The Governor of New York stated his intention to eliminate the free consumer website that lists the medical malpractice histories of New York physicians, in his recent $142 billion proposed budget.
The free website, which costs the state about $1.2 million per year to operate, was created as a result of the New York Patient Health Information and Quality Improvement Act of 2000, to provide New Yorkers with physician information to help them make informed decisions regarding their medical providers. The legislation was proposed in response to highly-publicized cases where New York physicians with poor track records caused serious injuries, including the death of a 3-year-old who bled to death after a routine tonsillectomy.
Besides providing information regarding the medical malpractice and disciplinary histories of physicians and osteopaths licensed in New York, which the doctors are required to report pursuant to state law, the website, which is operated by the New York State Department of Health, provides useful information regarding the medical education, training, board certifications, and hospital affiliations of licensed New York doctors, as well as information regarding the health plans they accept.
The New York Governor’s budget proposal would save New York the costs of running the website, but consumer advocacy and patent safety groups argue that elimination of the website would harm consumers, despite the Governor’s suggestion that the information on the website is available elsewhere. New Yorkers find the current free website helpful – the website received over 35,000 visitors in December 2014 alone.
At the time the website was proposed, the Medical Society of the State of New York, which opposed the website, was able to exclude from the information available on the website the first two medical malpractice payments made by physicians within the past ten years – only if there have been three or more medical malpractice payments during the past ten years does such information appear on the website (the amounts of the medical malpractice payments are not disclosed – only whether the payments were below average, above average, or were average when compared to medical malpractice payments made by doctors in the same specialty).
The website states on its Home page, “Here you will find profiles for all licensed doctors of medicine and doctors of osteopathy who are registered to practice medicine in New York State. A profile is information about the doctor. This information can help you choose a doctor or find out more about a doctor you go to now.” The website also states, “Certain information is required to be available on all physicians. Such information includes: … Information about legal actions taken against the doctor.”
If you or a loved one have been injured due to medical negligence in New York, you should promptly find a New York medical malpractice lawyer to investigate your New York medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a New York medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to be connected with New York malpractice attorneys who may assist you.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.