California Business & Professions Code Section 805 regulates the requirements for licensing authority notification (“805 reports”) about disciplinary actions taken against a medical or healthcare professional by a peer review body.

Peer review mechanisms for licensed medical and healthcare providers include other designated professional medical and professional staff such as chief of staff of a medical or professional staff or other chief executive officer, medical director, or administrator, professional societies and peer review committees set up to ensure quality of care and enforcement of professional practice standards.

Section 805 covers physicians and surgeons, doctors of podiatric medicine, clinical psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, professional clinical counselors, dentists, licensed midwives, and physician assistants.

Under Business and Professions Code section 805(a)(6), a “medical disciplinary cause or reason” is “that aspect of a licentiate’s competence or professional conduct that is reasonably likely to be detrimental to patient safety or to the delivery of patient care.” BPC Section 805 censure or disciplinary action for a healthcare professional by their peers can result from:

(1) Incompetence, or gross or repeated deviation from the standard of care involving death or serious bodily injury to one or more patients, to the extent or in such a manner as to be dangerous or injurious to any person or to the public. This paragraph shall not be construed to affect or require the imposition of immediate suspension pursuant to Section 809.5.

(2) The use of, or prescribing for or administering to himself or herself, any controlled substance; or the use of any dangerous drug, as defined in Section 4022, or of alcoholic beverages, to the extent or in such a manner as to be dangerous or injurious to the licentiate, any other person, or the public, or to the extent that such use impairs the ability of the licentiate to practice safely.

(3) Repeated acts of clearly excessive prescribing, furnishing, or administering of controlled substances or repeated acts of prescribing, dispensing, or furnishing of controlled substances without a good faith effort prior examination of the patient and medical reason therefor. However, in no event shall a physician and surgeon prescribing, furnishing, or administering controlled substances for intractable pain, consistent with lawful prescribing, be reported for excessive prescribing and prompt review of the applicability of these provisions shall be made in any complaint that may implicate these provisions.

(4) Sexual misconduct with one or more patients during a course of treatment or an examination.

Business and Professions Code Section 805 requires that peer review bodies make an 805 Report within 15 days of their actions impacting a provider. These actions include denied applications for staff privileges, termination of staff privileges or employment or any employment restrictions placed on a provider for more than 30 days in the last 12-month period as a result of disciplinary proceedings. Even if an applicant withdraws their application for staff privileges, resigns their position or abandons their staff privilege renewal effort, the requirements of licensure authority and board notification within 15 days still apply. Failure to file an 805 report results in still fines of up to $100,000 for medical professionals and $50,000 in the case of health care administrators. 805 reports must be kept on file with licensing authorities for 3 years after being received from peer review bodies.

What Happens After an 805 Report: Licensing Board Investigations

All medical and healthcare professionals know that any disciplinary action brought about by a peer review organization or process can have serious and negative effects on a professional’s career, short term and longer term. In the short term, however, an 805 report will immediately trigger a licensing board investigation.

If you have come under scrutiny by a peer review body at your healthcare agency or facility, you need to contact an experienced licensing lawyer immediately. The ideal way to avoid a board investigation and resulting discipline that can be caused by an 805 report is to never get one filed. There are steps you can take to mitigate the risks of filing including shortening any suspension of medical privileges for example, to under 14 days or shortening any restriction of medical privileges to under 30 days.  And it is imperative that you not overreact by resigning or abandoning your cause even if you fear an 805 report is going to be filed.

A skilled and experienced licensing lawyer such as the Law Offices of Lucy McAllister can advise you about the best strategy and legal and professional steps to take so that you protect your medical or healthcare professional license should you be at risk of an 805 report.

The Law Offices of Lucy S. McAllister have successfully represented a wide range of California-licensed physicians and healthcare professionals faced with investigations by California  medical and healthcare licensing boards. We understand the unique legal complexities facing medical professionals. We have the knowledge and experience to craft a comprehensive strategy and are dedicated to navigating your specific case from the accusation and through the investigation to the disciplinary process and we can legally defend your professional interests.

For additional information or to schedule a consultation about your professional licensing issue, please contact us today at (877) 280-9944.