Work Furloughs at California Medical Board – CMA Files Lawsuit as the Agency Not Funded by the State
Posted Oct 15 2009 10:01pm
The California Medical Association may in fact have a good case as this agency is not funded by the state, but rather license fees paid by the physicians. So why is this an issue? With furloughs and not having the availability to get new physicians out into practice and the time to investigate malpractice cases, it puts everything miles behind.
We all read about cases that need attention and this makes the process even longer. At a time when there is a call for more physicians, perhaps not a good time to delay getting more out there in California. Furloughs are up to 3 days a week and the CMA wants the state to stop borrowing from this agency as it is holding up processing of licenses and other duties the Medical Board has before it. Right now with the healthcare debate and reform in process this might get some quick action I would guess. BD
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is illegally exacerbating an "imminent crisis in healthcare" because forced worker furloughs are delaying the state Medical Board's approval of applications from 7,200 new doctors, says a lawsuit filed by the California Medical Association.
Most of the doctors are fresh out of residency training and ready to go.
"By raiding the special fund that supports the Medical Board, and by imposing debilitating furloughs on its staff, the state is obstructing the Medical Board from ensuring that more duly licensed physicians can deliver health care to Californians," according to the CMA lawsuit. The documents were filed Wednesday in San Francisco Superior Court. The applications, the lawsuit claims, are "mired in the backlog."
Additionally, CMA officials are concerned that the furloughs are delaying malpractice investigations, which is keeping the board from "discharging its mandate to protect the public through its investigatory and disciplinary responsibilities." Since only 17% of disciplinary investigations result in an public accusation, the cloud over the remaining 83% of the accused physicians' practices is allowed to unnecessarily persist, Do says.
Until the malpractice issue is resolved, doctors under investigation must disclose the issues to their medical groups, hospitals, and health plans—and may even lose privileges at a practice or hospital in the interim.