As of January 1, 2022, an amendment to SB-806, Section 125.3, reimposes the Medical Board of California’s ability to recover costs when investigating and prosecuting licensed physicians facing discipline from the very physicians they are prosecuting.
What is cost recovery?
For the Medical Board of California, cost recovery for pursuing discipline against a physician accused of violating the Medical Practice Act would include all costs incurred from the services provided to the Medical Board through its enforcement team – investigators, experts, attorneys and administrative staff. All cases are sent to the Attorney General’s lawyers, while administrative and investigative teams gather evidence and prepare for administrative hearings. The Medical Board is required to present evidence of these costs, and recovery only applies if physicians are successfully prosecuted, whether by hearing or by settlement.
The Horns of a Dilemma: Physicians Pushed to Settle with New Cost Recovery Provision Under SB-806
The Medical Board hopes this amendment will encourage physicians to settle cases faster to avoid the cost of administrative hearings. The Board also intends this will speed up – and perhaps simplify – disciplinary processes. But paying costs for both sides- the Medical Board’s investigation and disciplinary prosecution – and a physician’s defense – can make the cost of fighting the Board prohibitive.
This puts physicians in a tough spot – especially those who feel that they have been wrongly charged with a violation. If you are a licensed physician, the mounting costs from the Board’s recovery demands can undoubtedly be intimidating. Consult with an experienced attorney Ray and Bishop, PLC to understand your options and the best way to move forward in defending your Medical Board of California physician license discipline matter.