Today's Law As Amended


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AB-2346 Physician and surgeon assistance program.(2013-2014)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Article 15.1 (commencing with Section 2372) is added to Chapter 5 of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, to read:

Article  15.1. Physician and Surgeon Assistance Program
2372.
 The board is authorized to establish a program as a voluntary and confidential program to support a physician and surgeon in his or her rehabilitation and competent practice of medicine, enhance public protection, and maintain the integrity of the medical profession. Confidentiality pursuant to this article shall be absolute unless waived by a physician and surgeon, except as specified in Section 2373. The program shall, if established, aid a physician and surgeon struggling with substance abuse, mental health concerns, stress, burnout, and other issues impacting his or her productivity. This program shall be modeled after the State Bar’s Lawyer Assistance Program.
2373.
 If the board establishes a program, the board shall contract for the program’s administration with an entity competent to provide the necessary administrative services.
2374.
 The board may refer a physician and surgeon to the program, but neither acceptance into or participation in the program shall relieve the physician or surgeon of any lawful duties and obligations under this chapter or otherwise under any disciplinary action. Participation in the program shall be disclosed if required as a condition of probation, pursuant to Section 2228.
2375.
 Participants in the program shall be responsible for all expenses relating to treatment and recovery. In addition, the board may charge a reasonable administrative fee to participants for the purpose of offsetting the costs of maintaining the program.
2376.
 If a program is established, the board shall actively engage in outreach activities to make physicians and surgeons, the medical community, and the general public aware of the existence and availability of the program. Outreach may include, but not be limited to, the development and certification of minimum continuing education courses relating to the prevention, detection, and treatment of substance abuse, including no-cost and low-cost programs and materials.