Share this site! The Safe Patient Project is a Consumers Union campaign focused on eliminating medical harm, improving FDA oversight of prescription drugs and promoting disclosure laws that give information to consumers about health care safety and quality.
Doctor Accountability

Doctor Accountability

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

Consumers Union News Releases

Blog Posts

  • California advocates voice concerns at medical board meeting

    This month, California advocates worked with CU to voice safety concerns at the California Medical Board meeting. We testified on several issues that affect the public and transparency…

  • California advocate featured in LA Times on how to research your doctor

    Michele Monserratt-Ramos, member of CU’s California Safe Patient Network, was featured in a February 9 Los Angeles Times article on how to research your doctor. Michele has been active on patient safety issues since the tragic death of her husband-to-be, Lloyd Monserratt.

  • Go Team! Advocates Deliver Patient Safety Message in Washington State

    Last week, the Safe Patient Project traveled to Washington State to team up with Washington Advocates for Patient Safety to give a voice to the health care crisis of preventable medical harm

  • Consumers Union’s “Ending Medical Harm” Conference Brings Awareness and Action

    Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project held an incredible conference on November 6, 2013 at Columbia University’s School of Journalism in NYC that gathered experts, journalists and activists to address the pressing public health threat of medical harm. Our conference, “Ending Medical Harm: Tackling the 3rd leading cause of death in the US,” had approximately 150 Continue Reading

  • Endangered Patients: WA Consumer Forum Explores Ending Medical Harm

      Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project and Washington Advocates for Patient Safety (WAPS) teamed up to host a patient safety forum at the Seattle Public Library to explore ideas for ending patient harm and what consumers can do to protect themselves from medical errors, hospital infections and failed hip and knee implants. About thirty-five people heard Continue Reading

News Articles

  • CMS Makes Physician Claims Data Public
    Source: Health Leaders Media (Thursday April 10, 2014)

    “The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a potential treasure trove of 2012 Medicare physician claim information. The release, which makes the data public for the first time since 1979, is “a huge step to making the Medicare system more transparent,” CMS says.”

  • Sliver of Medicare Doctors Get Big Share of Payouts
    Source: New York Times (Wednesday April 9, 2014)

    “A tiny fraction of the 880,000 doctors and other health care providers who take Medicare accounted for nearly a quarter of the roughly $77 billion paid out to them under the federal program, receiving millions of dollars each in some cases in a single year, according to the most detailed data ever released in Medicare’s nearly 50-year history.”

  • Dollars for Docs: How to Evaluate Drug Payment Data
    Source: ProPublica (Tuesday March 11, 2014)

    How patients can ask their doctors about their financial relationships in a non-confrontational way (ProPublica).

  • Reporting Recipe: Dollars for Docs
    Source: ProPublica (Friday March 28, 2014)

    With more data on relationships between doctors and drug companies soon to be released, here are some ways journalists can use this information.

  • Double Dip: Doctors Paid to Advise, Promote Drug Companies That Fund Their Research
    Source: ProPublica (Tuesday March 25, 2014)

    Research has been seen as less objectionable than other forms of interactions with drug companies, but 10 percent of researchers have multiple ties among the nine companies ProPublica analyzed. That raises questions about doctors’ impartiality.

Research and Reports

  • Health Watch USA Newsletter (January 2014)
    Source: Health Watch USA (Tuesday January 7, 2014)

    In this issue, Dr. Kevin Kavanagh highlights news on antibiotic resistance, C.diff solutions, and unreported robotic surgery injuries.

  • Become an Empowered Patient with this New Decision Support App

    The Empowered Patient® Decision Support web app is a series of ten questions that help identify areas in which patients may need help and support when making health care decisions. The app produces a streamlined pdf report of areas where the patient feels confident and decisive – and areas in which the patient may need information and guidance.

  • Ambulatory Surgery Centers: Big Business, Little Data
    Source: California Healthcare Foundation (Thursday June 13, 2013)

    California HealthCare Foundation Report: A growing number of Californians are being sent to ambulatory surgery centers for a wide variety of procedures, yet little is known about the care they deliver because reporting is not required.

  • 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 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.