FL releases malpractice, discipline records

Florida has become only the second state to provide complete records of physicians’ malpractice and disciplinary actions to consumers in a single report. The report was released recently, and Massachusetts released a similar report in November 1996. The Florida Report on Physician Discipline and Malpractice provides information on 949 doctors. The physicians are named and represent about 2% of nearly 43,000 physicians in the state.

Disciplined docs listed on Internet

The doctors ended up on the list because they were disciplined by the state Board of Medicine in the last five years or because they paid at least three claims to patients suing for medical malpractice. The same information was available to public before the report was released, but not as conveniently.

Florida residents can access the information through an Internet site (http://www.state.fl.us/ fdhc/) or purchase a copy of the report for $10 by contacting the Agency for Health Care Administration in Tallahassee.

Publication of the report was criticized by health care professionals who fear the public will misinterpret the malpractice reports, especially since three malpractice payouts may only mean that the physician is in a high-litigation specialty like obstetrics.