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Medical Boards Step Up Disciplinary Actions

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 18, 2012

Wolfe pointed to the wide variation in the percentage of doctors in each state who undergo any kind of discipline as evidence that prosecutions against bad physician practice is uneven throughout the country.

"There's really no difference in the quality of doctors from state to state," he says. "What's different is the quality of the state medical boards." Even if, for example, a state like California did discipline more doctors in 2011, it still is 35th in the nation in percentage of disciplinary actions.

"Doctors are getting away with things in California that they wouldn't get away with other states" such as Louisiana, Alaska, or Ohio, where the percentage of doctors disciplined is the highest, he says.

Additionally, according to Public Citizen's report, the rate of serious actions per 1,000 doctors nationally is even lower than it was in 2009 and "continues to be significantly lower than the peak for the past 10 years."


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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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.