injured patients need to be revisited, too. It's time for the public to take the power back for itself.

The movement is afoot, and we have taken another step toward greater patient safety. Stay tuned. Momentum is building but we still have a long march ahead.
__________________
Posted by Jamie Court, author of The Progressive's Guide to Raising Hell and President of Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing an effective voice for taxpayers and consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  The most obvious problem (0+ / 0-)

       Is that many state's take away a license to practice and the MD simply relocates and not all State licensing boards perform due diligence or actually release information about these physicians.
         I live in TX and our State Board rarely cares, unless the applicant is from a foreign country.   There was a case of a physician who had been kicked out of a couple of States and landed here and was eagerly approved - until he failed to save lives.

          I certainly don't have a complete Answer, but when a group fail to perform serious Due Diligence and other States can't or won't release information - then the physician should perhaps at best be given temporary license and cases reviewed / approved by other physicians before getting a clean bill of health.

          I don't know how State Medical Boards are established, paid or whatever...but there has to be a better way than just a "rubber stamp".

  •  HR for misrepresentation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrdinaryIowan

    Two of the articles linked in the diary are behind the LA Times paywall and the other was written by the author of this diary.  To understand what this is really about go to the previous two diaries from the same source on this subject, here and here. What is behind this is an effort to make it even more difficult for patients to obtain pain meds. They want to hunt down and harrass doctors who prescribe a lot of pain meds:

    All because the California Medical Association and the state medical board it controls won't agree to a $9 increase in physician license fees -- the cost of two cappuccinos -- for workers to find overprescribing doctors in a state database.
    never mind if the doctor in question is a pain specialist. They want all doctors to undergo mandatory random drug testing. Here's the author quoting herself like she's an authority:
    “Pilots must undergo mandatory random drug testing because they hold the lives of so many passengers in their hands. Physicians who operate on patients and are in a position to overprescribe or use narcotics themselves should undergo similar mandatory random drug tests,”
    The author is attempting to create and cash in on drug hysteria.  It's already hard enough for patients in chronic pain.

    I am more than willing to lay my TU status on the line and would HR this misleading dairy 100 times if I could.  

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site