Friday, April 1, 2016

Consumer Reports: Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure ranks dead last.

It's official.  The Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure really is shameful - according to Consumer Reports.  The magazine analyzed all state medical licensure boards and rated them in the current issue.  The results were not pretty as the Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure ranked dead last out of all fifty states and was far behind the next highest board. MBML had the worst website and did the poorest job of disclosing disciplinary actions taken against doctors.  Article.

Screenshot of Consumer Reports rankings. Click on image to enlarge.

Consumer Reports and its partners placed a great deal of emphasis on medical licensure board's websites and how much information was made available to consumers. After all, people may want to know which doctors have been disciplined for some strange reason.  Consumer Reports argued:

If you’re looking for information about your doctor, you may find yourself searching the website of your state’s medical board. Those are the agencies that license physicians and also discipline them for offenses including sexual misconduct, substance abuse, and negligent care. But the accuracy and completeness of the information you find, and even how often doctors are punished, can depend on your state. That’s according to two new reports, one from Consumer Reports and the other from researchers at the University of Michigan.
Consumer Reports Safe Patient Project partnered with the nonprofit Informed Patient Institute to evaluate the websites of state medical boards in all 50 states. They found that most are difficult to navigate and the information on them varies widely.
The report considered eight factors in determining the score of each board's website: search capabilities, complaint and board information, identifying doctor information, board disciplinary actions, hospital disciplinary actions, malpractice payouts, and convictions.  California (84) and New York (79), those big gummint liberal states, led the way while Mississippi (6) won the race to the bottom.  Those two states rated "excellent" in almost every category while Mississippi rated "poor" in all of them.

Mississippi's website has a list of currently-licensed physicians.   The website provides a complaint form in pdf format (which is more than we can say for the Mississippi Bar).   However, the actual complaints are not public records under Mississippi law.  The only information the Board provides about wayward doctors on the website is a terse four-line entry that states the name of the doctor, location of doctor, and the action taken by the board.  The actions described are vague in nature and do not provide any information about why the doctor was disciplined by the board.   One has to dig through the website to get to them as well.  One must click on the "board action reports" tab.  "Discipline" or similar terms that might make it easier to find disciplinary action are not posted anywhere on the site.  A website designed by bureaucrats for bureaucrats.*   Check out the website's home page:



Compare that website to California's:



Notice what stands out immediately on the California website? Complaint forms, license verification, and any actions taken against a physician. It is very consumer friendly.  That is what an "excellent" medical board of licensure website is.  A click on the "actions taken" button takes the reader to a search page.  "Smith" was entered in the last name field to yield this result:


Can't have something like this in Mississippi.  Board members might call it "shameful".  Dr. Craig would have actually been forced to do some work.  Go to that webpage and click on some of the license numbers.  The site provides pdf files of the actual cases and decisions instead of just a four line entry on a website that reveals little information.  Consumer Reports continued

But, as Consumer Reports’ analysis found, those state boards fall short in other measures, too. In fact, in many instances, physicians who have been severely disciplined continue to practice while their offenses remain relatively hidden, buried deep on the boards' websites or unavailable entirely online. (See the Ratings chart, below, to see how state medical board websites compared.)
“People are generally not aware that doctors on probation for serious issues such as sexual misconduct, drug abuse, and gross negligence continue to practice,” McGiffert says. “These doctors should be required to inform their patients of their probationary status.”
JJ will post the second Consumer Reports article on this subject.




58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mississippi is as Mississippi does.

Anonymous said...

What did they do with the 15 to 75 mileage?

Anonymous said...

That Board is very selective about who they prosecute. There are a lot of old white male doctors driving around drunk who get a pass. They deserve the bad publicity.

Anonymous said...

Guess medical tourism is out. Going to hurt the boob job biz.

Mississippi Physician said...

Our Board of Medical Licensure protects Mississippi doctors. Your blog is in the pocket of nurses.

Anonymous said...

As always we are last again. I guess we aim low and excel.

is the word insulation said...

If the Board did a better job there would be other things listed in the #50 category.

Anonymous said...

Damn, why can't we have 51 states? But then again...

Anonymous said...

Blasphemy. Doctors rank ahead of Jesus and behind only guns in Mississippi. Leave the doctors alone.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, you are an idiot! What is your obsession with this board? Really, in the grand scheme of things, who gives a rat's ass what they do? There are more pressing matters going in the city of Jackson and in the state and you're worried about them? Either get a life or get a real job!

