... is for good men to do nothing.
Attention : Herb Schulz - Senior Health Policy Advisor to Governor Schwarzenegger.
State Capitol - Sacramento - CA - 95814
Dear Mr. Schulz,
On behalf of all the friends of www.allianceforpatientsafety.org, I would like to thank Governor Schwarzenegger and you, as you advised him, for signing AB 632 into a new law.
Otherwise, all of our efforts would have been in vain.
I would also like to thank Assemblymember Salas and Maria Garcia, who worked very hard for this bill. Ms. Garcia met with Susan Hansen, MD, member of the Board of Trustees of CMA and Jerry Rogan, MD, who submitted the Resolution to the CMA House of Delegates [ HOD ] , in 2006, that prompted Howard Lang, MD - Past President of CMA and, CMA' s Legislative staff to work on AB 632.
Attached please find, copy of my letter dated, August 15, 2007, to Maria Garcia, Capitol Director of Assemblymember Mary Salas and Ms. Diaz, assistant of Senator KUEHL, Chair of the Senate Healthcare Committee, reviewing the circumstances that lead to this vast coalition behind AB 632. As you can see, this was a 4 years collaborative effort by several medical organizations : UAPD, AAPS, CMA,... Joined by HARP - Health Administration Responsibility Project, Inc., ADA - Association of Dialysis Advocates, NIPR - National Institute for Patient Rights, MAME - Mothers Against Medical Errors, SSI - Semmelweis Society International, GAP - Government Accountability Project, the Liberty Coalition,... supported by many dedicated individuals.
Unfortunately, the Hospitals' attorneys included a " poison pill ", amendment (h), that undermines both the spirit and the letter of AB 632 and, the underlying laws it aimed to improve.
Accordingly, I would like to submit for your consideration the superb legal analysis of AB 632, by CMA' s legal counsel, Greg Abrams, Esq., dated August 10, 2007.
For your convenience, this document is available to you at : http://www.allianceforpatientsafety.org/abrams.php . Since we last spoke, the legal analysis of Federal and State laws regarding Peer Review in California and, in the country , by Bart Lee, Esq. and myself, became a published article by AHLA, the American Health Lawyers Association . I shall provide it to you, by separate e-mail.
The Governor has a very ambitious program to improve the Cost and Quality of delivery of care, in California. Much remain to be accomplished, in order to achieve such a goal.
The www.allianceforpatientsafety.org, and our friends, are looking forward to your initiatives and will assist you, in any way we can.
Wishing you, Governor Schwarzenegger and your families a Happy Thanksgiving,
Gil N. Mileikowsky, MD
Founder - www.allianceforpatientsafety.org
On Aug 15, 2007, at 12:30 PM, Gil Mileikowsky ,M.D. wrote:
Dear Ms. Garcia and Ms.Diaz,
It was a pleasure talking to you on the phone, regarding AB 632 and, the dangers of Amendment (h) as, introduced by California's Hospitals' lobby.
The following will memorize our conversations regarding the origins of AB 632, from its inception :
1) Mark Kawa, Esq.,prominent Hospitals' attorney, associated at the time with the law firm of Ervin, Cohen & Jessup, representing a TENET / HCA joint venture facility, Encino Tarzana Regional Medical Center [ ETRMC ] , wrote a letter to my attorney, Kevin J. Mirch ,dated February 15, 2002, requesting that my attorney dismiss the whistle blower cause of action for the following reasons :
" Since Dr.Mleikowsky was or is neither a patient nor an employee of ETRMC, he is not part of the class protected by this statute. "
Mr. Kawa, Esq. presented a one page analysis of his interpretation of existing California laws, Health and Safety Code 1278.5 and Business and Professions Code 2056, see Mr. Kawa's analysis, attached to my letters to Congressmen Waxman and Berman, dated November 15, 2005, click here : http://www.allianceforpatientsafety.org/waxman.pdf
2) On September 6, 2003, the UAPD Tenth Triennial Convention adopted the following resolution, I submitted :
" To expand existing " whistleblower " law protection in Federal law provided presently to physician employees of Hospitals, managed care,... to independent, private physicians. "
click here : http://www.allianceforpatientsafety.org/uapdres.pdf , to view this Resolution.
3) In October 2004, at the AAPS 61st Annual Meeting adopted the following Resolution, I submitted :
" That existing physicians' " whistleblower " and " Patient Advocate " laws in effect for physicians who are employees of Hospitals, managed care organizations, States, and Federal institutions be extended to all physicians in the country. "
click here : http://www.aapsonline.org/resolutions/2004-1.htm
4) In September 2006, the AAPS General Assembly adopted the " Resolutions on Patients' Safety ", I submitted :
" AAPS urges Congress, all State legislatures, and all State Medical Boards to extend existing physicians' " Whistleblower " and " Patient Advocate " protections to all physicians in the country, not just those who are employees of hospitals, managed care organizations, State and federal institutions. "
click here : http://www.aapsonline.org/resolutions/2006-9-11.php
5) In October 2006, CMA's House Of Delegates [ HOD ] adopted Resolution 606-06, entitled : " Protection of physician whistleblowers ", authored by my friend, Gerald N. Rogan,M.D. : ..." That CMA support and seek a sponsor for legislation to amend California Health and Safety Code 1278.5(a) and Business & Professions Code 2056, ... to extend whistleblower protection to a physician on the Medical Staff,... " click here : http://www.allianceforpatientsafety.org/cmares.pdf
As we agreed, the intent of AB 632 is to save many of our patients' lives by reducing errors and complications, unnecessary admissions, non indicated surgeries,...
Accordingly, it will save California Billions of dollars by increasing the safety to our patients, a" win win " proposition.
Kindly, include this letter in the official records of the " legislative history " of AB 632, so that the " original source " and " intent " of this law will be clear as crystal, without any room for any creative interpretation.
Thank you very much for sponsoring AB 632, and for your continuous support over the years.
Gil N. Mileikowsky, M.D.
Founder - http://www.allianceforpatientsafety.org