On September 30, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 815 (SB 815) in response to growing concerns about healthcare quality, transparency, accountability, and patient safety. This bill mandates that the California Medical Board interview patients or their families before closing out a complaint against a healthcare provider.
Additionally, the bill establishes a Complaint Liaison Unit to facilitate this process. Although a step in the right direction, these provisions are subject to budgetary approval of positions within the Medical Board before implementation.
Legal issues involving healthcare, medical boards, and potential malpractice can be complex. Contact Vaage Law at (619) 338-0505 if you or a loved one have been affected by any type of medical malpractice or healthcare issue. Our firm has a proven track record of delivering significant results on behalf of our clients.
Background of Senate Bill 815
Senate Bill 815 represents a significant shift in the way complaints against healthcare providers will be handled in California. The bill recognizes the importance of patient input in investigating allegations of medical misconduct, negligence, or malpractice.
Before the passage of SB 815, the Medical Board could close a complaint based solely on the information provided by the healthcare provider in question. Patients and their families were left feeling unheard and without recourse, other than litigation, when they believed they had suffered harm due to substandard medical care.
Required Patient Interviews In Medical Board Complaints
One of the most crucial provisions of SB 815 is the requirement that the Medical Board must conduct interviews with patients or their families when a complaint is filed against a healthcare provider. This means that the voices of those who have experienced potential harm or negligence in medical care will be directly heard and considered during the investigation process.
This shift places patient experience and well-being at the forefront of the regulatory process. See California Business & Professions Code section 2220.1(b)(1).
This requirement has several benefits:
- Enhanced Accountability: By involving patients and their families in the investigation process, this law helps ensure that healthcare providers are held accountable for their actions or negligence.
- Increased Transparency: Patient interviews provide a more complete picture of the situation, helping to clarify any discrepancies in the accounts of the parties involved.
- Improved Patient Satisfaction: When patients know that their concerns are being taken seriously, it can lead to increased satisfaction with the healthcare system and its oversight.
At Vaage Law, we have more than 35 years of experience handling medical malpractice cases, medical fraud, and other healthcare-related claims. We are deeply committed to providing top-notch legal services and obtaining maximum compensation on behalf of our clients.
If you or a loved one need assistance filing a complaint or pursuing a lawsuit, contact our law firm at (619) 338-0505. We can set up a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your steps moving forward. View our testimonials page to see what our past clients are saying about the quality of our legal services.
The Creation of a Complaint Liaison Unit
To facilitate the implementation of the patient interview requirement, SB 815 establishes a Complaint Liaison Unit within the California Medical Board. See the new Business & Professions Code section 2024.5. This unit will serve as a bridge between patients, healthcare providers, and the regulatory process.
Its responsibilities include:
- Coordinating Patient Interviews: The Complaint Liaison Unit will coordinate and conduct interviews with patients or their families, ensuring that the process is fair and impartial.
- Providing Support to Patients: The Unit will help with navigating the complaint process and help ensure that patients’ rights are protected.
- Streamlining Communication: The Unit will facilitate effective communication between patients, healthcare providers, and the Medical Board.
- Data Collection and Analysis: The Complaint Liaison Unit will collect data on complaints to help identify trends and areas where healthcare providers may need additional training or oversight.
- Ensuring Compliance: The Unit will help ensure that the Medical Board complies with the requirements of SB 815, promoting accountability within the regulatory body itself.
California Senate Bill 815 represents a significant step forward in patient-centered healthcare regulation. By requiring the Medical Board to interview patients or their families when investigating complaints against healthcare providers and establishing a Complaint Liaison Unit, the state is taking a proactive approach to ensure that patients’ voices are heard, and their concerns are taken seriously.
This legislation not only enhances transparency and accountability but also empowers patients to actively participate in the oversight of their healthcare. Hopefully budgetary constraints will not prevent these provisions from being enforced.
Contact a Lawyer for Assistance with a Healthcare Complaint
This new legislation aims to open up much-needed discussion between patients and their healthcare providers. It also outlines the various responsibilities required of the new Complaint Liaison Unit in dealing with patients and their families. =
If you feel that your rights or the rights of a loved one have been violated in any way with regard to these new legislative changes, it is in your best interests to work with an attorney who can review your legal rights and options. Our firm’s founder, Attorney Robert Vaage, has a proven track record of case results for clients for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, violations of patient rights, and other losses.
Contact us at (619) 338-0505 to set up a consultation where we can discuss your legal rights in a completely private and confidential setting. We understand the difficulties and hardships you may be facing and are here to help alleviate the financial and emotional pressures associated with these types of claims.