Anonymous said...

Well, they must be doing something right:
https://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-states-for-doctors/11376/

Anonymous said...

Someone has to be in last place. Ms. has had that spot for a long time.
We are first in some things. STDs is our game. We have been number one for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Either get a life or get a real job!

He has a real job. He is a small businessman endearvoring to make a dollar or two each and every day including many weekends. GFY

Anonymous said...

KF - you've [a]roused Dr. Easterling again.

Anonymous said...

Our board doesn't have a high priced website? Damn! That's just terrible. We must rush out right away and get something done about that. Can't be last with the folks that think websites are an end-all;be-all and the world can't operate without them.

Looks like the couple of other things (other than the sophistication of their website) that the board is rated on might not be in their control. What adjustments does this rating make for those issues? Or do we care - because the story lets us attack the board that KF likes to video each month because we all care so much about their activities.

Anonymous said...

@3:00 PM: Because if we had 51 states, Mississippi would still be 51 and dead last in anything good.

Anonymous said...

Who appoints the board?

Anonymous said...

The public doesn't need this information because the free market takes care of all this. The bad doctors will kill all their patients and then eventually go out of business when they can no longer afford their insurance premiums. With the special protections provided to doctors by tort reform, this might take a while, but remember: your legislators know best and are looking out for you (so stop asking questions).

Anonymous said...

Kingfish,is correct on this one. The Board of Medical Licensure should be more concerned about the quality of healthcare than the kingdoms of doctors.

Kay's Pants said...

Look for the silver lining people. We're leading from behind.

Works for the Kenyan joke in our White House!

Failure is success.

Anonymous said...

"Really, in the grand scheme of things, who gives a rat's ass what they do?"

Doctors ... yeah, like how would they matter to anybody? o_O

Anonymous said...

Its not so much what the board does, but should we be rating the quality of the board on the quality of its website?

I would hope that the board did a good job in policing the doctor community - but I have little hope that they will just as I have little hope that the board of Cosmotology, or Barber Board, or Architecture Board, or Bar Assn will police their community.

But - I'm not deciding that we are the worst state in the union because we don't have an easily accessible website. But then again, I don't run a web based blog for a living.

Strippers for Haley said...

Hope (and blind faith) springs eternal for the myriad of messenger shooters like @7:09 who'd rather wear blinders than address Mississippi's many issues.

Rusty Syringe said...

So, how pretty the website is and how well they publicize their decisions is the basis for a ranking? I see.

Anonymous said...

At least our physician leaders are meeting our expectations. Thank you Dr. Easterling and Dr. Lampton!!

Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt said...

I've posted a few times over the years here how, in every other state in which I was licensed, I received a report every three months of which doctors got disciplined, and why. Many states over-report BS, suspending a license because a renewal fee wasn't submitted on time, then reinstating it once the check clears. The serious stuff (e.g., doctors with ongoing drug addiction problems, including alcoholism) were in there too.

This state OTOH doesn't tell physicians or the public about serious breaches of standards and behavior. Two months ago I consulted a physician on call about a patient with a serious, possibly life-threatening condition. Thanks to this blog I have since learned that physician had charges filed after destroying another physician's car over an affair, and apparently has left the state now. The licensing board didn't clue any of us in about this severe behavior problem, and I never would have trusted my patient to someone like this had I known.

The link above to Wallethub is very revealing. Apparently this is the best state in which to practice medicine because the competition is scarce and weak. I have suspected that since I arrived many years ago, and it is nice to see it confirmed and quantified. It is still scary to get sick especially if you don't know who to avoid. The worst of the worst should be publicized by the Board, but it is obvious by their actions that they do not care about the quality of medical care in Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

The state senate voted this week to strip Board of Medical Liscensure of authority overseeing physician and nurse practitioners collaboration.

Anonymous said...

Just try to get ANY INFORMATION on attorneys. Try to file a complaint. When you call the MS Bar, you are greeted with NOTHING but hostility. Let's have cops, teachers, legislators, etc. have all their "dirty laundry" aired online.

Let's get some "transparency" on attorneys first, before you go bitching about physicians.

Anonymous said...

Haley and the RINOs don't want Mississippi any other way except perpetually bent over!

Kingfish said...

Go look in the best of section, knucklehead. Dealt with the Bar years ago.

Anonymous said...

