Foster Care

Prescriber Oversight Legislation (2016)

SB 1174 (McGuire)

This bill enables the Medical Board of California to confidentially collect and analyze data, and, when warranted, conduct investigations of physicians who frequently prescribe over the recognized safety parameters for children. Specifically, SB 1174 requires:

  • The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to share prescribing patterns and prescriber information with the Medical Board of California.
  • The Medical Board of California to analyze prescribing patterns and identify outlying prescribers or widespread practices that could be improved.
  • Investigators for the Medical Board of California, staffed within the Attorney General's office, to be able to conduct investigations and take other actions where warranted as a result of the analysis.

Nearly 1 in 4 California foster teens are prescribed psychotropic drugs; of those nearly 60 percent were prescribed an anti-psychotic – the powerful drug class most susceptible to debilitating side effects.

While the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act of 2011 requires each state to oversee and monitor the use of psychotropic medications with children in care, there are currently no requirements to identify those who are over prescribing medication to foster youth.

The State of California has not been monitoring over prescribing because the data collection and data sharing system is not in place.

Given the State has a responsibility to monitor the administration of these drugs and to ensure the health and well-being of foster children,  a process is required that provides the appropriate oversight for these powerful medications.

SB 1174 will established a formal process for the Medical Board of California to responsively review and confidentially investigate psychotropic medication prescription patterns among California children.