Despite the high levels of competency most physicians have, and the high esteem we may have for them, there is a spectrum of quality to consider in the medical profession. Inevitably, some physicians fall on the lower end of this spectrum. To guard against those who are dangerously incompetent, states have regulatory agencies and watchdog groups that monitor physician’s medical licencing and related activities.
However, unlike officials in many states, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation does not regularly check the databank for information about actions taken against the state’s physicians according to a recent Chicago Tribune article. The National Practitioner Data Bank, established by federal law, collects it to help identify “problem doctors” and prevent them from moving from state to state.
The article informs us that, “According to the databank, about 215 doctors who have been licensed in Illinois had their clinical privileges revoked or restricted by their hospitals or managed care organizations over a roughly 20-year period, with no apparent action taken by Illinois’ licensing authority.”
This lack of diligence clearly poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of Illinois patients.
In fact, the report notes that Illinois’ ranking among the states for its rate of serious disciplinary actions taken against physicians has been sliding in recent years, from 12th place in 2006 and 2007 to 20th in 2010, according to a May report by Public Citizen’s Health Research Group based on an analysis of data from the Federation of State Medical Boards.
Ohio, on the other hand, has consistently been among the top 10 states in taking serious disciplinary actions against physicians, as the average rate of such actions per 1,000 physicians by the Ohio board has been almost twice that of Illinois’ over the last 15 years. This shows that the diligence of regulatory procedures can play a critical role in the health and safety of malpractice victims.
There are clearly a number of physicians with questionable medical licensing operating in Illinois. If you or a loved one have been a victim of Illinois medical malpractice, it is important that you speak with a Chicago medical malpractice attorney right away. Our team has experience dealing with many types of Illinois medical malpractice.