Texas: USA. Watchdog group alleges dangerous doctors not disciplined

Medical board, watchdog group clash over doc discipline

August 24, 2012 | By

A battle is brewing between the Texas Medical Board and consumer watchdog Public Citizen over doctor discipline, or lack thereof, KXAN reported.

Public Citizen’s report claims the medical board has been failing to punish dangerous doctors in Texas, evidenced by Texas consistently earning a spot in the bottom one-half of state medical boards in its ranking system.

… of the 459 physicians who the state medical board failed to discipline, 93 of them were disciplined by hospitals and other healthcare facilities because of incompetence, negligence or malpractice; 33 were disciplined for substandard care; and 8 were identified as an immediate threat to health or safety, according to the report which analyzed data from the National Practitioner Data Bank from 1990 to 2011.

…According to the medical board, Public Citizen’s report fails to acknowledge that not all actions taken by hospitals against a doctor would necessarily result in an enforcement action by the board,

However, Texas isn’t the only state whose medical board is facing scrutiny. Earlier this year, Public Citizen raised concerns that most states are underdisciplining physicians with less severe actions like fines and reprimands, as opposed revoking licenses for serious offenses, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
– here’s the Public Citizen announcement, letter (.pdf) and report (.pdf)
– read the med board letter (.pdf)
– check out the KXAN article

Related Articles:
HHS: Doctor malpractice, disciplinary data no longer public
Medical board lacks resources to punish dangerous docs
High number of New York doctors on medical board watch list
Hospital malpractice defense tactic unfair, critics say

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4 Comments

  1. Sheri Storm

     /  02/05/2013

    Sadly, this “news” is not news to many of us. (And I don’t mean inside alters.)

    Who exactly is protected by policies that hide malpractice information?

    Why don’t licensing boards actively police complaints – many don’t take any action unless the patient has successfully won a malpractice verdict. I know of a handful of doctors who left a trail of damaged patients and moved to a new state to practice. When their former state’s board received complaints, the board simply stated the doctor was no longer within their jurisdiction and they would review the complaints of said doctor returned to the state. I find this reprehensible. Can it not be likened to the “quiet relocation” of priests after it is discovered they’ve been guilty of sexual abuse within the church?

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    • Jeannette Bartha

       /  02/05/2013

      On the list of doctors who moved elsewhere to practice following discipline:

      Dr. Bennet Braun, MD lost license in Illinois – moved to Montana
      Dr. Colin Ross, MD complaints being filed in Canada – moved to Texas, USA

      My former psychiatrist (cannot name due to a court gag-order) was sued. That’s a little serious. After 5 years, his record is expunged. Don’t patients have a right to know a doctor’s history? Perhaps licensing boards need to be sued. Wonder if that can be done? They are allowing sub-par doctors to practice medicine and are not held accountable. Hum.

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