Healthcare Business News

Minn. at bottom of medical board ranking; Alaska tops list

By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: April 5, 2010 - 10:45 am ET

For the second-straight year, Minnesota was the least-effective state in disciplining doctors; while, for the fourth-straight year, Alaska was the most effective, according to the annual ranking of serious disciplinary actions taken by state medical boards compiled by the Public Citizen Health Research Group.

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Public Citizen uses the annual summary of state medical actions compiled by the Federation of State Medical Boards for its rankings which are calculated by taking a three-year average of a state's medical license revocations, surrenders, suspensions and probations, then dividing that total by a state's physician population to come up with a “serious actions per 1,000 physicians” rating.

With 1.07 actions per 1,000 physicians, Minnesota had the lowest rating, followed by South Carolina with a 1.09 rating; Wisconsin at 1.59; and New Hampshire at 1.65. Alaska had a 7.89 rating, and was followed by North Dakota, 6.01; Kentucky, 5.67; and Ohio, 5.43.

Public Citizen expressed concern that Ohio was the only state among the 15 most-populous to be near the top of the list, while large states like California and Florida continue to be ranked near the bottom, this year coming in 41st and 44th respectively. Public Citizen also highlighted the progress of Hawaii, which was ranked dead last among states and the District of Columbia in 51st place for the three-year period ending in 2003, and has since climbed to 10th place on the list.

In the report, which was released last week, the FSMB noted that there was a 6.4% increase in overall disciplinary actions to 5,721 in 2009 from 5,379. In comparison, the 2008 total represented only a 1%, or 60-action, increase from 2007.

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