In 2001, Patty and David Skolnik spent nearly three years watching their only child, Michael, play victim to a broken system as a result of unnecessary brain surgery. Due to medical error caused by negligence and incompetence, routine expectations of our healthcare system proved ineffective in providing quality medical care and patient safety for 22 year old Michael Skolnik.
When physicians provide poor quality care, their patients are typically the last to know. Some physician backgrounds may be available in your state, but can you tell which ones have the most complaints, malpractice claims or disciplinary actions? Knowing the background information on your doctor could save your life.
Consumers Union Documents
- Consumer Reports: Too many doctors can be bad for your health
The more physicians you see, the greater the chance of miscommunication and overtreatment
- Video: Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center
Here’s a look at some of the important work the Health Ratings Center has done since its creation in 2008.
- Consumer Reports Health: A look at the Health Ratings Center
New video highlights some of Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center’s important accomplishments: assessing hospitals for safety, surgeons for their heart bypass records, and drugs for their effectiveness.
- Consumer Reports: Patient access to their doctor’s notes leads to better care, study finds
Are you interested in reading the medical notes your doctor writes about you? Some ten thousand patients around the country recently had that chance. And both they, and their doctors, said it led to better care.
- Consumers Union Opposition Letter and Patient Statements regarding SB 1483 Impaired Physicians
Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project opposes SB 1483 (Steinberg), which would establish a costly and unnecessary government entity to serve as a substance abuse and mental health treatment referral service for physicians, who are well-equipped to find their own therapy services, while leaving patients uninformed and unprotected.
Consumers Union News Releases
- California Medical Board reforms needed
Monday, March 11, 2013 Consumers Union Urges California to Adopt Medical Board Reforms to Improve Oversight of Centers and Problem Physicians State Lawmakers Begin Sunset Review of the Medical Board of California SACRAMENTO, CA – Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, urged state lawmakers today to implement a number of Continue Reading
- Consumers Union: Public Should Have Full Access to Doctor Database, Including Names of Problem Physicians
Consumer Reports Poll: Almost 9 in 10 Americans Say Public Should Have Access to Information Collected by Feds on Doctors
- CU urges HHS to restore online doctor database
HHS decision to remove online access runs counter to Administration pledge to promote transparency
- Governor Gregoire Signs Bill To Create More Transparency When Patients File Complaints Against Health Care Workers
When Patients File Complaints Against Health Care Workers Washington Law Could Serve As A Model For Other States.
- Consumer Reports Poll Finds High Levels of Concern About Medical Harm & Support For Public Ratings on Hospital Safety
A new poll released today by the Consumer Reports National Research Center found high levels of public concern about hospital-acquired infections and other forms of medical harm.
- California activists urge lawmakers to reform California Medical Board
In March 2013, Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project organized a small but powerful gathering of eight California consumer advocates in Sacramento to discuss patient safety issues related to California’s medical board sunset review process, hospital infections, and more. One advocate who attended, Alicia Cole, sent a terrific email about the meeting that we decided to post it as a guest blog.
- Safe Patient Summit inspires patient safety advocates
This week, Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project brought 31 energized advocates from across the U.S. to the 7th annual Safe Patient summit November 12-14, with a day of presentations at Consumer Reports headquarters in Yonkers, NY.
- Washington Advocates for Patient Safety participate in Patient Safety Day
Last month on July 25, members of the Washington Advocates for Patient Safety (WAPS) commemorated Patient Safety Day in their home state of Washington by joining several people working on health care issues in the state and giving a voice to patients who have experienced preventable medical harm.
- Dedicated patient safety advocate shares his story in Health Affairs article
This week I read a new article written by a dedicated patient safety advocate, Kerry O’Connell, published in Health Affairs, a prestigious healthcare journal.
- National Practitioner Data Bank “Public” Use Data File Should Actually Be Public
A Consumer Reports national poll found that almost 9 in 10 Americans (88%) said the public should have access to federally collected information about problems with doctors.
- Rocklin doctor's license suspended Source: Sacramento Business Journal (Thursday May 2, 2013)
Rocklin doctor has license suspended after a court found that her practicing medicine “will endanger the public health, safety and welfare.”
- California's medical board backs some prescription-drug-abuse reforms Source: Los Angeles Times (Friday April 26, 2013)
LA Times reports: “The Medical Board of California on Friday embraced a host of reforms aimed at combating prescription drug abuse and reducing overdose deaths but balked at a proposal to strip it of its authority to investigate physician misconduct.”
- Michael Hiltzik, LA Times: Legislature should pull plug on inept Medical Board of California Source: Los Angeles Times (Friday April 26, 2013)
Michael Hiltzik of LA Times: “Legislators should sunset the medical board’s do-nothing, know-nothing membership and executive director, and start over fresh.”
- Angel of Death: Killer nurse stopped, but not soon enough Source: CBS News (Sunday April 28, 2013)
Nearly all of the hospitals ex-nurse Charles Cullen worked at were suspicious of the serial killer. So why did his career last 16 years? Steve Kroft reports.
- Q&A: Are medi-spas safe for laser hair removal and other cosmetic procedures? Source: Consumer Reports (Monday April 22, 2013)
Learn about the potential health risks associated with unsupervised medi-spas.
Research and Reports
- What to Do if You Have a Concern About the Quality of Care from a South Carolina Doctor Source: Informed Patient Institute (Friday March 1, 2013)
This tip sheet explains steps you can take in your doctor’s office to deal with your concerns about quality. It also tells you how to contact places that regulate or oversee doctors.
- DocFinder Source: Association of State Medical Board Executive Directors (Friday February 1, 2013)
The site http://www.docboard.org/docfinder.html is run by Administrators in Medicine, the national organization of Executive Directors of the state medical boards. It allows users to look up whatever medical boards post on-line about their licensees. Users can search many states simultaneously with one click. For states for which that doesn’t work, the site provides links to the individual state board web sites.
- California Medical Board videos Source: YouTube (Wednesday December 12, 2012)
CA medical board meetings on YouTube.
- The Assertive Patient Source: The Assertive Patient (Monday September 10, 2012)
A Guide to Speaking Up When You Are Dissatisfied With A Health Care Experience by Health Care For All.
- Big Pharma's Big Fines Source: ProPublica (Tuesday July 3, 2012)
ProPublica takes a look at six recent multi-million dollar fines that drug companies have agreed to pay for inappropriately, and in some cases illegally, promoting prescription drugs.