Families Fighting For Fairness Act Say Medical Board Failure As Outlined by Whistleblower Makes Case For Ballot Measure To Change 1975 Medical Negligence Law

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. 
 

Families of Injured Patients Call for Medical Board and Medical Negligence Cap Reform

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.” 
 

“Never Events” Documentary Makes Streaming Debut This Week Showcasing Lives Destroyed by Unjust Medical Negligence Cap and Medical Harm

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. 



California Lawmakers Answer Injured Patients’ Call for Reform, Propose Nation’s First Public Member Majority Medical Board

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. 
 

National Report Ranks California Medical Board 33rd Worst in Discipline, As Lawmakers Offer Tough Critique of Board’s Oversight of Dangerous Doctors

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.

Families Harmed By Medical Negligence To Testify Doctor-Run Medical Board Is Not Protecting the Public from Harm, Call for Public Member-Majority Board

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.

Racial Justice Groups Endorse Fairness Act to Reform Medical Negligence Law, Call on Governor Newsom and Legislature to Act

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. 
 

History of Positions Undermining Patient Safety Disqualify Former Leaders of Doctors’ Lobby For Seats on CA Medical Board, Patients Harmed by Medical Negligence to Testify

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/

“I Can’t Breathe” Said Black Manteca Man Killed by Medical Negligence at Kaiser Hospital

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.

New Website & Interactive Map Tells the Stories of Medical Negligence Victims Denied Justice Representing Every CA State Senate District on World Patient Safety Day

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.

Survivors of Medical Negligence Qualify Ballot Initiative for 2022 Election

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.
 

Medical Board of California Allows Doctor Responsible for the Death and Injury of Eight Bakersfield Patients to Keep Medical License

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.

Mother’s Day Edition: Know Your Heath Care Rights

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.

Know Your Health Care Rights: 6 Tips for California Consumers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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.   

633,000 Signatures For Russ Kussman and Steven Olsen

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.

Consumer Watchdog Demands that Medical Board of California Immediately Suspend Bakersfield Doctor’s Medical License: Bakersfield Patients at Risk

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.

Family of Bakersfield Mother of Four Holds Car Wash to Raise Funds for Her Funeral; Discovers Her Doctor Has a History of Arrests and Negligence

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.

Consumer Watchdog Campaign: Supporters of the Fairness for Injured Patients Initiative Announce 307,000 Signatures Collected

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.

Medical Negligence Survivors Launch Nov 2020 Ballot Measure Signature Drive For Proposal To Raise 1975 Compensation Cap That Was Never Adjusted

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.

Families of Injured Patients File California Ballot Measure To Adjust $250,000 Maximum Compensation Cap Set by Politicians In 1975 That Has Never Been Updated

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. 

Patient Safety Advocates Say Overdose Death Investigations Critical To Protecting Patients and Reducing Dangerous Opioid Overprescribing

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.

First-in-Nation Bill To End Secrecy Around Doctor Sexual Assault and Other Patient Harm Passes CA Legislature

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.

Hall of Famers RoseAnn DeMoro and Tammy Smick Join Consumer Watchdog’s Board of Directors

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.

CURES Database Will Be Vital in Preventing Opioid Deaths but Faces Powerful Special Interest Opposition

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.

​​​​​​​Lawmakers Vote to Lift Veil of Secrecy About Physician Sexual Assault & Other Doctor Misconduct Causing Patient Harm

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.

Atty Gen Falls Behind In Prioritizing Opioid Tracking Tool

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.

Trump’s Health Plan Order Could Bring Back Days of Junk Insurance

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.

TGIF in America Again?

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.

Trump’s Decision On Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments Could Hurt California Consumers

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 Health Care Fight May Show Democratic Party Future In Trump Era

As Democrats gear up for the 2018 election, they confront big challenges: Polls in the last election showed a general electorate that deeply distrusted the party’s leaders, while new surveys show the Democratic base has lost faith in government — and now many swing

How Would The American Healthcare Act Affect Californians?

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.

Single Payer Takes A Step Forward

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.