David S. Jasmer
Setting the Standard in Personal Injury
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Subpar doctors allowed to practice in state despite data

According to the National Practitioner Data Bank -- which displays confidential information about physicians -- approximately 215 physicians in Illinois have had their clinical privileges restricted or revoked over the past 20 years in other states. All 215 of them are still licensed.

Some of these physicians had their privileges stricken due to medical malpractice suits or frequent medication errors.

One of these physicians -- whose name is not displayed in the NPDB, but is available to medical board officials -- had his or her license taken away in Oklahoma six years ago after being involved in a case of sexual misconduct. New York also removed the doctor's license.

Two years later, a felony conviction associated with controlled substances saw the physician removed from several federal programs including Medicare. He or she has settled at least six medical malpractice suits, one of which involved brain damage in a patient that left the person quadriplegic.

At some point, this physician held a license to practice in the state of Illinois. Regulators in the state could have easily examined this physician's history before issuing a license by looking to the NPDB. Yet data is suggesting that the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation does no such thing.

As of last September, the NPDB shows no history of Illinois taking action against this physician, meaning that he or she is still licensed to practice in the state.

Disciplinary actions made against subpar doctors could save patients from dealing with the consequences of poorly practiced medicine. Consumer advocacy groups are calling for such action to be taken.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Illinois urged to investigate doctors with tainted records," Deborah L. Shelton, Feb. 11, 2012

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