TorteDeForm

Kia Franklin

On Newsday—

In Newsday: an article on medical malpractice and professional disciplinary proceedings. According to reports cited in the article, NY is one of the minority of states that does NOT offer any public notice or public hearings in physician disciplinary proceedings, and the public has no way of finding out when a doctor is under investigation "unless and until a doctor is found guilty."

An excerpt from the article, Investigations of doctors kept secret :

"On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the most transparent, New York is a 10," Levin said. "The problem is the public has no way to assess how good a job the OPMC is doing. ... If we all knew how the decision was made, it would not be an issue."

And, critics say, its "nondisciplinary" response in the Finkelstein case speaks of a system that favors the doctor over the patient. Three percent of complaints filed against doctors in the last two years have resulted in discipline against them, according to state Health Department figures.

"The visceral reaction of the guy on the street is, 'How can this guy still be practicing?'" said state Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City), who has scheduled hearings into the Finkelstein case. "We need more transparency. The other part of this is speed. ... We need to take care of patients first."

Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice and Democracy, a national consumer group, attributes OPMC's lack of openness to "a culture of secrecy that pervades the medical profession."

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Posted at 8:00 AM, Nov 29, 2007 in Health Care | In the News
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