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The Office of Public Affairs (OPA) coordinates the Board’s communication activities including media relations, social media, Public Records Act (PRA) requests, and the Board’s quarterly newsletter.

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Pursuant to Assembly Bill (AB) 1278, physicians will soon be required to provide a notice to their patients regarding the Open Payments database (Database), which is managed by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS.

Specifically, this new law requires physicians to do the following beginning January 1, 2023:

  1. At the initial office visit with their patient, a physician must provide either a written or electronic notice of the Database that includes the following text:

    “The Open Payments database is a federal tool used to search payments made by drug and device companies to physicians and teaching hospitals. It can be found at https://openpaymentsdata.cms.gov.”

    If the physician uses an electronic records system, they must include a record of this notice in the patient’s records.

    If the physician uses a paper-based records system, then the written notice to the patient must include a signature from the patient (or their representative) and a date of signature. Further, a copy of the written notice must be provided to the patient (or their representative) and included in the patient's records.

  2. Post a notice regarding the Database at each location where the physician practices, in an area likely to be seen by all persons. That notice must include an internet website link to the Database and the following text:

    “For informational purposes only, a link to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Open Payments web page is provided here. The federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires that detailed information about payment and other payments of value worth over ten dollars ($10) from manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, and biologics to physicians and teaching hospitals be made available to the public.”

    If a physician is employed by a health care employer, that employer is responsible for meeting this requirement.

Beginning January 1, 2024, a physician who uses a website in their medical practice must conspicuously post the same notice described above in 2) on their website. If a physician is employed by a health care employer, that employer is responsible for meeting this requirement.

Under this law, a violation of these requirements constitutes unprofessional conduct. The requirements created by this law do not apply to a physician working in a hospital emergency room.

For additional information, please see the text of AB 1278.

Beginning December 30, 2022, the Board will no longer provide paper-based application forms for the following types of applications:

  • Application for a PTL
  • Application to Transition from a PTL to a P&S License

Instead, these applications should be submitted electronically through BreEZe.

Furthermore, beginning February 1, 2023, the Board will no longer accept any paper-based applications for the above-mentioned application types as it moves to a paperless process.

The switch to a paperless application process helps both applicants and the Board by increasing the efficiency of the review process, enhancing security, and reducing costs and impact to the environment.

To submit these applications online, please visit the appropriate Board webpage:

After February 1, 2023, any paper-based applications for a PTL or to Transition from a PTL to a P&S license received by the Board will not be accepted or processed and the Board will notify the applicant that they must apply through BreEZe.

To allow sufficient time for processing and remediating deficiencies, the Board strongly encourages applicants to submit their application online six months in advance.

If you have any questions about this process change, please contact the Board by phone, toll free at (800) 633-2322 or via email at webmaster@mbc.ca.gov.

The Medical Board of California (Board) wishes to provide interested stakeholders additional opportunities to provide comments on what legislative proposals and priorities the Board should adopt at their meeting on December 1-2, 2022. During the December Board meeting, the Board is expected to review and approve its 2022 sunset report, including various statutory proposals, which will be delivered to the California State Legislature by January 2023.

If any interested stakeholder has comments on this matter, please submit them in writing to sunset@mbc.ca.gov. We request comments be submitted no later than Wednesday, November 9, 2022.

In addition, Board staff will be accepting verbal comments at a public meeting on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., to be conducted via WebEx. This meeting is intended to offer an additional opportunity for stakeholders to provide public comment and to share their opinions on how the Board should prioritize its proposals. Public comments are limited to three minutes per person. An agenda will be published on the Board’s website and distributed no later than 10 days prior to the meeting. To receive the agenda, please subscribe to the “Board and Committee Meetings” email alert.

All written and verbal comments received on this topic will be provided to the Board members for their consideration. As usual, stakeholders will be able to provide verbal comment at the Board’s meeting on December 1-2, 2022, during the appropriate agenda item.

For additional information, please see the staff report from the Board’s August 25-26, 2022, discussion regarding the 2022 Sunset Report Legislative Proposals.

The Medical Board of California (Board) has learned of a new scam targeting California physicians in which a caller impersonates a Board investigator, staff member or other law enforcement official and warns the physician that their license has been suspended, or a warrant has been issued for their arrest (sometimes both) due to criminal activity.

The scammer warns the physician that the suspension of the license will not show up on the physician’s public profile page, but that it is in full effect and the physician is not permitted to treat patients. The caller demands money or other compensation from the physician to stop the threatened action and utilizes fake Board letterhead containing fraudulent use of Board staff names and signatures to add authenticity to the scam.

The scammer also instructs the physician to not speak about the matter to anyone.

The Board would like to remind physicians that no Board staff member will ever contact physicians by telephone to inform them of a license suspension or to demand money or any other form of payment.

If you receive such a call:

  • Hang up immediately
  • Contact the Board directly at (800) 633 2322 to report the call
  • Report the call to local law enforcement authorities
  • It should be noted that the scammers use sophisticated methods to spoof Board phone numbers. Do not fall for this. Always call the Board directly if you have any questions.

