The Medical Board of California brought their first in-person Quarterly Board meeting, since the pandemic, to Los Angeles this month. Consumer Watchdog and our team of volunteer advocates participated in person and by teleconference line to voice our support of a Patient Bill of Rights, proposed legislative changes that would require the board to investigate all quality-of-care death and serious bodily injury complaints, and other consumer protections.
The Executive Director of the Medical Board of California William Prasifka announced his resignation last week stating that his last day will be December 30, 2022. This announcement came following his performance review which was held during the December 2nd Quarterly Board meeting in Los Angeles.
Photo: Steven and Scott Olsen, whose tragic story inspired today’s medical malpractice reform.
Kern County, CA – Supervisor Leticia Perez and the Kern County Board of Supervisors will proclaim May 2022 to be Latina Maternal Health Awareness Month at their May 10th meeting at 9:00 am on Mexican Mother’s Day.
Los Angeles, CA - The California families harmed by medical negligence who launched the Patients for Fairness coalition (http://www.patientsforfairness.org) responded favorably to news of a potential legislative deal to raise the 47 year old cap on medical malpractice damages. The families said the legislation would eliminate the need for the Fairness for Injured Patients Act to go before voters in November 2022.
Los Angeles, CA – Assemblymember Bill Quirk and the California State Assembly Committee on Business and Professions took an unprecedented step today to restore the public’s trust in their medical board by voting to support a public board member majority. AB 2060 (Quirk) was voted out of committee today and will be heard next in Assembly Appropriations committee. This bill will make California the first state in the country to require its medical board to be led by a majority of public board members.
Los Angeles, CA – Consumer Watchdog called on legislative leaders to enact a Patient Bill of Rights to reform physician oversight and accountability in California. The nonprofit consumer advocacy organization said reform proposals recently floated by the Medical Board of California are good start, but “do not go far enough to prioritize the problems patients, not the Board’s regulators, suffer because of California’s failed systems of physician oversight.”
Los Angeles, CA – Insurance companies who profit by denying fair compensation to patients injured or killed by medical malpractice have put up $27.8 million to oppose the Fairness for Injured Patients Act. Insurance money accounts for two-thirds of the $43.8 million raised to oppose the Fairness Act, a measure that seeks to restore accountability for injured patients on the November 2022 California ballot.
Stockton, CA -- Women whose doctors sexually abuse and assault them are denied justice both by the Medical Board of California, as a Los Angeles Times investigation revealed this week, and in the courts because of the 1975 law limiting legal accountability for doctors that is the target of the Fairness for Injured Patients Act to be voted on in November, said Consumer Watchdog today.
Bakersfield, CA – The Medical Board of California has allowed a 25-year repeat offender doctor to surrender his license on a technicality and not face charges before an administrative law judge in an accusation based on the death of a local mother.
Sacramento, CA -- Steve Poizner, former Insurance Commissioner of California, endorsed the Fairness for Injured Patients Act to update California’s cap on quality of life and survivor damages for patients harmed by medical negligence.
Los Angeles, CA – Two parents of children injured by medical negligence called out a doctor opposing the Fairness For Injured Patients Act because they were “deeply offended” by his “comment that compensation for death or lifelong harm is capped under California’s nearly 50 year old law because such losses are ‘very nebulous.’”
Scott Olsen and Tammy Smick wrote Dr. Mark Alson that his comment, “misstates the law and is disrespectful of families across the state and the hardships they face because of the cap.”
Los Angeles, CA -- Families of injured patients whose medical negligence cases have been disregarded by the California medical board today voiced their support for the public member of the board who is blowing the whistle on the board’s failure to protect patients, as outlined in today’s LA Times report.
Los Angeles, CA -- A coalition of patients and families harmed by medical negligence launched a new website today – www.PatientsForFairness.org – one year before Election Day 2022 when Californians will vote on a ballot measure to restore the rights of medical negligence victims.
