State to Inform Public About Physician Malpractice

A state medical board is planning to put information about medical malpractice actions against physicians on its website in an effort to better inform the public about their caregivers. The proposed plan would disclose malpractice payments for individual doctors going back only seven years. However, the medical board is receiving vehement opposition from physicians groups that claim such reporting will adversely impact their practices and will misinform the public. This opposition is misguided given that doctors would be allowed to add comments explaining the circumstances of an individual legal action. Furthermore, the website would disclose whether the medical board publicly disciplined the physician, indicating whether the physician’s malpractice was caused by negligence. Such protections would limit the unintended consequences for physicians while protecting the public by increasing transparency and access to information.

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