California Chiropractic Board Proposes Consumer Omnibus Protection Regulations

Published: 2011-03-17 18:40:23
Author: Debbie Snow | California Progress Report | March 17, 2011

Many California health care boards are proposing new regulations to strengthen disciplinary procedures for health care workers charged with significant wrongdoing.  The Board of Chiropractic Examiners (BCE) has taken a proactive stance in initiating a broad scope of proposed regulations through an extensive plan called the Omnibus Consumer Protection Regulations.

A series of articles in The Los Angeles Times/Pro Publica in 2009 highlighted egregious licensee misconduct that happened within a California health care board partially due to lax enforcement policies and procedures.  Although these articles focused primarily on the Nursing Board, the Senate Business and Professions Committee found that many state health care boards failed in their efforts to protect the public and found that there was often a lag time of more than three years to remove a dangerous practitioner from practice.

A sweeping reform bill, Senate Bill, SB1111, was introduced in 2009 to overhaul the enforcement provisions for all healthcare boards under the Department of Consumer Affairs.  Unfortunately, this bill died in committee, however many state boards sought to introduce new regulations with provisions similar to this bill.  Although the Board of Chiropractic Examiners isn’t under DCA, the board members embraced the opportunity to review their own enforcement procedures and explore regulatory changes they could make to increase consumer protection.  Mr. Puleo, Executive Director of the Chiropractic Board, states “we’re systematically reviewing all of our regulations to identify needed updates and improvements, and we welcome input from licensees and consumers.”

There are numerous important changes in the Omnibus Consumer Protection Regulations.  These are but a few of its highlights:

The Consumer Protection Regulations proposal makes broad positive changes that would increase the BCE’s enforcement authority, the boards’ access to critical information for investigations, and improved efficiency in enforcement processes and procedures.  Provisions in the proposed regulations would prevent incidents like one highlighted in a 2009 Los Angeles Times article.  Reporters found that insufficient background checks failed to flag a licensed dentist who had a clear record with the State Dental Board, who was listed on “Megan’s List, and was currently practicing despite being convicted on two counts of forcible sexual assault on children under the age of sixteen.

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