Los Angeles, CA – Consumer Watchdog is debuting a digital ofrenda (altar) celebrating the lives of Californians who died due to medical negligence today and tomorrow in recognition of Dia de los Muertos. Advocate families that span across California recorded videos sharing a glimpse into the lives of their lost loved ones. New videos and family photos personalized by family members will be shared on Consumer Watchdog’s social media platforms every half hour on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Once again, the medical lobby’s stranglehold on the legislature ensured that bad doctors will not be held accountable by the Medical Board of California.
Sacramento, CA – Today’s CBS This Morning special investigation makes a damning case for reform of physician oversight and legal accountability in California. The segment documents how the influence of the doctors’ lobby on lawmakers and on the Medical Board of California allows bad doctors to continue practicing and causing patient harm. As whistleblower member of the Medical Board, TJ Watkins, told CBS: “No question that it costs patient lives.”
Fairness Act on November 2022 Ballot Will Restore Accountability That Medical Board Does Not Provide Injured Patients
Los Angeles, CA – The must-see documentary “Never Events,” that follows the journey of multiple families who fought for change after suffering lifelong harm or loss due to medical negligence, debuts this week on Amazon, Apple TV and other streaming services. The documentary exposes the trauma caused by medical negligence, the third leading cause of death in America, and California’s cap on compensation for patients who are harmed that prevents them from getting justice or accountability for their loss.
NEWS UPDATE: June 3, 2021
Sacramento, CA – California lawmakers have moved legislation to the Senate Floor to make California the first state in the nation whose Medical Board has a majority of public, not doctor, members. The bill follows months of calls for increased public representation from families harmed by medical negligence who have been denied answers and accountability by both the Medical Board and the state’s 46-year-old cap on compensation for injured patients.
Los Angeles, CA – California is worse than two-thirds of states in the country when it comes to disciplining doctors whose negligence or incompetence causes patients serious harm, according to a new report by the nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen. The report comes as California’s legislature shines a harsh light on endemic failures in the Medical Board of California’s system of disciplining doctors as part of its sunset review oversight hearings.
Sacramento, CA – Consumer Watchdog and a dozen Fairness for Injured Patients campaign advocates who were harmed by medical negligence and failed by the Medical Board of California will call on the legislature to turn control of the doctor-run Board over to the public, in testimony on Friday.
They will support recommendations before the Legislature’s sunset review committee to add two public members to the board, which has 8 doctor members and just 7 public seats, 2 of which are currently vacant.
Manteca, CA -- A coalition of Central Valley racial justice groups announced their endorsement of the Fairness for Injured Patients Act, the 2022 ballot initiative to update California’s discriminatory cap on compensation for patients harmed by medical negligence.
Sacramento, CA – Two former leaders of the California Medical Association should be rejected as nominees to the Medical Board of California for their records opposing common sense patient safety reforms, Consumer Watchdog will testify at their confirmation hearing today.
The Senate Rules Committee hearing begins at 1:30PM and can be viewed on Senate TV at: https://www.senate.ca.gov/
Sacramento, CA – Consumer Watchdog renewed its call for Governor Gavin Newsom to withdraw the nomination of Dr. Richard Thorp, former president of the doctors’ lobby, to the Medical Board of California.
Manteca, CA – The family of Shawn Washington, a 29-year-old Black man killed by medical negligence at Kaiser Manteca Medical Center, called on the Medical Board of California and the California Department of Public Health to hold his medical providers, and the hospital where he died, accountable. His family has joined patients across the state to support the Fairness for Injured Patients Act, a 2022 ballot measure to ensure equal justice for families harmed by medical negligence.
Los Angeles, CA - As California courts and voters confront the injustice of the state’s 45-year-old limits on the rights of medical negligence victims, Consumer Watchdog celebrates World Patient Safety Day on Sept. 17th with the launch of a new website featuring video, photos and an interactive map to tell the stories of injured patients who are fighting for change. They are the force behind the Fairness for Patients Act on the November 2022 California ballot.
