State Efforts To Protect Patients Fall Short, Group Says
News reports examine the role of physician boards in protecting patients as well as how a self-referral rule is faring in the courts.
The Baltimore Sun: Physicians Boards Protecting Public Less, Group Says
States aren't adequately protecting consumers from bad doctors, according to a new study from the advocacy group Public Citizen. The group looked at state medical boards and found the rate at which doctors are disciplined has dropped during the past decade: In 2010, the boards took 2.97 serious actions per 1,000 physicians, down three percent from last year and 20 percent from 2004, a peak year when the rate was 3.72 per 1,000 physicians (Cohn, 5/16).
The Baltimore Sun: Urologists Resist Push To End Radiology Self-Referrals
(Reported column) There is little question that Maryland legislators intended to "substantially restrict" the ability of urologists and other prescribing doctors to refer patients to their own radiation centers, the state Court of Appeals wrote a few months ago. Why? Study after study shows that when doctors profit from expensive radiology procedures, they order too many of them. Medicos who refer cancer patients to self-owned radiation centers "increase the use of services and costs substantially" and don't improve care, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine in the 1990s (Hancock, 5/17).