This CPPPH newsletter aims to keep readers abreast of current developments and relevant information about physician health and wellbeing in California.
All past issues are available from the CPPPH website: www.CPPPH.org.
Wellness activities address quality of life and professional satisfaction for all physicians.
Wellbeing activities focus on an individual physician and provide resources for identifying, evaluating, referring, treating, and monitoring for physicians when addiction, mental health, behavioral issues, and the effects of aging are a concern.
Confidential Assistance Over the Phone
The Physicans’ and Dentists’ Confidential Assistance Line is a 24-hour phone service providing completely confidential doctor-to-doctor assistance for physicians experiencing substance use or mental health issues. Call:
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Regulations for the MBC Physician Health and Wellness Program
The Medical Board of California (MBC) has opened a 45-day comment period on the proposed regulations that will govern its new Physician and Surgeon Health and Wellness Program. The comment period will end November 14, 2023.
Click on the items below for copies of the different documents that provide the specifics:
This action has been a long time coming. The authorizing legislation, SB 1177 (Galgiani), enacted in 2016, required the MBC to prepare regulations for how a new program would operate. Getting regulations prepared and through the multi-step review process has been delayed by several factors.
While this 45-day comment period is a significant step forward, many steps remain. When the comment period closes and comments are reviewed, the Medical Board will first determine if changes should be made to the language of the proposed regulations. If so, that determination would be evaluated by all the reviewers to see if they agree as to whether the change made was non-substantive versus substantive. If the Board had determined that a substantive change should be made, then the modified text will be available for public comment for 15 days.
When those steps are completed, the Medical Board will prepare the final statement of reasons and submit the rulemaking package to its umbrella agencies – the Department of Consumer Affairs and its parent, the California Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency. Once approved by those agencies, the rulemaking package will be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for review and approval. Upon approval by OAL, the regulations are filed with the Secretary of State (SOS) and added to the California Code of Regulations to become effective on a date specified by the Secretary of State.
Only then can the Medical Board begin the process it will use to select a vendor to implement the program. After the vendor is selected, The Medical Board will issue another set of regulations to set the fees for what participants will pay.
Inquiries or comments may be addressed to Alexandria Schembra or Kerrie Webb of the Medical Board of California by email to email@example.com. Their phone number is (916) 263-2389.
Brief legislative history:
- 1980 – The Medical Board’s “Impaired Physician Program,” created by passage of legislation in 1979, opened on January 1, 1980.
- 2008 – MBC closed the program on June 30, 2008, and those still enrolled were released from the program’s monitoring and group services.
- 2008 – Senate Bill (SB) 1441 (Ridley-Thomas) was adopted establishing Uniform Standards which all health professions licensing agencies must follow.
- 2016 Senate Bill (SB) 1177 (Galgiani) was adopted authorizing the MBC to establish a Physician Health and Wellness Program.
- 2023 – MBC published its proposed regulation to implement SB1177.