Los Angeles, CA — Having collected 900,000 signatures and raised over $4 million, the survivors of medical negligence behind a California ballot measure to adjust California’s 45-year-old cap on quality of life and survivor damages announced today that the Secretary of State has certified the initiative for the November 2022 ballot.
Bakersfield, CA – The Medical Board of California’s decision to allow Dr. Arthur Park to continue practicing, despite a 20-year track record of negligence causing catastrophic injuries and death in the Bakersfield community, will unconscionably place even more patients at risk, said Consumer Watchdog today. The Medical Board signed a settlement deal with Dr. Park last week which has granted him five years of probation and the ability to continue to practice with restrictions.
Los Angeles, CA – Consumer Watchdog released “Know Your Rights When Your Family is in the Hospital” tips that every consumer should know sharing the recent changes giving patients new visitation rights for California hospitals.
"Expectant mothers about to give birth need to know that they can now have a partner or support person with them in the hospital. Moms no longer have to give birth alone," said Michele Monserratt-Ramos, patient advocate with Consumer Watchdog.
Los Angeles, CA — The survivors of medical negligence behind a California ballot measure to adjust California’s 45-year-old cap on quality of life and survivor damages announced today that they will be pushing the vote to 2022. Proponents have collected almost one million signatures.
Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog released a “Know Your Rights” tip sheet today outlining 6 things consumers should know about their health care cost and access rights during the COVID-19 pandemic.
California consumers and patients should know their legal rights as COVID-19 is expected to heavily tax the resources of the health care system and may exceed capacity in some communities, potentially resulting in limitations on access to care, according to the non-profit and non-partisan Consumer Watchdog.
We have now collected more than 633,000 signatures for the Fairness For Injured Patients Act -- which will adjust the 1975 cap on compensation for injured patients.
We expect to finish collecting signatures at the end of March to qualify the ballot initiative for the November California ballot.
I want to share with you two events this weekend that brought home for me the imperative of this effort.
Bakersfield, CA – Consumer Watchdog called on the Medical Board of California to fulfill its mission to protect health care consumers and immediately suspend the license of Bakersfield physician Dr. Jason Helliwell.
Bakersfield, CA – The family of 28-year-old Sabrina De La Rosa should be celebrating the birth of her baby boy Jaxx with Sabrina surrounded by her loving friends and family. Instead, they are holding fundraisers to raise money to hold memorial services for the young mother of four. Nine months pregnant De La Rosa was taken to Memorial Hospital – Bakersfield with labor pains. Her family anxiously awaited the arrival of her child. Instead, her family was left in shock when Baby Jaxx was brought into the world without his mother Sabrina to care for him.
Los Angeles, CA -- Supporters of the Fairness for Injured Patients Act announced today that in just five weeks they have gathered 307,000 of the petition signatures needed to qualify the initiative measure for the November 2020 ballot. The group also notified the Secretary of State that they have passed the 25% signature threshold, triggering a requirement that the Legislature hold a public hearing about the measure.
Sacramento, CA -- Medical negligence survivors and advocates for a proposed ballot measure launched a petition signature drive for the Fairness for Injured Patients Act (FIPA), which will adjust the compensation cap imposed on injured patients by Sacramento politicians in 1975 that has never been adjusted.
Juries are not told of the cap and injured patients cannot receive more than $250,000 for their quality of life and wrongful-death survivor damages, no matter how serious the injury or severe the medical negligence.
Sacramento, CA -- The father of a 29-year-old man disabled for life by medical negligence when he was two and the parents of a young girl with life-long disabilities, who await their daughter’s medical negligence trial, filed the Fairness for Injured Patients Act (FIPA) today, a proposed initiative for the November 2020 ballot.
Milpitas, CA – Patient safety advocates testified to the Medical Board of California today that its initiative to investigate excessive prescribing by doctors involved in prescription overdose deaths is critical to state efforts to end the opioid overdose epidemic.
Sacramento, CA – Starting today, California doctors will have to check a patient’s prescription history before prescribing addictive opioids and other controlled substances.
