California Medical Association Draft Resolution

California Medical Association Draft Resolution 501-08 Title: Disclosure of Information Originating from B&P Section 805 Reports [Drafted by Bart Lee]

WHEREAS, some health care entities appear to make it a practice to summarily suspend physicians clinical privileges from their hospital, irrespective of any risk to patients, before any hearing, adjudication or due process of law; and

WHEREAS, any such summary suspension and any related inappropriate public filing disrupts the patient-physician relationship, thereby putting at risk both patient welfare and continuity of care; and

WHEREAS, physicians can suffer professional defamation and public humiliation from false, manipulative, incorrect, misleading or stale administrative and public filings by health care entities, followed by adverse consequences, including destruction of their medical careers; and

WHEREAS, hospitals must report any summary suspension of a physician of more than 14 days duration to the Medical Board of California, as mandated by California Business and Professions Code section 805; and

WHEREAS, hospitals and some health care entities must report any summary suspension of a physician of more than 30 days duration to the National Practitioner Data Bank, as mandated by federal law; and

WHEREAS, adverse professional consequences including loss of all privileges at other hospitals and health care entities, loss of the physician’s relationships with insurance carriers, such as contracts as a provider of medical services, and loss of professional liability insurance coverage can result from an adverse 805 Report of a summary suspension, irrespective of its validity; and

WHEREAS, the Medical Board of California automatically circulates, immediately, notice of a summary suspension without any verification, and later posts such information on its website, even if the Board’s own investigation finds no wrongdoing by the physician, and the Board refuses to remove any such report in almost all cases; therefore be it

RESOLVED: That CMA support legislation and seek an author to amend California Business and Professions Code section 2027, and add or amend other appropriate state laws that regulate the circulation of information by the Medical Board of California (MBC), such as Business and Professions Code 800 et seq.: (1) to preclude circulation and posting of any 805 Report of a summary suspension until confirmation by an MBC’s independent investigation that such an 805 Report is supported by at least substantial evidence of risk to patients warranting a summary suspension, irrespective of any determination by the governing board of the responsible health care entity; (2) to require removal of any such 805 Report in the event any court reverses any adverse disciplinary action by any health care entity, or to require removal of any such 805 Report in the event MBC’s independent investigation exonerates the physician from the alleged charges; (3) to require MBC to afford any physician subject to any 805 Report, including an 805 Report due to a summary suspension or any other disciplinary action, the right to contest and respond to the charges in a writing of reasonable length, and to have that response posted in the same place in the records and postings of the MBC as the 805 Report or other disciplinary action contested; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the California Delegation to the AMA submit a similar resolution to amend the Health Care Quality Improvement Act, codified in Title 42 of the United States Code, and any other applicable federal law regulating the circulation or posting of reports by the National Practitioner Data Bank.