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KAISER PERMANENTE RESPONDS
http://xnet.kp.org/newscenter/kpresponds/2007-10-15.html
mirrored here for historical purposes
Response to Los Angeles Times' Article About Fresno Medical Center
Oct 16 2007

A recent story in the Los Angeles Times raised concerns about patient care involving a perinatologist on the professional staff at Kaiser Foundation Hospital Fresno. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families involved.  
We take these issues very seriously. In regard to the Fresno Hospital matter, the hospital took action more than two years ago to significantly limit the practice of the perinatologist and to monitor the care he delivers, and reported him to the state medical board.

We know these can be difficult and emotional situations to deal with and we empathize with all involved.  With respect to this specific situation in Fresno , here is a statement provided to the Los Angeles Times from Susan Ryan, Hospital Administrator at Kaiser Foundation Hospital Fresno:

"Kaiser Foundation Hospital Fresno is committed to ensuring the safety of our patients, and we take this obligation very seriously. In July 2005, the leadership at Kaiser Foundation Hospital Fresno took disciplinary action to significantly limit Dr. Hamid Safari's practice. Since that time Dr. Safari has not performed vaginal deliveries and his practice has been monitored. [Note: Another surgeon is present with Dr. Safari for all surgeries and C-sections.]

"Dr. Safari was afforded his due process rights under California law, a process that can be quite lengthy, involving hearings and appeals that can each extend months or longer. However, since 2005, Dr. Safari has voluntarily agreed with the hospital to restrict his scope of practice. After a due process hearing, the restrictions were made permanent, and the hospital filed a report to the Medical Board of California1. The hospital also has, and will continue to, fully cooperate with the Medical Board in its investigation of Dr. Safari.

"As to the present, we can't discuss any additional processes or actions that may be under way. With respect to this process, our hospital is no different than any other California hospital. Matters involving review of a doctor's performance or privileges are subject to state confidentiality laws and state and federal due process laws."


1At the end of the hearing process, if some or all of the proposed restrictions on a physician's practice are upheld, mandatory reports are filed with the California Medical Board and the National Practitioner Data Bank. The report, a Section 805 Health Facility/Peer Review Reporting Form, must be filed with the Medical Board of California when, based on any medical disciplinary cause or reason, a physician's privileges, membership or employment are suspended for more than 15 days or are restricted for a total of 30 days or more within any 12-month period.
2007 Kaiser Permanente | www.kp.org/newscenter

It is nice that Kaiser and the Permanente filed an 805 with the Medical Board instead of hiding the situation as they did with Dr. M. Terry McEnany formerly of San Francisco, California.  See:  http://selfincrimination.kaiserpapers.info/ and http://formoney.kaiserpapers.info/  

It is a shame that Dr. Pearl and his respective Administrative staff, knowing as they did the validity of the complaints from professional staff regarding Dr. Safari that they didn't bother to investigate these issues and take action long before patients were harmed.

According to both the L.A. Times and Kaiser's Response Articles it is unclear when exactly the 805 was filed with the California Medical Board.  That raises many unanswered questions.  

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