The surgeon in California, who originally did a hip replacement on my right hip, used a laser to assure that both my legs were the same length. When the liner broke (13 years later), the orthopedic surgeon replaced the ball with a larger ball. This resulted in my right leg (where hip replacement was) being longer than left leg. I now limp because the left leg is approximately 3/4″ shorter.
Consumers Union Documents
- CU testifies at Senate hearing about California’s lax enforcement of patient safety laws
Testimony of Elizabeth M. Imholz, Special Projects Director; Consumers Union before California Senate Health Committee; October 20, 2010
- Spreading Germs: Low Rates of Flu Vaccination Among California Healthcare Workers Put Patients at Risk (PDF)
Consumers Union Report shows California Department of Public Health is falling behind on collecting and publishing dangerously low vaccination rates to the public.
- Medical Board Notice to Consumers Regulation
The Medical Board regulation requiring physicians to have a notice for patients with the Medical Board contact information has been approved. It goes into effect on June 27th. Medical Board of California (April 2010)
- Preventable Harm: California Fails to Follow Through With Patient Safety Laws
- CU Letter to CA Department of Health Care Services (pdf)
CU sent a letter to Kathleen Billingsley at the Department of Health Care Services following our meeting on December 16 regarding state implementation of the hospital-acquired infection and adverse event reporting laws. Consumers Union (December 28, 2009)
- CU Public Records Act Request to California Department of Public Health (pdf)
CU filed a Public Records request for documents related to adverse events and hospital acquired infections made available to the public through legislation passed since 2006. Consumers Union (February 16, 2010)
- CU Comments to California Board of Pharmacy in Support of Labels Large Enough to Read (pdf)
March 9, 2010 (Consumers Union)
- CU Comments to Board of Podiatric Medicine Regarding Notice to Consumers (pdf)
Consumers Union writes in support of the Board of Podiatric Medicine’s (BPM) adoption of proposed section 1399.730, Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations. This proposal requires doctors of podiatric medicine (DPMs) to notify their patients that they are licensed by the State of California, and provides the Board’s website address and the toll-free number where consumers with complaints may seek guidance.
- CU Letter to California Board of Pharmacy in Support of Patient-Centered Labels on Prescription Drugs
Consumers Union wrote a letter to the California Board of Pharmacy in support of proposed Section 1707.5 of Division 17 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations that would make labels on prescription medication containers safer and better-suited for patients’ needs by requiring pharmacies to use standardized font
- CA Safe Patient Network
Description of the organization and mission.
- California advocates voice concerns at medical board meeting
This month, California advocates worked with CU to voice safety concerns at the California Medical Board meeting. We testified on several issues that affect the public and transparency…
- California advocate featured in LA Times on how to research your doctor
Michele Monserratt-Ramos, member of CU’s California Safe Patient Network, was featured in a February 9 Los Angeles Times article on how to research your doctor. Michele has been active on patient safety issues since the tragic death of her husband-to-be, Lloyd Monserratt.
- California activists urge lawmakers to reform California Medical Board
In March 2013, Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project organized a small but powerful gathering of eight California consumer advocates in Sacramento to discuss patient safety issues related to California’s medical board sunset review process, hospital infections, and more. One advocate who attended, Alicia Cole, sent a terrific email about the meeting that we decided to post it as a guest blog.
- California Releases New Report on Hospital Infection Rates
A report by the California Department of Public Health, makes California a national leader on public reporting of infections.
- Consumer voices to be heard at national hospital infection meeting
Meet the eleven consumer advocates who will be attending a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)hospital infection meeting this week.
- Consumers win on reporting surgical infection rates in CA
Last week, California hospitals lost their bid to avoid reporting their infection rates to the public. A California judge upheld a 2008 state law – one of the strongest in the nation – that calls on hospitals to report infections occurring from a broad array of surgeries.
- If you’re in the San Diego area tomorrow, meet us at the Empowered Patient training
On Saturday, October 9, the Empowered Patient Coalition along with Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project and AARP California will be holding a special training in San Diego for patients and caregivers on how to stay safe in the hospital.
- A Shot In The Dark: Not Enough California Healthcare Workers are Getting Flu Shots
It’s the start of flu season and you might be worried about the spread of germs. We’re worried too. Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project released a report today that found nearly half of all hospital workers in California didn’t get flu shots during the 2008-2009 flu season.
- Let’s talk about labels
A bill in California (SB 1390) would create a minimum of 12-point font for the most crucial information on medication labels and would require translation of medication label information into commonly used non-English languages.
- California Moving Too Slow On Patient Safety Progress
Since 2006, California lawmakers have passed laws to improve patient safety, yet the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has been moving at turtle speed to enforce these laws.
- Addicted-doctors bill dies in committee -- and good riddance Source: Los Angeles Times (Friday May 23, 2014)
A bad bill in CA that would have resurrected the “doctor diversion” program has been stopped in its tracks. CA patient safety activists had a lot to do with that!
- Former hospital owner will say he bribed senator Source: UT San Diego (Friday February 21, 2014)
“LOS ANGELES (AP) — The former owner of a tiny orthopedic hospital with an unusually heavy roster of spinal surgery patients was charged Friday with health care fraud in a $500 million scheme to defraud workers’ compensation insurance providers with the help of a California state senator.”
