When it comes to regulating the safety of medical facilities, we trust that the government’s got us covered. But as Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik pointed out in May, the state of California’s regulatory “coverage” has at least one hole so big you “could drive a fleet of ambulances through:” As a result of a 2007 court decision, the state’s Department of Public Health no longer has oversight of California’s over 700 doctor-owned clinics. Instead, the clinics are overseen by the Medical Board of California—which has no power to stage surprise inspections or shut down dangerous clinics. Moreover, the board delegates its inspection power to four nonprofit accreditation organizations, each of which has different standards. That means a clinic that doesn’t get accredited by one organization can simply “accreditation shop” among the others.
Hiltzik lauds a recent effort in the California State Legislature to close the loophole, but is far from optimistic. After all, he writes, the regulation gap “is just one more illustration of how California’s system of medical regulation reflects years of broken promises and unconscionable legislative delay.”
If you have been harmed as a result of negligence at a medical facility, you may be a victim of this system. Contact Hodes Milman Liebeck for a free case evaluation. We’re aggressive personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers based in Orange County, serving all of California. We have the experience to take on the medical industry and have achieved multi-million dollar verdicts for our clients.