More Than 50% of Doctors Disciplined by Hospitals Escape Licensing Action by States

According to an analysis by Public Citizen of data from the National Practitioner Data Bank, state medical boards have failed to discipline 55 percent of the nation’s doctors who either lost their clinical privileges or had them restricted by the hospitals where they worked.

Of 10,672 physicians listed in the data bank for having clinical privileges revoked or restricted by hospitals, 45 percent of them also had one or more licensing actions taken against them by state medical boards. That means 55 percent – or 5,887 doctors – escaped any licensing action by the state. The study examined the National Practitioner Data Bank's Public Use File from 1990 to 2009.

What does this mean for New Hampshire? In the Granite State, physicians with one or more clinical privilege actions against them during the 19-year period, numbered 51. Twenty-eight of those physicians received no licensure actions — a 54.9% rate.

According to Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group and overseer of the study:
“One of two things is happening, and either is alarming. Either state medical boards are receiving this disturbing information from hospitals but not acting upon it, or much less likely, they are not receiving the information at all. Something is broken and needs to be fixed.”
For more information, view the full report at: State Medical Boards Fail to Discipline Doctors with Hospital Actions Against Them.

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