New York doctors accused of unprofessional conduct in other states are practicing without a blemish on their records exposing patients to harm. USA Today network investigation of more than 250 doctors across the USA who surrendered their licenses in one state to protect their reputation and relocate to another state. The Journal News/Lo Hud exposed flaws in state physician records in New York as well as concerns about regulations showing clemency to doctors to ensure they keep practicing medicine. There are often limited records available to the public about accusations, investigations and even discipline of doctors.
There are a few things patients can do to look into their doctors. Contact the medical board in your state where the records of doctors can be checked through the Office of Professional Medical Conduct. New York also has a physician profile database that allows doctors to submit details about their medical practice. Lax maintenance of the doctor on the site NewYork Profile.com was detailed in the Journal News/Lo Hud investigation. “Risk under the knife” Lo Hud surgeons rated; public records flawed”. If you know your doctor has practiced in another state, contact the website of that medical board. There is also a national clearing housing of State Medical Boards operated by the Federation of State Medical Board; www.docinfo.org.
Many states including New York prohibit felons from holding licenses to sell real estate and liquor licenses and also for felons for certain jobs such as private investigators, insurance brokers and attorneys. However, medical licensing board determine if doctors committing crimes will face professional penalties. This process has been criticized by prosecutors and good government groups for failing to sufficiently punish doctors.
Difference in state laws and gaps in health care data made publicly available under Federal Laws are critical problems facing efforts to improve oversight of doctors. There have been declines during the past twenty years in the number of serious disciplinary actions taken against doctors. In New York, license revocations and suspension dropped to 121 in 2013 often peaking at 184 in 1996.
Another tool for learning about a doctor’s history involves Medicare. Medicare keeps track of prescription pill mills fueling the drug crisis, workers abusing nursing home patients and massive frauds swindling millions of dollars from taxpayers. These actions are behind 230 Medicare exclusions involving medical professionals in Westchester & Rockland Counties. The employer behavior results in banning the doctors from treating Medicare patients without licensing restrictions. Nationally, there are 70,000 Medicare doctor exclusions including 4000 doctors in New York.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a medical malpractice, contact Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC at (914) 288-0800 or visit our web page at White Plains-Injury Lawyer.com or at RobustelliPersonal InjuryNY.com.