APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Richard S. Whitney, Judge. (Super. Ct. No. 37-2010-00094638-CU-PT-CTL)
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irion, J.
CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION
Arthur Moses Flippin, M.D., and Jacquelyn Jones (collectively, defendants) appeal an order enforcing administrative subpoenas issued by the Medical Board of California (the Board) as part of an investigation into the timeliness of defendants' submission to the Board of a peer review report required by Business and Professions Code*fn1 section 805 (805 report). Defendants contend the order must be reversed for two reasons: (1) the Board has no jurisdiction to investigate a medical group -- it may only investigate an actively practicing physician licensed by the Board; and (2) the Board has no jurisdiction to investigate when a required 805 report has been filed late -- it may only investigate when a required 805 report has never been filed. We reject these contentions and affirm the challenged order.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
This appeal challenges an order enforcing administrative subpoenas. Because defendants did not file an answer or other responsive pleading to the petition to enforce the subpoenas (hereafter, petition), but only a memorandum of points and authorities in opposition to the petition, "the facts alleged in the petition are uncontroverted and are deemed true on this appeal." (Sehlmeyer v. Department of General Services (1993) 17 Cal.App.4th 1072, 1075, fn. 1.) The pertinent facts are as follows.
On January 16, 2008, the Osteopathic Medical Board of California received from defendants an 805 report pertaining to Robert Petruzzo, Jr.*fn2 According to the 805 report, Dr. Petruzzo "resigned as a partner in the Southern California Permanente Medical Group ('SCPMG') after a restriction in work practice due to continued quality concerns regarding the reading of CTs, MRIs and Ultrasounds." The 805 report states that the actions leading up to Dr. Petruzzo's work restrictions occurred from "September '07 to Present." Jones prepared the 805 report; and on January 15, 2008, Dr. Flippin signed it as SCPMG's "Chief Executive Officer/Medical Director/Administrator."
Although the record does not reveal how the Board received the 805 report concerning Dr. Petruzzo, the Board obviously did receive it, because in September 2008, the Board initiated an investigation into the timeliness of its filing. (See § 805, subd. (b)(3) [requiring 805 report to be filed within 15 days of imposition of restrictions on staff privileges of physician].) As part of the Board's investigation, defendants were personally served with investigative subpoenas requiring them to appear and testify "in regard to the [805 report]." Defendants, through their counsel, notified the Board they considered the subpoenas "invalid" and would not comply with them.
The Board, acting through the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs, Brian Stiger, filed the petition. (See Gov. Code, § 11187 [authorizing head of department to petition court to enforce investigative subpoena].) Over defendants' opposition, the court granted the petition and ordered defendants to appear and give testimony before the Board's investigator.
Defendants contend we must reverse the trial court's order enforcing the investigative subpoenas because the Board "lacks jurisdiction to investigate [SCPMG]." According to defendants, the Board's jurisdiction extends only to individuals who are licensed by the Board and are actively practicing medicine, not to a group of physicians such as SCPMG. Defendants also assert that the Board's authority to investigate the failure to file required 805 reports extends only to cases in which no 805 report was ever filed, not to cases, like this one, in which an 805 report was filed late. ...