Authored by: Richard N. Shapiro
A recent report by a Washington D.C. based consumer advocacy group recently concluded that more work needs to be done to make the general public aware of the identity of those doctors who are repeat offenders in the medical malpractice arena. In addition to recommending improvements in patient safety and healthcare providers training, the report stressed the importance of disciplining repeat offenders. Only 33% of the medical doctors who made 10 or more malpractice payments were disciplined by their state medical board and some doctors, with up to 31 medical malpractice payments have never been subjected to any disciplinary action.
Currently, attorneys and patients have no way of knowing who these “Bad Doctors” are. This is because the National Practitioner Data Base public use file conceals practitioners personal information. The consumer advocacy group urged Congress to lift the veil of secrecy which is used to hide doctors who are frequently accused of medical malpractice, especially considering the small percentage of doctors responsible for the majority of the malpractice committed in the United States.
While 82% of doctors had not made a medical malpractice payment since 1990, 5.9% of the others accounted for 57.8% of all medical malpractice payments since 1991.
The report pokes a hole in the myth that it is lawsuits that is driving malpractice insurance premiums through the roof. It validates a lot of what consumer advocates and plaintiff attorneys have been saying for a number of years – that there is a great medical malpractice hoax being promoted by the medical community and insurance industry in this state.
For more information on this subject matter, please review our section on Medical Malpractice and Negligent Care.