MICRA, California Proposition 46

Attorney Elia Castranova explains California Proposition 46, the Increase in Cap on Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Initiative, is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in California as an initiated state statute.

Supporters of the initiative reported submitting an estimated 830,000 signatures on March 24, 2014, versus the requirement of 504,760 valid signatures.[1] The initiative was certified on May 15, 2014 by the California Secretary of State.[2]

If approved by voters, the initiative will:[3]

Increase the state’s cap on damages that can be assessed in medical negligence lawsuits to over $1 million from the current cap of $250,000.
Require drug and alcohol testing of doctors and reporting of positive tests to the California Medical Board.
Require the California Medical Board to suspend doctors pending investigation of positive tests and take disciplinary action if the doctor was found impaired while on duty.
Require health care practitioners to report any doctor suspected of drug or alcohol impairment or medical negligence.
Require health care practitioners to consult state prescription drug history database before prescribing certain controlled substances.

Supporters of the initiative refer to it as the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act of 2014, after two children who were killed by a driver under the influence of abused prescription drugs.[4]

The measure, if approved, would create the first law in the United States to require the random drug testing of physicians.[5]

Two versions of the initiative were submitted (#13-0011 and #13-0016). Version #13-0011 failed to qualify for the ballot. Version #13-0016 qualified for the ballot.

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