California Attorney General Clarifies Effective Date for Filing Adverse Action 805 Report By Health Care Peer Review Bodies

On April 20, 2020, the California Attorney General (“AG”) issued a published opinion clarifying that the “effective date” for purposes of filing a Business and Professions Code 805 report is the date on which a peer review body’s decision becomes final, following the conclusion of a licentiate’s appeal to the body of its proposed final action, and not the date of the peer review body’s final proposed decision. Section 805 requires a report to be filed with the relevant state healing arts licensing agency “within 15 days after the effective date” of certain actions taken by a peer review body against specified health care licentiates, including denial or rejection of a licentiate’s application for membership or staff privileges; termination or revocation of a licentiate’s membership, staff privileges, or employment; or imposition of restrictions (or voluntary acceptance of restrictions) on staff privileges, membership, or employment for a cumulative total of 30 days or more in a 12-month period. A peer review body consists of medical or professional staff of licensed health care facilities or professions that review the basic qualifications, staff privileges, employment, medical outcomes, or professional conduct of licentiates.

In coming to this conclusion, the AG looked towards the plain and ordinary definition of “effective date,” case law interpretation that a decision becomes final only after the peer review body’s appeals process is completed, and Business and Professions Code Section 809.1 which clearly contemplates that a licentiate is entitled to a hearing on the final proposed action before the peer review body’s decision goes into effect and the 805 report is filed.

Full opinion available at: https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/opinions/pdfs/15-301.pdf

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