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
- Consumers Union April 28, 2014 Letter Regarding Opposition AB 2346 (Gonzales)
Consumers Union opposes AB 2346 (Gonzales) which would create a program that secretly diverts drug and alcohol addicted physicians from a public disciplinary track into a voluntary monitoring program, where physician participation and possible impairment are kept secret from both the CA medical board and patients.
- Consumers Union Letter to Susan Bonilla, Chair of Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee on AB 1886
Consumers Union urges the chair to vote yes on A.B. 1886 (Eggman), which would remove arbitrary and unwarranted time limits on the availability to patients of important information regarding California physicians.
- Consumers Union Comments on California Proposed Regulations on Hospital Fines
Comments from Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project and Nile’s Project to the California Department of Public Health on the proposed regulations on hospital administrative penalties, specifically focusing on fines assessed due to a hospital’s noncompliance with laws that has caused or is likely to cause serious injury or death to a patient. CA’s proposed regulations leave several gaps in effectively implementing these fines and we urge that they be revised to provide clarity and to more appropriately fine the worst violators.
- Consumers Union Opposition Letter and Patient Statements regarding SB 1483 Impaired Physicians
Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project opposes SB 1483 (Steinberg), which would establish a costly and unnecessary government entity to serve as a substance abuse and mental health treatment referral service for physicians, who are well-equipped to find their own therapy services, while leaving patients uninformed and unprotected.
- Consumers Union Letter to CA’s Governor Brown Regarding: Request for executive action to require that the Medical Board of California provide teleconference participation in its public meetings
Consumers Union letter to CA’s Governor Brown: We are concerned about poor consumer access to Medical Board of California (MBC) meetings and request that you take executive action to require that the MBC make all of its public meetings available for interactive public participation through teleconferencing.
- Letter to CA’s Governor Brown re: Gubernatorial appointments of public members to the Medical Board of California
Consumers Union and other CA consumer groups send a letter to CA’s Governor Brown about the need to appoint public members to the vacant seats on the Medical Board of California (MBC). A number of patient safety issues deserve the attention of a full and balanced MBC.
- Consumers Union Letter to Medical Board of California Members
Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project and CA patient safety advocates send a letter to members of the Medical Board of California (MBC) regarding issues affecting consumers, such as: better access to medical board meetings; MBC’s confusing statute of limitations information for filing complaints; and MBC’s responsibilities related to outpatient settings.
- Testimony of Elizabeth M. Imholz, Consumers Union Special Projects Director before CA Senate Health Committee
Stopping the occurrence of medical harm
- Testimony of advocate Carole Moss before CA Senate Health Committee
Testimony of Carole Moss to the Oversight Hearing on October 20, 2010 to California Department of Public Health concerning Implementation of Hospital Patient Safety Legislation.
- 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
- California Safe Patient activists celebrate progress and testify at Medical Board of California meeting
A week ago, our Consumers Union (CU) Safe Patient Project staff went to sunny California to meet with our network of activists that are working to protect CA patients from medical harm. Find out what we did!
- 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.
- Serious infections tied to medical scopes go far beyond issues with a single device Source: LA Times (Monday August 3, 2015)
“Infection experts have been warning for years in speeches and research papers that many types of endoscopes can remain dirty after cleaning — only to have their concerns mostly ignored by doctors performing the procedures.”
- A Killer on the Loose Source: LA Times (Saturday August 1, 2015)
Investigation into the CRE outbreak at UCLA underscores the need for increased scrutiny of medical devices by the FDA before approving them for use on patients.
- Patients ought to find out more about doctors Source: Sacramento Bee (Monday July 13, 2015)
California physicians aren’t required to tell patients they’re on probation. Patient advocates are asking the Medical Board of California to change that.
- Push for doctors to disclose probation before treatment Source: KGTV San Diego (Tuesday June 23, 2015)
CA Patient advocates push to get doctors to tell their patients if the are on probation.
- Launch of Engaged Patients Website Source: EngagedPatients.org (Wednesday October 1, 2014)
The Empowered Patient Coalition 501(c)(3) announces a new project at EngagedPatients.org focusing on creating a grassroots social movement to inform and engage the public to participate in their health care experiences.
- California could change how nursing home residents receive antipsychotics Source: Reporting on Health (Monday September 8, 2014)
Reporting on Health’s Bill Heisel covers a debate stirring over the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes. Safe Patient Project activist, Marian Hollingsworth, weighs in.
- Should signed consents be required to give nursing home residents antipsychotics? Source: Reporting on Health (Friday September 12, 2014)
Reporting on Health’s Bill Heisel discusses issues around informed consent for nursing home residents.
- 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.”
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.