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California Medical Board Disciplinary - What are the MBC Hot Button Discipline Issues?

2023 California Medical Board Discipline - What are the MBC's Hot Button Discipline Issues?

The Medical Board of California has a multi million dollar budget but it still focuses on hot button issues for discipline.  In its Annual Report, the Medical Board of California (MBC) publishes detailed statistics outlining what types of matters resulted in physician discipline. This in table form.

The main areas where action was taken were:

Complaint / Action Ratio

There were 9,521 complaints and 1,080 were referred to investigation. 448 were referred to the Attorney General. Most then went to the DCA’s Health Quality Investigation Unit (HQIU) and the rest directly to the Medical Board. 17 of the cases were referred for criminal prosecution.

Medical Incompetence

The largest number of complaints were for medical incompetence. (4,951 out of 9,521) Gross negligence is by far the area bringing the greatest number of disciplinary actions. (221) There are 30 prescribing violations which are likely mostly opioid prescription cases which are often referred by pharmacies and involve assumptions as to standard MME numbers.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is highly skewed toward alcohol issues. We do not have data as to how many of the alcohol related actions arose from driving under the influence arrests (DUI arrests). A significant number of people had sanctions because they were ordered to test for alcohol or drugs and failed to do so. There were 160 governmental agency complaints relating to personal conduct.

Physician Sexual Misconduct & Mental Illness

Sexual misconduct and mental illness were 3rd and 4th.

Malpractice Reporting - What are the Most Reported Practice Areas?

Reportable medical malpractice reporting is broken down by type of practice.

Surgery, Obstetrics, Emergency Medicine, General Practice and Internal Medicine are the leading areas of practice resulting in reportable actions.  Surgery is broken down into areas, general, orthopedic and cosmetic and each is very high.

The bottom line is that DUI arrests and medical fraud are significant for license actions and criminal prosecutions.  However, general incompetence (deemed "Gross") is the major basis for a medical board filing.