Re: Bad Employers/Clients List???

Subject: Re: Bad Employers/Clients List???
From: Joanne Greene <joanne -dot- greene -at- JACOBUS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 13:58:13 -0400

Although I think this info about physicians should be public, this list
probably does not provide information on how the physicians are restricted
and influenced by HMO's in how they can practice. The HMOs do have
incentives and penalties for physiscians who make to many referrals, for
instance. Many physicians and others in health care whom I've spoken with
are not at all positive about the influence HMOs have. Many HMOs are being
purchase by big drug companys, who then restrict which medicines the doctors
can perscribe. I'm getting away from the thread here.............

Taking any sort of information out of its context can distort it.

And, once you're on a list, it is very difficult to get off of it. Ever see

At 10:35 AM 5/5/97 -0700, you wrote:
>See this story from today's San Francisco Chronicle for an interesting angle
>on this question.
> Monday, May 5, 1997 =B7 Page A1=20
>=A91997 San Francisco Chronicle=20
> =20
>PAGE ONE -- Physicians' Files Could Be Unsealed
>Assembly considers opening records=20
>William Carlsen, Chronicle Staff Writer
> When Massachusetts put its doctors' once-secret records -- from
> settlements to hospital disciplinary actions -- on the Internet last
>week, the
> Web site registered an astounding 35,000 ``hits'' on the first day.=
> A bill currently before the California Legislature seeks to make the
> information available here. If it passes, most experts expect it to
>be just as
> popular as the landmark Massachusetts disclosure law.=20
> But if the state's powerful medical lobby has its way, a key piece
>of the
> doctors' records will be missing when California consumers dial a
> hotline or call up a Web site on their computer screens. Doctors'
>groups are
> opposed to public disclosure of any malpractice settlements recorded
> individual physicians.=20
> The pending legislation, which closely parallels the Massachusetts
>law, faces its
> first major test before the Assembly Health Committee in Sacramento
> tomorrow.=20
> ``People have a fundamental right to know about their doctors,''=
> said
> Assemblywoman Liz Figueroa, D-Fremont, who drafted the bill. ``You=
> can
> find out all kinds of information on the Internet -- about lawyers,
>even car
> mechanics -- yet vital background information on your doctor is not
> Under current law, consumers can call the California Medical Board,=
> the
> agency that licenses the state's 78,000 doctors, and discover basic
> about a doctor, including board disciplinary actions and malpractice
> imposed by a court or jury.=20
> For the first time, Figueroa's bill would make public all
>malpractice settlements
> larger than $30,000 as well, and any serious discipline by hospitals
>against a
> state- licensed physician -- and put it all on the Internet, where
>anyone with a
> computer can easily access it. The doctor's training, specialties,
> affiliations and the insurance plans he or she accepts would also be
> Heavy negotiation over the bill has already resulted in compromises
>by both
> sides, a development that bodes well for passage of some kind of=
> public
> disclosure measure this year.=20
> For example, the California Medical Association had long opposed any
> release of hospital actions against doctors, arguing that these
>``peer reviews''
> are private and not subject to the rigorous process of the state=
> board's
> disciplinary procedures.=20
> Current law requires hospitals to report disciplinary actions --=
> such as
> revocations of a doctor's staff privileges -- to the medical board,
>but the
> information is closely guarded and not available to the public.=20
> The CMA has reluctantly agreed to the part of Figueroa's bill that
>would make
> public such hospital discipline reports -- called 805s after the
>section of the
> law.=20
> ``This is big, big news,'' said CMA Associate Director Scott Syphax.
>He noted
> that only a few years ago, disclosure of 805s was stripped from a
>reform bill in
> the first legislative committee because of the CMA's adamant
> ``We've come to the table on this in the interests of disclosure,''
>he said.=20
> Figueroa has also compromised, dropping her original proposal that=
> all
> malpractice settlements by a doctor of any amount be disclosed and
>raising the
> threshold to those over $30,000.=20
> That still doesn't satisfy the doctors' groups, who oppose any
>release of
> settlement information on the grounds that such data provides no
>indication of a
> doctor's competence but can unfairly tarnish his or her reputation.=
> ``A settlement is not a finding of fault,'' said lobbyist Tim
>Shannon, who
> represents doctors' malpractice insurers. ``Many malpractice suits
>are nuisance
> cases without merit that insurers settle rather than bear the high
>cost of going
> through a trial. A doctor has to sign off on those. But do you think
>they will if
> they know it will be publicly disclosed and could unfairly harm
>their reputation?
> ``This provision will cause a lot of unnecessary litigation to drag
>through the
> courts,'' he added.=20
> But Figueroa and her supporters insist that settlements must be
> ``About 90 percent of all malpractice suits are settled,'' said
>Jamie Court of
> Consumers for Quality Care. ``So that's the really important
>information people
> want to know about doctors.''=20
> Court added that severe monetary limits on malpractice suits enacted
>by the
> Legislature in the 1980s have eliminated all but the most serious
>cases. ``There
> are few, if any, nuisance malpractice suits being filed these
>days,'' he said.=20
> Figueroa said that she is not so concerned about the amount of the
> as she is about whether there is a pattern. ``I'm willing to talk,''
>she said.
> ``Maybe we can agree not to disclose if there is only one or two
> but start with the third.''=20
> The doctors may be willing to talk as well after seeing the
>steamroller that
> thundered out of Massachusetts last year with the passage of the=
> state's
> revolutionary disclosure law. The sweeping nature of its disclosure
> requirements stunned medical groups across the nation, and similar
>bills are
> now pending in half a dozen states.=20
> The Massachusetts law followed a series of newspaper exposes on
> incompetent doctors. After the state's Legislature passed what
>doctors viewed
> as a draconian law that included disclosure of every complaint filed
>against a
> doctor -- a bill vetoed by the governor -- the Massachusetts Medical
> sponsored the current law.=20
> ``The public perception was that we were trying to cover up for bad
> said Dr. Joe Heyman, the group's president. ``So we decided to
>sponsor a bill
> we thought was fair and did the job. I think it's been pretty
> ``Successful?'' asked Wayne Mastin, the director of the state=
> program.
> ``Phenomenal is more like it.'' The program started last November=
> with a
> telephone hotline the public could call to request a ``doctor's
> On Thursday, it went on the Internet. Mastin said that during the
>first six
> months of operation they sent out 52,000 profiles. ``The first day
>on the
> Internet, we had 35,000 hits,'' he said.=20
> Under the requirements of the law, the ``doctor's profile'' includes
>a general
> disclaimer that malpractice settlements are not findings of fault.
>It also includes
> data about the rate of malpractice suits for each specialty.
>Obstetricians, for
> example, have a higher average rate of lawsuits than pathologists.=
> Exact monetary figures for any settlements are not given. Instead,=
> the
> settlements are recorded by date, going back the last 10 years, and=
> the
> amounts are characterized only as ``above average,'' ``average'' or
> average.''=20
> ``We believe that these provisions keep things in perspective,''
>said Heyman,
> who added that the response by doctors to the program has been=
> generally
> good.=20
> =A9 The Chronicle Publishing Company=20
> TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
>to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
> Search the archives at or search and
>browse the archives at


Joanne Greene
Jacobus Technology, Inc. ...developers of JSpace

voice: 301-926-0802 fax: 301-926-2313
email: joanne -dot- greene -at- jacobus -dot- com


TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

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