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California Hospitals Must Report Disciplinary Actions to the State

Remember the hospital from last week? It suffered a $4 million judgment because it revoked a doctor’s staff privileges without notice or an administrative hearing.

It may also have violated another law that applies when a hospital (or clinic or like facility) revokes someone’s privileges (or takes similar action) for a medical disciplinary reason.

It must report the revocation or other action to the state within fifteen days. So, if the hospital denies your application in the first place, it must file a report within fifteen days of that. Or if it imposes restrictions on your status that total thirty days or more in a 12-month period, it must report it. Or if you preemptively resign your post or withdraw your application beforehand, it must report that.

In four special cases, it must make the report much sooner: within fifteen days of its initial decision to bring disciplinary charges against you. That is long before you’ve received a hearing or any other process that’s due. This timeline applies if your case alleges the following:

  1. Gross or repeated deviations from the standard of care that involve a patient’s death or serious bodily injury.
  2. The use of any controlled substance, including alcohol, in a way that’s dangerous to you, another person, or the public.
  3. Repeatedly prescribing in a way that’s clearly excessive or without a good-faith medical reason or prior examination of the patient.
  4. Sexual misconduct during a treatment or examination.

If the hospital or facility fails to report any of the foregoing, it can face fines of up to $50,000 for every violation or up to $100,000 for every violation that’s willful. That’s for each and every instance.

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