iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

State Board information available to consumers

A newly released report of the Informed Patient Institute, done in conjunction with Consumer Reports,  that evaluates what type of information is available to consumers on medical board websites nationwide. Medical boards are state government agencies established to protect the public from the unprofessional, improper and incompetent practice of medicine. Seeking Doctor Information: A Survey and Ranking of State Medical and Osteopathic Board Websites in 2015 http://www.informedpatientinstitute.org/Seeking%20Doctor%20Information%20Online.pdf

After evaluating 65 state medical and osteopathic board websites, the report concludes that the information you find on these sites varies greatly—and all can be improved to make it easier to access information about doctors.  In some states, a site may be easy to use, but have little information about a doctor.  In others, the information may be comprehensive, but is hard to find.

Sixty-one criteria were used to evaluate the boards including their search capabilities, complaint process, general board information, and what types of information about board disciplinary actions, hospital actions, malpractice, Federal actions and criminal convictions could be found on an individual doctor.  Each website was rated on a scale of 1 to 100.  The results ranged from a low of 6 (for the Mississippi Board) to a high of 84 (for the Medical Board of California).  All of the state medical board websites were rated using the signature Consumer Reports Red and Black circles. The report also includes over 20 recommendations for making medical board websites more consumer-friendly. The report is also available at Consumer Reports’ Safe Patient Project, and is mentioned in the latest version of Consumer Reports magazine cover story on doctors.

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