Mississippis state medical board is the least effective at disciplining doctors and Alaskas is the best, according to Public Citizens Health Research Groups annual state rankings released today.
The rankings are based on a three-year average of serious disciplinary actionsdefined as license revocations, surrenders, suspensions and probations/restrictionstaken in each state as compiled by the Federation of State Medical Boards. A serious-actions-per-thousand-doctors rate is then calculated using American Medical Association figures on a states physician workforce.
The Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure issued only 1.41 serious actions per 1,000 doctors compared with the Alaska State Medical Boards rate of 7.3. Just ahead of Mississippi were: South Carolina, 1.45; Minnesota, 1.45; South Dakota, 1.52; and Nevada, 1.68. Just behind Alaska were: Kentucky, 7.1; Wyoming, 6.37; Ohio, 6.01; Oklahoma, 5.54; and Missouri, 5.43.
A tiny fraction of physicians are doing an enormous amount of harm, said Sidney Wolfe, director of the Public Citizen Health Research Group. Five percent of physicians account for 50% of malpractice payouts.
As reported last month in Modern Healthcare (subscription required), Public Citizens ranking came out several weeks later than usual this year because the AMA for the first time included federally employed physicians in its workforce state-by-state totals. As a result, Public Citizen had to recalculate the results of previous rankings to provide an accurate comparison to this years ratings. Wolfe said after the recalculation, 37 states remained the same, while six states moved up one position and six states moved down one. -- by Andis Robeznieks