Ideal Physician Health Program for California

The Ideal Statewide Physician Health Program for California:
The Vision of CPPPH for What Should be Available in California

CPPPH’s efforts are directed toward establishment of the ideal physician health program in California—one whose components encourage and assist all the organizations, institutions and entities where physicians practice or affiliate in their efforts to maintain the health of their physician population.  Its services should be available to assist the citizens of California, the regulatory board, associations, hospitals, clinics and individual physicians.

California’s ideal physician health program should identify, provide, or support clinically-based health services for physicians with physical, mental health or addiction issues which, if undetected or not appropriately treated and monitored, could compromise the physician’s ability to practice medicine safely.

Program Components
Education throughout the medical community
Orientation to the role and function of physician health committees
Consultation to physician health committees and all with the responsibility for physician health, public safety and the maintenance of quality of care
Advocacy for activities that promote wellness
Activities designed to support case finding
Evaluation, both initial assessment and continuing evaluation as needed, including evaluation for the resumption of patient care responsibilities
Design of treatment and monitoring plan
Referral to initial treatment
Referral to on-going treatment
Case management
Quality assurance activities
Guidelines for what criteria the different physician health services should meet
A process for determining if an organization’s or group’s services meet the guidelines

Policies and procedures for the operation of the physician health program
Consistency and continuity applies across the state
Referrals into the program are accepted from all sources
Eligibility: the program is designed for persons with substance use or mental health disorders or physical illness when a clinical evaluation determines that the condition can be monitored and treated with the clinical and monitoring resources available to the program.
The length of time a person is required to be in the program is in the range of 3-5 years, based on the severity of illness and clinical recommendation.
The program does not report information about a participant to any person or organization other than the referring person or entity unless there has been failure to comply with the agreement and it was determined that the physician was a danger to the public.
The organization will assign the resources necessary for appropriate quality assurance activities.
The organization and the program it operates will be subject to periodic audit. The results of the audit will be reported to
— All funding sources
— All program participants
— The full medical community
— An oversight body
— The legislature

References consulted

  • Model Physician Health Program Act, March 2009 American Medical Association
  • Public Policy Statement of the American Society of Addiction Medicine on Healthcare and Other Licensed Professionals with Addictive Illness, April 2011
  • Policy on Physician Impairment, April 1995 Federation of State Medical Boards
  • Guidelines for Physician Health Programs, 2008 Federation of State Physician Health Programs
  • Guidelines for Hospital Medical Staff Committees on the Well-being of Physicians, 2009 California Medical Association

 Adopted by the Board of Directors of CPPPH, Inc., April 25, 2011