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Senate Bill 1448: Protecting Patients in California

Senate Bill 1448: Protecting Patients in California

The new “Patient’s Right to Know Act” (Senate Bill 1448) takes effect in California on July 1, 2019. It is the first law of its kind in the United States. California often leads the nation when it comes to implementing laws that protect its residents. For example, this new law requires all physicians and medical license holders practicing in the state to inform their patients if they are on probation for drug or alcohol abuse, sexual misconduct, pharmaceutical errors, or criminal convictions that involve medical malpractice or misconduct.

In the past, doctors still had a legal obligation to notify their insurance provider and any affiliated hospital or clinic if they were put on probation. But patients could only access this information by purposely searching for a doctor’s medical license profile.

This will all change on July 1, 2019.

How Does the Patient’s Right to Know Act Help Me?

Per the Patient’s Right to Know Act, all physicians subject to probation will need to obtain signed disclosures from all patients prior to their appointments.

This written disclosure must include:

  1. The doctor’s probation status
  2. The length of the probation, and its end date
  3. Any practice restrictions placed on the medical licensee by:
    • The Medical Board of California
    • The Neuropathic Medicine Committee
    • The California Board of Podiatric Medicine
    • The State Board of Chiropractic Examiners
    • The Osteopathic Medical Board of California
    • The Acupuncture Board

The Medical Board of California and the California Medical Association initially rallied against Senate Bill 1448 because officials are concerned that self-disclosure could undermine due process protections and destroy the doctor-patient relationship. In truth, these organizations are worried about medical malpractice claims and being held accountable for past sanctions. According to a study completed by the Federation of State Medical Boards, most medical professionals who receive board sanctions are just encouraged to repeat their offenses in the future. Due to this unethical lack of professional oversight, countless patients have been harmed by doctors in scenarios that could have – and should have – been prevented. The Patient’s Right to Know Act prioritizes the health and safety of all California residents by actively holding medical license holders and organizations accountable for their actions and choices. Going forward, the Medical Board of California and the California Medical Association will not be able to arbitrarily issue sanctions that could lead to a medical malpractice incident in the future.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent medical professional, you may have grounds to pursue justice and restitution by filing a claim. The trial-tested Oceanside personal injury attorney at Kohn Law Office can investigate your case, collect evidence, consult with medical experts, and negotiate on your behalf to secure a beneficial settlement that safeguards your quality of life.  

We’re available 24/7 and work on a contingency fee basis. Contact Kohn Law Office at (760) 301-5456 to schedule a free consultation today.

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