Newly Approved Legislation Bringing Significant Changes to the Medical Board of California Starting January 1, 2024
Physician Fee Increases and Licensing and Enforcement Changes Coming Soon
SB 815, signed into law by Governor Newsom on September 30, 2023, brings multiple significant changes to the Medical Board of California (Board), and its applicants, licensees, and public stakeholders.
This webpage explains the major changes in the law enacted by SB 815. Soon, the Board’s other website content will be updated, where appropriate, to reflect these changes. Unless otherwise noted, these law changes take effect on January 1, 2024.
Physician Fee Increases: The fees for initial licensure and renewal for physician and surgeon licensees and special faculty permits are as follows:
|Prior Fee Amount
|New Fee Amount
|New Fee Amount
|Penalty Fee - Physicians & Surgeons
|Penalty Fee - Special Faculty Permit
|Initial License Fee - Physicians & Surgeons
|Initial License Fee - Special Faculty Permit
|1/2 Initial License Fee - Physicians & Surgeons
|Biennial Renewal - Physicians & Surgeons
|Biennial Renewal- Special Faculty Permit
|Delinquent Fee - Physicians & Surgeons
|Delinquent Fee - Special Faculty Permit
Postgraduate Training License (PTL): All newly issued PTLs will be valid for 36 months and any PTL in an active status as of January 1, 2024, will be extended, if necessary, so that it is valid for 36 months.
Physician’s and Surgeon’s License: Removed the requirement that board-approved postgraduate training must include four months of general medicine.
Guest Rotation Training: Expands an existing Board regulation to authorize a resident enrolled in an out-of-state postgraduate training program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to receive medical training in California, for up to a 90-day period, without obtaining a Board license.
Mexico Pilot Program (MPP): Authorizes the Board to extend the three-year expiration date for MPP license holders who were unable to practice due to specified circumstances.
Transfer of Research Psychoanalyst (RP) Program: Effective January 1, 2025, the RP program will be transferred to the Board of Psychology, which will then assume regulation of this program.
Complainant Liaison Unit: The Board will establish a new staff unit with the following duties:
- Respond to communications from the public about the complaint review and enforcement process.
- After a complaint has been referred to a field investigation, assist with coordinating communications between the complainant and investigators, as necessary.
- Following a disciplinary decision, respond to questions from the complainant regarding any appeals process available to the disciplined licensee.
- Conduct and support public outreach activities to improve the public’s understanding of the Board’s enforcement process, including related laws and policies.
- Evaluate and respond to requests from complainants to review a complaint closure that the complainant believes was made in error.
Prior to beginning this new workload, the Board will require approval from the Legislature and Governor to add new staff positions.
Interviews for Quality-of-Care Complaints: Before closing a quality-of-care complaint, the Board shall request and conduct an interview with the complainant, patient, or a patient representative. If the request for an interview is not responded to within 30 days, the Board may close the complaint, if otherwise warranted. Prior to beginning this new workload, the Board will require approval from the Legislature and Governor to add new staff positions.
Patient Impact Statements: After a complaint is referred for a field investigation, the complainant, patient, or patient representative will have the opportunity to provide a statement to the Board regarding the harm they experienced. That statement will be considered by the Board’s disciplinary panels when adjudicating the relevant case.
Tolling the Statute of Limitations: If a licensee fails to comply with a Board subpoena, and is served with an order to show cause, the statute of limitations applicable to the filing of an accusation by the Board shall be tolled (i.e. paused) until such time as the subpoenaed records are produced, or until the court declines to issue an order mandating release of the records to the Board.
Pharmacy Records: A pharmacy licensed in California must provide records requested by the Board within three business days of the request. The pharmacy may seek an extension of this deadline, not to exceed 14 calendar days from the date of the Board’s request for pharmacy records.
Automatic Suspension and Revocation for Certain Felony Convictions: The Board shall automatically suspend a license following the licensee’s conviction of certain felonies. After the conviction becomes final, the Board shall revoke the license. Within 30 days of the suspension and/or revocation orders, the licensee may request an administrative hearing to determine whether discipline other than suspension or revocation shall be imposed.
New Categories of Unprofessional Conduct: The following actions are considered unprofessional conduct:
- Failure by a licensee under investigation, without good cause, to attend and participate in an interview with Board investigators within 30 calendar days of the Board’s request.
- Any action of a licensee, or another person acting on their behalf, intended to cause their patient or their patient’s authorized representative to rescind their consent to release the patient’s medical records to the Board or its investigators.
- Dissuading, intimidating, or tampering with any person to prevent them from reporting or testifying about a licensee.
- Failure of a physician licensee to maintain adequate and accurate records relating to providing services to their patients for at least seven years after the last date of service to a patient.
Petitions for Modification of Penalty or License Reinstatement: The following changes were made to this area of law:
- The Board may adopt regulations to establish a fee that must be paid by disciplined licensees who wish to modify the terms of their discipline or have their license reinstated.
- A licensee whose license was surrendered or revoked for unprofessional conduct must wait five years to submit a petition to have their license reinstated, although the Board may specify in the disciplinary order that they may file such a petition after three years.
- A licensee must wait at least two years or until half their probation term has elapsed, whichever is greater, before submitting a petition to seek early termination of their probation.
- The Board shall automatically reject a petition for early termination or modification of probation if the Board files a petition to revoke probation while the licensee’s petition is pending.
- The Board may deny without a hearing or argument any petition filed within three years of the effective date of a decision on a previously filed petition.
Earlier Exchange of Expert Witness Testimony: When using expert witnesses to resolve a disciplinary matter, certain required information must be exchanged no later than 90 days before the originally scheduled commencement date of an administrative hearing, except as determined by an administrative law judge.
For more information on SB 815, please visit the California Legislative Information Website.