CPIL's Julianne Fellmeth '83 (JD) Quoted in LA Times Article on California Healthcare Professionals

CPIL's Julianne Fellmeth '83 (JD) Quoted in LA Times Article on California Healthcare Professionals

Los Angeles (July 26, 2017) – University of San Diego (USD) School of Law’s Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) staff counsel Julianne Fellmeth, '83 (JD), was quoted in an article published in the Los Angeles Times titled “Doctors and drug abuse: Why addictions can be so difficult.”

According to the article, the physicians in California are less likely to address their addictions than those elsewhere. Like many other state medical boards, California ran physician health programs until 2008 for physicians, which allowed them to seek treatment without putting their licenses at risk. The philosophy behind these programs was that doctors will come forward earlier for help if they know it won’t endanger their career. Many programs were also confidential, so patients were unaware that doctors were treated for abuse. The article states that several state audits found this program was failing in California. Physicians weren’t always forced to temporarily stop practicing after testing positive for a drug and entering rehabilitation, and one audit found one-quarter of scheduled drug tests were not administered.

“It was all just very inefficient and frankly, a fraud,” said Fellmeth, who closely evaluated the program before it was scrapped.

Only a small fraction of the state’s doctors participated. The program had an average of 250 doctors enrolled out of the 125,000 doctors licensed in California in 2008, according to state data. The vast majority of states still offer such programs.

Read the full article here.

About Julianne D’Angelo Fellmeth

Julie D'Angelo Fellmeth serves as staff counsel of USD's Center for Public Interest Law and editor of the California Regulatory Law Reporter. She graduated cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1983; there, she was editor-in-chief of the San Diego Law Review and a member of the second class of interns (1981-82) of the Center for Public Interest Law. Following graduation, she clerked for Chief Judge Carl A. Muecke, U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, from 1983-85, and worked as a trial attorney in the Federal Programs Branch, Civil Division, of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 35th nationally and 6th on the West Coast among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 24th nationally and 6th on the West Coast in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.

Julianne Fellmeth

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