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Medical Boards Step Up Disciplinary Actions

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 18, 2012

Reciprocity among states
A reciprocity agreement now enables states to promptly discipline a doctor within 24 hours after the doctor has been disciplined in another state. "There's been an improved ability to communicate (between states) and take reciprocal action," Robin says.

Streamlined reporting
Several government agency reports in recent years have criticized a system by which hospitals reported doctors they disciplined to the National Practitioner Data Bank, as they're required to do, but did not, in turn, report those same doctors to their respective state medical boards. Robin says that process has been streamlined "with technical enhancements" between the bank and various state physician licensing agencies.

Patient outreach
Several states have stepped up their outreach directly to patients. For example, California, where the number of disciplined physicians increased between 2010 and 2011 by 19%, from 545 to 648, enforced a new signage rule in 2010 that requires every physician who sees patients to post a visible sign telling patients where they can complain if they didn't like their care.

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3 comments on "Medical Boards Step Up Disciplinary Actions"


T. Regan (5/25/2012 at 1:26 AM)
When did we become the enemy? Keep it up with more regulation and bullying, and the "citizens advocacy group" can start compounding their own tinctures and simples and herbs when the cookbook care of mid-levels who don the white coat clock out and head home for the day.

fammed (5/22/2012 at 4:18 PM)
where is the report that how insurance companies underpay for medical services. 1) people are willing to pay for treatments for their dog more then themselves. make any sense 2) EMR is NOT improving healthcare it IS reducing physician productivity and eye strain 3) E prescribing is NOT going to improve anything but give the govt a better chance to monitor you. 4) medicaid is a insurance that UNDERPAYS doctors for care. can you pay 30 cents on a dollar per gallon price. well medicaid can.

Steve Johnson (5/21/2012 at 12:38 PM)
"'There's really no difference in the quality of doctors from state to state,' he says." Year after year, Dr. Wolfe makes this remark. It seems quite unlikely to in fact be true but he is never challenged on this by the media. In fact, it seems likely that there will be a tendency for physicians to want to practice in more desirable states and for physicians who are less employable to have to move to less desirable states.