- Former Owner of Long Beach Hospital Charged in Health Care Fraud Scheme That Paid Tens of Millions of Dollars in Kickbacks for Referrals for Spinal Surgeries Billed to Workers’ Comp Programs Source: FBI (Friday February 21, 2014)
FBI: “The former owner of Pacific Hospital in Long Beach was charged today in a long-running health care fraud scheme that involved tens of millions of dollars in illegal kickbacks in exchange for referrals of thousands of patients who received spinal surgeries.”
- How to research your doctor's ratings and record Source: Los Angeles Times (Sunday February 9, 2014)
Where can California consumers go to find information about their doctors? Patient safety advocate Michele Monserratt-Ramos, a member of Consumers Union’s activist network, said consumers should look beyond a doctor’s resume and investigate civil and criminal records, although some important information isn’t available to the public. Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center Director, Dr. John Santa, said to be wary of doctor rating websites that rely on a small sample of patients.
- DPH Issues Nearly $300K in Penalties to Five California Hospitals for Undisclosed Reasons Source: California Healthline (Friday February 7, 2014)
Why did the California Department of Public Health issue fines against five California hospitals? The public would like to know.
- Hospital-Acquired Infections Decreased in Calif. Hospitals, Data Show Source: California Healthline (Thursday December 5, 2013)
“The number of hospital-acquired infections reported at California health care facilities dropped slightly from 2011 to 2012, according to data released by the California Department of Public Health, Payers & Providers reports.”
- Report: California Earns 'C' Grade for Physician Quality Data Source: California Healthline (Tuesday December 10, 2013)
California has received a “C” grade for the accessibility of data on physician quality, according to a national report released Tuesday by the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Kaiser Health News’ “Capsules” reports.
- Carole Moss on Huffington Post Live: How To Stop Hospitals From Killing Us Source: Huffington Post Live (Tuesday December 3, 2013)
Hear CA advocate Carole Moss, who founded Nile’s Project, discuss “how to stop hospitals from killing us.”
- Medical board suspends doctor faulted in Lap-Band surgery death Source: Los Angeles Times (Thursday August 22, 2013)
The Medical Board of California has suspended the license of an anesthesiologist faulted in the care of a patient who died after weight-loss surgery at a clinic tied to the 1-800-GET-THIN advertising campaign.
- Lap-Band surgery center tied to 1-800-GET-THIN loses accreditation Source: Los Angeles Times (Wednesday August 21, 2013)
Following patient deaths, a Beverly Hills lap-band outpatient surgery center has lost its accreditation, which under California law, prohibits the center from performing surgeries on patients under general anesthesia. The operators of these lap-band surgery centers have disciplinary records with the California Medical Board and face a joint criminal investigation involving both state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Research and Reports
- Dialysis Facility Surveys--California 2010
End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Dialysis Facility Survey reports for California for 2010.
- Influenza Vaccination Among Employees in California General Acute Care Hospitals for the 2008-2009 Respiratory Season
The California Department of Public Health reports findings revealed in Consumers Union’s report that only about half of California healthcare workers got vaccinated during the 2008-2009 flu season.
- Events that are never supposed to happen in state hospitals (graphic)
Graphic of some of the adverse events reported by California hospitals over the past two fiscal years.
- Doctors Behaving Badly: Medical boards should drop the stone tools, join the digital age
Many state medical board websites are not consumer-friendly, and it can be confusing or impossible to find information about a doctor’s disciplinary, criminal or malpractice history. In response, journalist William Heisel has created a Google map of “doctors behaving badly” with links to bad doctor new articles.
- What to Do if You Have a Concern about the Quality of Care from a California Physician
Steps you can take if you are concerned about your care under a CA physician.
- What To Do If You Have Concern About Quality in a California Nursing Home
Steps you can take if you are concerned about the quality of care in a CA nursing home.
- What to Do if You Have a Concern about Quality in a California Hospital
What to do if you are concerned about your hospital’s quality of care and links to resources that can help. It addresses steps you can take within a hospital or with organizations that regulate or oversee hospitals.
- California Health Facilities Information
California residents can search this California Department of Public Health website for information on health facilities such as ownership, certification status (acceptance of Medicare and/or Medi-Cal) and performance history including complaints; entity reported incidents, state enforcement actions, and survey deficiencies. You can also submit a complaint regarding a specific facility.
- Problems with the Board of Registered Nursing Enforcement and Diversion Programs (PDF)
On July 11, 2009, the Los Angeles Times, in conjunction with Pro-Publica, a non-profit investigative news agency, published an article entitled “When Caregivers Harm: Problem Nurses Stay on the Job as Patients Suffer,” charging that Board of Registered Nursing, which oversees California’s more than 350,000 nurses, often takes years to act on complaints of egregious misconduct. Nurses with histories of drug abuse, negligence, violence, and incompetence continue to provide care, and BRN often took more than three years, on average, to investigate and discipline errant nurses.
- CA: List of hospital fines by county
See if hospitals in your county have had administrative penalties issued by the California Department of Public Health.