Price Pushes for Oversight in Clinics

Senator Curren D. Price, Jr. (D-Los Angeles) introduced today, SB 100 legislation that will provide greater oversight and strengthen regulation of surgical clinics where cosmetic surgeries are performed, and of fertility clinics.

These surgical clinics have come under closer scrutiny since the 2007 death of Donda West, mother of musician Kanye West. The death of Ms. West, less than 24 hours after she had undergone several surgeries in a surgical clinic, revealed the lack of oversight of these clinics, many of which do not have specific requirements dealing with pre- and post-operative procedures.

SB 100 also establishes stronger standards for fertility clinics like the one that allowed so-called Octomom, Nadya Suleman, to become pregnant with octuplets in 2009.

“This bill puts the public’s safety first,” said Senator Curren Price, who chairs the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee. “We have had too many deaths, too many injuries and too many medical malpractice cases to continue to allow these clinics to operate without stronger standards and swifter disciplinary measures.”

This bill will strengthen the regulation and oversight of surgical and fertility clinics by putting in place requirements that currently exist for clinics licensed by the Department of Public Health (DPH). These include both reporting requirements and corrective actions for clinics which have problems during their period of accreditation.
It will also give the DPH the authority to shut down a clinic if necessary based on any violation of health and safety standards. Currently the Medical Board of California can only take action against the physician’s license and cannot close down a clinic if problems exist in a physician-owned facility. “This is absurd,” said Senator Price. “We have got to find a way to give the DPH the ability to shut down clinics when serious problems exist.”

Surgical clinics are currently accredited by one of four different accrediting agencies, which are approved by the MBC. Any violation of quality of care standards will be reported to the MBC and the DPH so that action can be taken against the physicians and the clinic as soon as possible. Additionally, the bill will require that if one accrediting agency takes any action against a clinic, it will apply to all other accrediting agencies. “There will be no more ‘shopping’ for accreditation if refused or disciplined by one of the accrediting agencies, said Senator Price.”

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