May 02, 2023
The California Medical Association (CMA) is urging physicians to contact their legislators and urge a NO vote on a bill that would create a dangerous precedent for patients and physicians across the state. SB 784 (Becker) would allow for permanent exemptions to California’s prohibition on the corporate practice of medicine (known as the “corporate bar”) for health care districts.
The bill was introduced to allow the El Camino Hospital District to directly employ physicians in the name of increasing access to care. However, the bill is not specific to the district and would allow any health care district to be eligible for a permanent exemption from the corporate bar.
A hospital district’s inability to come to a negotiated contract with physicians is not a reason to undermine long-standing patient protections, which provide patients with the peace of mind that when they see a doctor, the doctor is focused on their care, not the profits or interests of their employers.
SB 784 also does not solve the problem of getting physicians into communities that need care. Instead, it would wipe away long-standing protections safeguarding patients and providers from ulterior motives such as profits, shifting cultural and political pressures, and faith-based beliefs.
The safeguards in the bill are not strong enough to protect physicians from undue influence from a hospital that holds their privileges, credentials and ability to practice medicine.
Your legislators need to hear from you on this issue now. Express your concern about SB 784 and the impact it would have on physicians and patients across California, then ask your representatives to vote NO on SB 784.