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Know Your Care Provider: How to Research Complaints Against a Physician

Written by Berkowitz

know your care provider Choosing a primary care physician or specialist is a big decision. So, before you pick just any provider, you need to perform your due diligence. Not all physicians, clinics, or hospitals are the same – and some have more complaints and rates of errors than others. While mistakes happen, the more errors that a hospital has, the more likely that a patient will be the victim of malpractice.

One way in which you can protect yourself from this is by researching how many formal complaints have been filed against a physician or facility – and there are a few different methods available for doing so.

Check the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)

The FSMB has a large database referred to as “DocInfo.” It has information about disciplinary actions taken against physicians who are registered to practice (or retired) nationwide. You will need to pay a fee to gain access to the database, but after that, you can research any physician or facility in the U.S.

State Medical Board

The state of Connecticut licenses all practicing physicians. In turn, the state medical board of medical licensing will handle disciplinary actions against a physician. That includes reporting any suspensions of licenses, as well as permanent revocations.

You can contact the state licensing board directly and inquire about any disciplinary actions, suspensions, or revocations on a particular physician.

State Department of Health Services

If you are concerned about a hospital or clinic, you will need to go through the state health department. They investigate complaints against medical facilities – such as reported unsafe conditions. These are issues that you will want to be aware of before you seek treatment there.

Court Documents and Records

If a doctor has been sued in the state, there will be a court record reflecting that. You can find court records online, or go to the courthouse to obtain a copy of the report.

What Types of Complaints Are There?

There are a number of complaints that can be lodged against a physician or hospital. Some of the more common include:

  • Drug errors
  • Misdiagnosis and/or delayed diagnosis
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Premature discharge
  • Hospital acquired infection
  • Incomplete discharge instructions
  • Unnecessary treatment

Physician Grades

There is also a way to see how physicians are rated. The National Committee of Quality Assurance is a group that gathers data about doctors and how they are rated with their patients. They assign grades to their physicians, based on the feedback provided to them by their patients.

Even Highly Rated Doctors Make Critical Errors

Even if a doctor comes highly recommended and has a great score, he or she could act negligently. If the doctor fails to provide the standard level of care expected of the profession, and you suffer an injury because of it, you could file a malpractice claim against that physician.

Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Contact us online to get started.