70 Percent of Pennsylvania Doctors Who are Disciplined by Hospitals are Not Disciplined by State

Last week the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen released an interesting new report.  According to the report, the majority of doctors whose hospital privileges are suspended or revoked are never disciplined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

According to the data collected by Public Citizen, 393 Pennsylvania doctors had one or more clinical actions taken against them between 1990 -2009.  276 of those 393 doctors had no licensure actions taken against them by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

In other words, more than 70% of the Pennsylvania physicians who were disciplined by hospitals were not disciplined by the state.  Those doctors were legally able to continue practicing medicine, with no disciplinary action taken or noted on their public records.

Were all of these doctors guilty of medical malpractice?  Should all of these doctors been disciplined by the state?  We have no opinion on that – it is impossible to know without reviewing each and every doctor’s case.  However, the percentage of doctors who were disciplined by hospitals but not disciplined by the state does raise important questions that deserve to be answered.