Consumers

Protecting health care consumers through the proper licensing and regulation of physicians and surgeons and certain allied health care professionals and through the vigorous, objective enforcement of the Medical Practice Act.

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Contact the Board's Consumer Information Unit for assistance.

1 (800) 633-2322

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Physician Conduct/Unprofessional Conduct

Physician conduct/unprofessional conduct complaints are complaints that allege concerns about breach of confidence, record alteration, filing fraudulent insurance claims, misleading advertising, failure to sign death certificates in a timely manner, failure to provide medical records to a patient, patient abandonment, etc. The Board does not have jurisdiction over a medical provider’s attitude, bedside manner, demeanor, office staff, or prices charged or refund disputes with a medical provider unless there is a double payment by the insurance company. The Board cannot rely on news reports as evidence in a formal disciplinary matter and the Board cannot assist consumers in obtaining medical care or financial compensation for medical malpractice.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

Congress called on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue patient privacy protections as part of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). On April 14, 2003, the first-ever federal privacy standards to protect patients' medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers took effect. Existing California law provides additional protection to consumers is not affected by this federal regulation. As HIPAA is a federal regulation, the Medical Board has no authority to evaluate concerns related to HIPAA implementation or violations. Further information about HIPAA can be obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights through their website.