New Report Urges Patient's Right to Know

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A new report examining negligent doctors, released by the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), urges for changes in New York State.  The report argues that patients deserve to know if a doctor has previously been cited for negligence.

The report asked the basic question: would you want to know if your doctor was charged with negligence? While most doctors in New York meet state performance standards, the report shows there is insufficient oversight and transparency connected to those cited for negligence. More than 77 percent of doctors sanctioned for negligence in New York State are allowed to continue practicing medicine.

Most of the 102,554 licensed doctors in New York have unblemished records in terms of negligence, which addresses a broad spectrum of improper health care, ranging from ordering excessive tests to medical malpractice, the report shows. But the fractional amount of doctors still practicing despite being found sanctioned for negligence, at least 300 between 2004 and 2013, are essentially permitted to fly under the radar, the report shows.

"There is at present no requirement that patients be informed that their physician is practicing under sanction and/or limitations," NYPIRG analysts wrote in the report released earlier this May.

NYPIRG called for a new law to ensure patients visiting doctors with limitations on their license are notified directly by the state. Additionally, NYPIRG urged lawmakers to require health care facilities to post information on how patients can access information such as doctor's profiles, license status and other details about the practitioner.

The state’s Department of Health, which oversees physician issues, declined an Albany Business Review request to discuss the report. The state agency wrote that it addresses all allegations of misconduct with the highest priority. “Recognizing that not every instance of misconduct warrants a license revocation, actions to correct misconduct can include additional education, training and having another physician monitor the licensee's practice,” the email stated.

Although it is uncertain how this issue will develop, one thing is for sure: as a patient you have the right to be treated by a competent medical professionals who are liable if they practice below the standard of care. If you or a loved one believe that you have been a victim to a doctor or nurses negligence contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney today. A skilled attorney can afford you the representation you deserve, inform you of your rights and ensure your legal rights are protected.

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