Democrat and Republican senators are seeking a national investigation regarding state medical boards' disciplinary actions. Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Charlie Grassley (R-Iowa) have submitted a request letter to the director of the Office of the Inspector General for the Dept. of Health seeking a federal investigation into state medical boards.
The senators' letter states, "With the adoption of advanced medical technologies...and an increase in physicians holding licenses in two or more states, it is becoming increasingly important that states issue timely board actions and coordinate licensure actions to protect the public from unqualified or marginally proficient practitioners." (Walker, MedPage Today 2/21/12). The senators cite a Public Citizen, a consumer organization, report which finds that less then one-half of the 10,672 doctors listed in the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) have been disciplined by their licensing state medical board.
A federal investigation could have wide ranging ramifications relating to increased disciplinary actions being filed and increased delays in state medical board administrative proceedings. The attorneys at Murphy Jones LLP are monitoring the situation and will continue to report on the investigation request as new information becomes available.