The PMD Critical List: Why Do Malpractice Rates Vary so Much by State?

Greg Kelly

A new report looks at malpractice claims by state and finds a wide disparity. That story tops this week's PMD Critical List. Also making the list: Why bad online reviews might not be as bad as you think.

A new report looks at malpractice claims by state and finds a wide disparity. That story tops this week's PMD Critical List. Also making the list: Why bad online reviews might not be as bad as you think.

When Doctors Behave Badly (Medical Daily)

University of Michigan Medical School researchers have “found that the number of doctors who are either disciplined or paid a malpractice claim is four times higher in certain states than it is in others.” One apparent cause of the disparity: A lack of standardized disciplinary regulations to monitor physician behavior nationwide. Delaware has the worst record; Massachusetts has the best.

Parents Don’t Trust Online Doctor Ratings (WTOP.com)

A recent University of Michigan poll “found that many patients around the country are wary of online reviews of physicians, with nearly 70% believing that at least some of the posted comments are fakes.” Take the reviews “with a grain of salt.”

99% of Doctors Overprescribe Pain Pills (Chicago Tribune)

Looks like everyone’s in the pool on this one. Nearly all US primary care doctors routinely prescribe potentially addictive opioid painkillers for longer than the three-day period recommended by the CDCP, according to National Safety Council survey.

Why Doctors Should Be Paid More (The Huffington Post)

A compelling essay from a concerned doctor: “With overhead expenses high and reimbursement low, doctors must cram as many patient appointments into a single day as possible just to keep the lights on. Isn’t the health of our patients and the stability of our health care system worth paying doctors a little more?”

Doctors Unprepared to Offer Genetics Advice (Fast Company)

It seems many primary care doctors are unwilling or unable to communicate with their patients about their genetic test results. An Impact of Personal Genomics Study Group report finds that more than 25% of patients did not feel that their physician understood genetics well enough to properly advise them.

Why the Growth of Concierge Medicine (RevCycleIntelligence.com)

A trend fueled by both physician and patient. Doctors are fed up with assembly line medicine. Patients don’t want to feel like a number. And a survey by the American Academy of Private Physicians shows that one-third of all private practice reimbursement models are now in the form of concierge medicine.

Physicians on the Front Lines of Climate Change? (GreenBiz.com)

According to a Yale University study, primary care physicians are the most trusted source for information on climate change issues related to health. According to a Health Affairs report, health-related costs associated with climate change could reach $14 billion per year by 2020. “As trusted authority figures, physicians can validate what their patients are already experiencing.”

Physicians Can Identifying Trafficking Victims (MPR)

“Physicians may encounter human trafficking victims more often than they realize and are in a unique position to help put these children, women and men’s lives on a path to recovery,” the AMA says. “Don’t be afraid of offending a patient—they will be glad you asked,” says the co-chair of Physicians Against the Trafficking of Humans.