California Medical Board

CSAP has heard from a lot of you all around the state regarding new regulations being promulgated by the Medical Board of California. Rest assured, CSAP is tracking this, and coordinating with the California Medical Association to submit comments by the Board’s deadline of November 14.

As stated in the Initial Statement of Reasons for the new regulations, “Senate Bill (SB) 1177 (Galgiani, Chapter 591, Statutes of 2016), under Business and Professions Code (BPC) section 2340, authorized the Medical Board of California (Board) to establish a Physician and Surgeon Health and Wellness Program (PHWP) with the goal of providing early identification of, and appropriate interventions, to support rehabilitation from substance abuse. The purpose of PHWP is to ensure licensees remain able to practice medicine in a manner that will not endanger the public and that will maintain the integrity of the medical profession….The Board anticipates that the PHWP will provide for the early identification of licensees with substance abuse issues, and the appropriate intervention and monitoring, consistent with the Uniform Standards, to support licensees in their rehabilitation from substance abuse and ensure they remain able to practice medicine safely. The Board anticipates that this program will provide a framework to assist licensees in overcoming substance abuse issues while rigorously protecting the public from licensees who are not safe to practice, thereby furthering the Board’s mission of consumer protection. This regulatory proposal intends to improve the health and welfare of California residents by identifying, assisting, and monitoring physicians with substance abuse issues.”

Commenting on these regulations most likely will not be enough. There are things that can possibly be altered; however, changes to other aspects of the regulations may necessitate legislation. CSAP will consider on its own, and also continue to discuss with the CMA, whether to sponsor legislation in 2024 on this topic. More to follow next week.

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