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Strict monitoring, penalties are keys in treating addicted health professionals

January/February 2009 Two years ago, the last in a series of reports blasting California’s diversion program for drug- or alcohol-abusing physicians finally led to the program’s being spiked.  According to the California State Auditor, inconsistent monitoring of doctors and poor medical board oversight were the issues: the program failed to conduct random drug tests, did not require doctors to immediately stop practicing after testing positive for alcohol or drugs, and did not quickly identify missed drug tests.

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