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) will release the optimized Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) on April 11, 2022. Please refer to the DOJ guidance document “ New Optimized Cures Being Released On 4/11/2022” for important information on new features of the optimized CURES, supported web browsers, and planned system downtime from Friday, April 8, 2022 at 5:00 PM, through Monday, April 11, 2022 at 8:00 AM.

After this deployment, the initial login to CURES, whether via the web application or the Information Exchange Web Service (IEWS), will require users to follow the steps outlined below and in the DOJ bulletin:

Step #1: Login to CURES with your username and Password.

Step #2: Review and agree to the CURES Terms and Conditions.

Step #3: Verify your DOJ Identity by completing five (5) personal identity questions

  • First Name at Birth
  • Last Name at Birth
  • Mothers Maiden Name
  • Place of Birth
  • Date of Birth

Step #3 is to be completed by the user only one time. If the user does not complete this step the first time they login to the optimized CURES, they will be prompted to do this step every time they login until this is completed.

In addition, CURES optimization will provide expanded Delegate functionality, through which Delegates will be authorized to directly access data in CURES. Practitioners currently utilizing a Delegate must enter into a new Delegate Agreement in order for their Delegate to have continued access to CURES beginning April 11, 2022.

New Delegates may also be added via Delegate Agreement. For information about the Delegate access, please refer to the DOJ guidance document “ New Features and Requirements for Expanded Delegate Access.

As part of the transition to optimized CURES, beginning on April 11, 2022, users will need to complete a few simple steps the first time they log into the system. For more information, please refer to the DOJ guidance document “ First Time Login to the New Optimized CURES.”

If you have any questions about optimized CURES, Delegate Access, or browser accessibility, contact the CURES Program at cures@doj.ca.gov or (916) 210-3187.

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) will release the optimized Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) on April 11, 2022. Please refer to the DOJ guidance document “New Optimized Cures Being Released On 4/11/2022” for important information on new features of the optimized CURES, supported web browsers, and planned system downtime from Friday, April 8, 2022 at 5:00 PM, through Monday, April 11, 2022 at 8:00 AM.

In addition, CURES optimization will provide expanded Delegate functionality, through which Delegates will be authorized to directly access data in CURES. Practitioners currently utilizing a Delegate must enter into a new Delegate Agreement in order for their Delegate to have continued access to CURES beginning April 11, 2022. New Delegates may also be added via Delegate Agreement. For information about the Delegate access, please refer to the DOJ guidance document “New Features and Requirements for Expanded Delegate Access” or contact the CURES Program at cures@doj.ca.gov or (916) 210-3187.

Registration is now open for the Medical Board of California’s (Board) current active expert reviewers to attend an expert reviewer training event.

The Medical Board of California would like to share information from the Employment Development Department (EDD) regarding a new disability insurance identity theft scam. Here are links from EDD about the scam:

If you have any questions, refer to the EDD website and FAQs for further information.

The Medical Board of California (Board) has temporarily suspended the ability for licensees to renew early if their license expires after December 31, 2021. Pending legislation, Senate Bill (SB) 806, includes multiple changes to the Board’s licensing fees that, if approved, would take effect January 1, 2022.

If signed into law, the Board will release additional information on its website as soon as possible regarding the new fee amounts, the timing of when licenses may be renewed, and other aspects of the bill that impact the public, applicants, and licensees. In the meantime, information on the bill may be accessed on the California Legislative Information Website.

The Statewide Overdose Safety (SOS) Workgroup has issued some best practices for physicians and surgeons who may have inherited patients on opioid medications due to the recent, abrupt closures of 29 California pain management centers in May 2021. The closure of the centers resulted in over 20,000 patients without referrals, medical records, or treatment plans, and created a potentially dangerous disruption in the care for patients receiving treatment with opioid therapy.

The Medical Board of California (Board) would like to inform you of a change in the United States Medical Licensing Examination’s (USMLE) policy regarding test attempts.

Beginning July 1, 2021, the USMLE’s attempt limit policy will be reduced from six attempts to four attempts per Step exam.

The USMLE Composite Committee, the governing body of USMLE, voted to change the number of allowed attempts to protect the integrity of the exam and to more closely match the USMLE attempt limits imposed by the majority of state medical boards.

For more information about the USMLE’s change in its attempt limit policy, visit the FAQs on the USMLE’s website. If you have questions about how this change impacts you, please email the Office of the USMLE Secretariat at USMLESec@nbme.org.

The Medical Board of California (Board) would like to inform you that the fee charged to maintain the Controlled Substances Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) is set to increase.

Contact Us

Media Inquiries

Carlos Villatoro

Public Information Manager

Carlos.Villatoro@mbc.ca.gov

(916) 263-2394

Newsletter & Story Ideas

Emmalee Ross

Public Information Officer

Emmalee.Ross@mbc.ca.gov

(916) 263-2480

PRA Requests

Alexandria Schembra

Associate Program Analyst

Alexandria.Schembra@mbc.ca.gov

(916) 263-2466

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