California Code, Business and Professions Code - BPC § 510

(a) The purpose of this section is to provide protection against retaliation for health care practitioners who advocate for appropriate health care for their patients pursuant to Wickline v. State of California 192 Cal.App.3d 1630 .

(b) It is the public policy of the State of California that a health care practitioner be encouraged to advocate for appropriate health care for his or her patients.  For purposes of this section, “to advocate for appropriate health care” means to appeal a payer's decision to deny payment for a service pursuant to the reasonable grievance or appeal procedure established by a medical group, independent practice association, preferred provider organization, foundation, hospital medical staff and governing body, or payer, or to protest a decision, policy, or practice that the health care practitioner, consistent with that degree of learning and skill ordinarily possessed by reputable health care practitioners with the same license or certification and practicing according to the applicable legal standard of care, reasonably believes impairs the health care practitioner's ability to provide appropriate health care to his or her patients.

(c) The application and rendering by any individual, partnership, corporation, or other organization of a decision to terminate an employment or other contractual relationship with or otherwise penalize a health care practitioner principally for advocating for appropriate health care consistent with that degree of learning and skill ordinarily possessed by reputable health care practitioners with the same license or certification and practicing according to the applicable legal standard of care violates the public policy of this state.

(d) This section shall not be construed to prohibit a payer from making a determination not to pay for a particular medical treatment or service, or the services of a type of health care practitioner, or to prohibit a medical group, independent practice association, preferred provider organization, foundation, hospital medical staff, hospital governing body acting pursuant to Section 809.05 , or payer from enforcing reasonable peer review or utilization review protocols or determining whether a health care practitioner has complied with those protocols.

(e)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), appropriate health care in a hospital licensed pursuant to Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code shall be defined by the appropriate hospital committee and approved by the hospital medical staff and the governing body, consistent with that degree of learning and skill ordinarily possessed by reputable health care practitioners with the same license or certification and practicing according to the applicable legal standard of care.

(2) To the extent the issue is under the jurisdiction of the medical staff and its committees, appropriate health care in a hospital licensed pursuant to Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code shall be defined by the hospital medical staff and approved by the governing body, consistent with that degree of learning and skill ordinarily possessed by reputable health care practitioners with the same license or certification and practicing according to the applicable legal standard of care.

(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the governing body of a hospital from taking disciplinary actions against a health care practitioner as authorized by Sections 809.05 , 809.4 , and 809.5 .

(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the appropriate licensing authority from taking disciplinary actions against a health care practitioner.

(h) For purposes of this section, “health care practitioner” means a person who is described in subdivision (f) of Section 900 and who is either (1) a licentiate as defined in Section 805 , or (2) a party to a contract with a payer whose decision, policy, or practice is subject to the advocacy described in subdivision (b), or (3) an individual designated in a contract with a payer whose decision, policy, or practice is subject to the advocacy described in subdivision (b), where the individual is granted the right to appeal denials of payment or authorization for treatment under the contract.

(i) Nothing in this section shall be construed to revise or expand the scope of practice of any health care practitioner, or to revise or expand the types of health care practitioners who are authorized to obtain medical staff privileges or to submit claims for reimbursement to payers.

(j) The protections afforded health care practitioners by this section shall be in addition to the protections available under any other law of this state.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - California Code, Business and Professions Code - BPC § 510 - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/business-and-professions-code/bpc-sect-510.html


FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.

Copied to clipboard