Legislation


AB 1278 – California

Status: Enacted
Year Introduced: 2021
Link: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB1278

Physicians and surgeons: payments: disclosure: notice.
Existing law, the Medical Practice Act, establishes the Medical Board of California within the Department of Consumer Affairs and sets forth its powers and duties relating to the licensure and regulation of physicians and surgeons. Existing law establishes the Osteopathic Medical Board of California within the department and sets forth its powers and duties relating to the licensure and regulation of osteopathic physicians and surgeons.
Under existing law, it is unlawful for healing arts licensees, except as specified, to offer, deliver, receive, or accept any rebate, refund, commission, preference, patronage dividend, discount, or other consideration, in the form of money or otherwise, as compensation or inducement for referring patients, clients, or customers to any person, subject to certain exceptions. Existing law also prohibits specified healing arts licensees from charging, billing, or otherwise soliciting payment from a patient on behalf of, or referring a patient to, an organization in which the licensee, or the licensee’s immediate family, has a significant beneficial interest, unless the licensee first makes specified disclosures in writing to the patient.
Existing federal law known as the Open Payments program requires, among other things, applicable manufacturers of drugs, devices, and biological or medical supplies to annually report to the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services certain payments and other transfers of value made to covered recipients, as defined.
This bill would require a physician and surgeon, defined to include a physician and surgeon licensed pursuant to the Medical Practice Act or an osteopathic physician and surgeon licensed by the Osteopathic Medical Board of California under the Osteopathic Act, who receives remuneration from a drug or device company, to disclose the source of the remuneration orally and in writing to each patient prior to the intended use or prescription of a device or drug manufactured or distributed by the company, as prescribed. The bill would also define other terms for its purposes. Under the bill, a violation of this disclosure provision would constitute unprofessional conduct.
This bill would require a physician and surgeon to post an open payments database notice, as described, in each location where the licensee practices and in an area that is likely to be seen by all persons who enter the office. The bill would require a physician and surgeon to conspicuously post the same open payments database notice on the internet website used for the physician and surgeon’s practice. The bill would require a health care employer to comply with these posting requirements instead if the physician and surgeon is employed by the health care employer.
This bill would require the responsible board to assess an administrative fine of $100 on a healing arts licensee for each violation. The bill would require the board to assess an administrative fine of $100 on a health care employer for each physician and surgeon who the employer employs and who would have been fined for violating the bill’s provisions. The bill would require that the administrative fines be deposited in the state General Fund and would declare that they be used, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to enforce the provisions of the bill.
This bill would specify that these provisions do not apply to a physician and surgeon or an osteopathic physician and surgeon working in a hospital emergency room.


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