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Disciplining physicians: How does Connecticut measure up?

Every state has its own medical malpractice laws on the books, which means that every state handles its medical malpractice claims differently. According to a study featured in BMJ Quality Interests and Safety, the variation between the way states handle medical malpractice claims as a result of a lack of standardization of state regulations created to supervise and publish negligent and malpracticing physicians.

The study revealed that Connecticut was one of the states that boasts the lowest adjusted rates of medical malpractice disciplinary actions. Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania also had low rates. Meanwhile, the states with the highest adjusted rates relating to disciplinary actions were Ohio, Kentucky and Delaware.

Research suggests that it is not a good thing to be at either ends of these spectrums when it comes to medical malpractice statistics. Indeed, if a state is on the lowest, it could mean that doctors are not being sufficiently regulated. Meanwhile, if estate is that the highest, it could mean that a high level medical malpractice exists in the area. The problem is, most patients believe that 1) doctors are regulated and supervised diligently in their areas; 2) all physicians operate under the same ethical and disciplinary standards; and 3) that those doctors will be punished in the event that they do not comply with those standards. However, no centrally governing organization exists to govern policy and enforcement in this regard.

The author and co-author of the study said that state medical boards need to think about policies that will increase coordination and standardization across states in order to offer consistent supervision of doctor activities and increase public safety. In the meantime, Connecticut residents should know that if they are injured by a negligent physician, they may have the ability to seek financial compensation by filing a medical malpractice claim.

Source: beckershospitalreview.com, "7 states with most & least medical malpractice disciplinary actions," Ayla Ellison, accessed April 15, 2016

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