Sacramento, CA -- Doctors in California will have to be honest with their patients if they are on probation for sexual assault or other egregious patient harm under legislation, SB 1448 by Senator Jerry Hill, that was signed by the Governor today.
Sacramento, CA – California would be the first state in the nation to mandate doctors tell their patients when they are disciplined for sexual assault or other patient harm under legislation that passed the Assembly and Senate today and goes to Governor Brown's desk.
LOS ANGELES, CA -- Two of America’s most effective advocates for better healthcare, patient rights and social justice, RoseAnn DeMoro and Tammy Smick, have joined the board of directors of Consumer Watchdog.
DeMoro, who just retired after 32 years with the California Nurses Association, was named to Consumer Watchdog’s Consumer Advocate Hall of Fame at the nonpartisan, nonprofit group’s annual Rage for Justice Awards in June. She grew the nurses association into the most uncompromising voice for patients in America.
Consumer Watchdog Calls on Insurance Commissioner to Assure Medical Privacy for HIV Patients at Hearing Regarding the Proposed Merger of Aetna Inc. into CVS Health Corporation
Every doctor in California will soon be required to use the most powerful tool we have to identify and prevent opioid abuse: the state prescription drug database known as CURES. Beginning in October, doctors will have to check the database and review a patient’s prescription history before prescribing opioids and other dangerous drugs.
Sacramento, CA -- Doctors on probation for sexually assaulting their patients and for other serious misconduct causing patient harm would be required to disclose this to their patients under SB 1448 (Hill), which passed out of the Senate Business and Professions Committee on Monday with bipartisan support.
Santa Monica, CA -- The California Department of Justice told the legislature today that it will delay implementation of a key technological tool for stemming the opioid abuse crisis until 2019, more than a year later than the database was deployed statewide. The technology appears sound, but the delay seems to be in prioritizing personnel to accomplish its certification, according to today’s testimony.
My dry cleaner assaulted me last weekend furious about a thirty percent increase in his health insurance premiums. Yesterday, a California Anthem policyholder, Josh Libresco, emailed me about another 19% increase in his premiums, bringing his monthly bill to $2754 for a high deductible policy.
Santa Monica, CA -- The White House’s executive order today seeking to allow for more “Association Health Plans” could turn the clock back to days when patients faced unlimited medical bills even when they played by the rules, the nonprofit nonpartisan group Consumer Watchdog said today.
Consumer Watchdog fought off previous proposals that allowed for the sale of more such policies that promise lower costs but deliver junk health insurance plans that can leave patients with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Santa Monica, CA—Anthem is raising rates on 135,000 California consumers who buy individual polices 35 percent because California is one of the few states without the ability to say no to unjustified rate hikes.
Sharing the midday, San Francisco sunlight with Bernie Sanders Friday, I had a rare feeling these days, that everything is going to be all right. It felt just the way Bob Marley sang it.
Bernie thundered away from the stage in Yerba Buena park to the applause of a thousand nurses from the mighty California Nurses Association and thousands more San Franciscans on their lunch break. It’s hard not to feel good on a sunny day in Frisco surrounded by a sea of nurses standing a few feet from Bernie and Jane Sanders.
The Trump administration’s decision to give health insurers until Sept. 5 to file their 2018 rates will not have an effect in California.
That is because California insurers have already announced plans to raise rates an average of 12.5 percent next year.
California officials have again slapped health care giant Kaiser Permanente with a multimillion-dollar fine for failing to provide data on patient care to the state’s Medicaid program.
WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — The Senate’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act could be voted on next week.
If passed into law, how would the American Healthcare Act affect Californians?
Fewer people covered, higher costs for the elderly and dramatic cuts for the working poor, according to Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Health Committee voted decisively to move S.B. 562 to the floor of the Senate. The Healthy California Act would establish a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system in the state, ensuring that all Californians have access to affordable healthcare. The bill was proposed by Senator Toni Atkins and Senator Ricardo Lara as well as aided by the support of the California Nurses Association, physicians, and a coalition of progressive organizations.