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New Physician Signage Regulations Take Effect June 27

California physicians will soon be required to inform their patients that they are licensed by the Medical Board of California, and to provide patients with the board’s contact information.

Despite CMA objections, the Office of Administrative Law recently approved these regulations, which are intended to let consumers know where to go for information on or with complaints about California medical doctors. CMA believes these regulations are an unnecessary administrative burden as state law already requires physicians to post their medical license or wear a name tag indicating their licensing status.

The new regulations, which take effect June 27, 2010, require physicians to provide this notice by one of three methods:

Prominently posting a sign in an area of their offices that is conspicuous to patients, in at least 48-point type in Arial font. Including the notice in a written statement, signed and dated by the patient or patient’s representative, and kept in that patient’s file, stating the patient understands the physician is licensed and regulated by the board. Including the notice in a statement on letterhead, discharge instructions, or other document given to a patient or the patient’s representative; the notice must be placed immediately above the patient’s signature line in at least 14-point type.

Regardless of which method you choose, the notice must read as follows: “NOTICE TO CONSUMERS: Medical doctors are licensed and regulated by the Medical Board of California, (800) 633-2322,”

According to the medical board, physicians, not facilities, are responsible for compliance with this regulation. In group settings, only one sign must be posted (should that option be chosen), but it must be posted in a location where it can be seen by all patients.

Although CMA strongly supports patient access to information about a physician’s education, training, and other qualifications, we believe that it would be more useful to provide patients with specific information about the education and training of their physicians. To that end, CMA is cosponsoring a “truth in advertising” bill along with the California Society of Plastic Surgeons. Our bill would require all health care practitioners to display their educational degree, license type and status, and board certification on either their nametag or in their offices, to help patients better understand the credentials of a health care practitioner prior to receiving treatment.

San Joaquin Medical Society Members can receive a free laminated sign which meets the states criteria by calling Jessica Peluso, Membership Coordinator at 952-5299 or via email