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Don’t confuse licensure actions with patient quality ratings

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2016 | Medical Licensing

A proactive approach toward professionalism might involve transparency and communication with superiors. However, an investigator that approaches a medical professional with questions may warrant a different approach. Indeed, statements made to such individuals might be used as evidence to an unfavorable effect later on.

Our law firm recommends consulting with an attorney if approached by an investigator over a complaint. An attorney can provide counsel on strategy for navigating a medical board investigation and/or license defense.

If the issue involves substance abuse, there are voluntary options where a board will work with a doctor to get him or her back on track. Medical professionals have a lot of stress in their jobs, and mistakes or bad habits may arise. Fortunately, there are resources available to doctors.

It is also important to draw a distinction between consumer opinions and licensure actions taken by a board. The latter would likely be reported in the National Practitioner Data Bank, pursuant to federal law. The former may also be compiled into an online resource, but primarily as a consumer resource.

In fact, ratings of hospitals appear to be here to stay. Despite objections from the hospital industry and even members of Congress, President Obama and his administration have decided to publish star quality ratings of 3,662 American hospitals.

Unfortunately, the ratings system in this particular instance may be over simplified, reducing the current quality approach of over 60 individual metrics found on the government’s Hospital Compare website into a simple five star rating system.

From a consumer standpoint, an easy-to-understand rating system might be welcomed. From a practitioner’s viewpoint, however, the system might not reflect the quality of care provided by individual doctors. If you have questions about this distinction, consult with an attorney that focuses on professional license defense.

Source: MedCity News, “Despite pushback from Congress, CMS readies star-based hospital ratings,” Jordan Rau, July 22, 2016