KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

USA Today Probe Finds Thousands Of Docs Practicing Despite Misconduct

Also, a study finds that Medicare patients leaving the hospital can't always remember what was wrong with them and how to follow up.

USA Today: Thousands Of Doctors Practicing Despite Errors, Misconduct
Despite years of criticism, the nation's state medical boards continue to allow thousands of physicians to keep practicing medicine after findings of serious misconduct that put patients at risk, a USA TODAY investigation shows. Many of the doctors have been barred by hospitals or other medical facilities; hundreds have paid millions of dollars to resolve malpractice claims. Yet their medical licenses — and their ability to inflict harm — remain intact (Eisler and Hansen, 8/20).

Reuters: Patients May Need Better Info When Leaving Hospitals
Older patients may think they understand everything doctors tell them when they are released from the hospital, but a new U.S. study found several gaps in what they remember and areas where instructions could be clearer. Out of nearly 400 patients discharged from a large academic medical center, 96 percent reported knowing why they had been hospitalized, but only about 60 percent could accurately describe their diagnoses. ... Hospitals are currently looking at ways to reduce the number of people who have to come back for additional care (Seaman, 8/20).

Recent, related KHN story: Armed With Bigger Fines, Medicare To Punish 2,225 Hospitals For Excess Readmissions (Rau, 8/2).

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