We have reviewed the most recent Medical Board of California filed accusations against doctors. We do this regularly as part of our process of tracking trends that affect our physician clients. Here is what we most recently noted.
The most recent spate of Medical Board of California filed Accusations against doctors focus on the following areas:
Negligence relating to vaccine exemptions
Gross Negligence – Benzodiazapine Rx/patient management
While the issues regarding sexual misconduct and gross negligence are self explanatory, the issues of opioid prescriptions, vaccine exemptions and criminal convictions (including DUI’s) deserve some explanation.
The opioid charges are expected to taper as the Board has recognized that earlier actions may at times have been overly restrictive. Cases where there is poor documentation or patient harm are still highly at risk. Some key points related to opioid prescribing in California may help distinguish those matters abandoned and those pursued.
Healthcare providers are required to check the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) database before prescribing opioids or other controlled substances to a patient. A failure to do this initially and regularly is a potential red flag. It should be personally viewed by a physician.
The Medical Board of California provides guidelines for the appropriate use of opioids in the treatment of pain. These guidelines emphasize the importance of assessing the patient’s pain, considering alternative treatments, and monitoring for signs of misuse or addiction. Every rx should track the current guidelines in the sense that if asked, you should be able to explain why the patient’s chart puts the prescription within those guidelines. The more explicit your notes on this point, the better. In general, your record keeping is a key factor. Maintain accurate, non-formulaic and detailed records of opioid prescriptions, including the patient’s medical history, the reason for prescribing, dosage, and follow-up visits.
Few pediatricians grant exemptions. The default is that there are no sensitivities to vaccinations and that prior reports of adverse reactions are usually parentally contrived and/or a conflation of unrelated factors to the vaccination. Public health concerns trump choice – in all cases. We have handled several vaccine cases relating to COVID-19 clinics and governmental regulation. These were difficult at the time but a cakewalk when we seek to justify exemptions. This is particularly true if a physician is seen as the “go to” person for parents having a political agenda “inflicted” on their child. We can help you with Accusations based upon vaccine exemptions but it is a very tough road.
CRIMINAL CHARGES – DUI’s (Drunk Driving) & DOCTORS
A DUI is a common crime that seriously threatens a medical license. While any crime can involve a Board inquiry, the Medical Board of California focuses on crimes where the offense may reflect a danger to patients. Honestly, a DUI is often a sign of an alcohol problem. To deny this is to deny statistics and reality. Crimes involving theft create suspicion by the Medical Board of dishonesty in patient care. You get the point – there is a presumption of danger to the patient once you are convicted of a crime. Our office has Board Certified Criminal Defense Specialists (State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization) who can protect your license.
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