@10:52pm - Not so fast my friend...guess you didn't read the bill or get the whole story from Kingfish on the collaboration issue... there is an automatic repealer built in to this bill that will cause it to die if it passes the house. Stay tuned....

Anonymous said...

Ms. is first in infant mortality. Might be something to do with the doctors.

HDMatthias, MD said...

I've spent a few hours today looking at the Consumer Reports articles and others suggested by it. It is only ranking the quality of the information available on the website, not the quality of the MSBML.

When I first moved to MS, I found the credentialing at the MSBML the most difficult of all the licenses I've ever had/have.

Simply because the website is not "user-friendly" demonstrates little on the QUALITY of its work.

The MSBML has limited funds, and does an excellent job with the money allocated to it by the Legislature.

States rated "high" by Consumer Reports, such as California, have a terrible and draconian medical board. It dissolved its physician diversion program in 2008, and, therefore, few physicians get reported, because their colleagues know that its the end of their professional life.

The MSBML does an excellent job of protecting the public. In addition, it's found an excellent "happy medium" in allowing physicians to regain their lives and practices through their diversion program with the MS Physician Health Program, which has one of the highest success rates in the country in returning physicians to work WHILE equally protecting the public. It would be great if other entities did as well.

I believe that there are a number of problems that the MSBML has little control over because of MS statute. Physician licensing in the state allows physicians to practice medicine without any particular oversight, unless there are complaints or malpractice suits.

The "policing" of physicians really occurs at the hospital level, through stringent credentialing and reapplication processes. This is the "bottom line" where the training and outcomes of practice are reviewed by peers, hopefully and usually in a fair fashion. (Of course, there do occur instances of "politics" and competition in these proceedings, but they are few and far between, and USUALLY resolved in a fair fashion.)

However, the future will be fraught with difficulties, because many older, and especially younger physicians are seeking practices away from hospital oversight in order to avoid third-party payers and to practice on a cash basis.

Many younger physicians wish to practice "concierge medicine" outside the purview of hospital credentialing. As long as they have a license (which only requires new physicians to have completed a residency), they may go to their own offices and, essentially, do anything they wish to do, regardless of their training.

Physicians in family practice, radiology, neonatology, anesthesia, or any other residency/specialty training, may perform surgeries in their offices despite their training. I believe this will be a looming problem, as there is nothing to stop them. They can set up fancy websites "advertising" procedures in cosmetics, pain, aesthetics, "rejuvenation," "bio-identical hormones," "celiac disease," "fillers," Botox, hemorrhoids, flatulence, depression, "low testosterone," varicose veins, etc. etc. "and so forth."

This is not the fault of the MSBML, as the MS Practice Act allows this. That's why I encourage patients to be WARY of physicians who do NOT have any hospital privileges, as they remain, with all their warts, the only modicum of oversight of physicians being matched properly to their training.

I have practiced in many states throughout the US, and I am very happy with the MSBML It does an excellent job as allowed by the Practice Act, is fair, protects the public, and helps return impaired physicians to health and practice.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that a physician speaks so highly of the same board that Kingfish sets out to destroy. Well said, Dr. Matthias... your comments are on point. I've had some dealings with regulatory boards and may not have always liked their decisions, but they were following their rules, regulations and laws.

Anonymous said...

Let's get some "transparency" on attorneys first, before you go bitching about physicians.

Please catch up greenhorn. ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your insight Heddy. But this phrase "It does an excellent job as allowed ..." makes me feel that there is, at least in your mind, room for improvement. Do you have any suggestions or not those you can share?

Anonymous said...

Get over yourself @10:44 AM. Quickly. For your sake.

Kingfish said...

The MBML is not criticized for having a clunky website. It is criticized for not providing information about physicians' records or disciplinary actions on the website. Apparently some of you, probably doctors, don't think consumers should be able to see if a doctor was suspended, why he was suspended, and when he was suspended. But then again, it is Mississippi.

As for lawyers, Read this old post. The lawyers had a similar reaction.

What is funny is reading some of the comments. Apparently the MBML and doctors should not be questioned about anything- ever. Nothing like seeing the God Complexes at work. You're having a similar reaction to other groups when covered such as lawyers, PERS, and the JMAA board. The Kingfish is out to destroy _____. Yeah, right. Some of you just don't like sunshine and that is all there is to it.

Keep up the personal attacks on me, it just validates this comment. God complexes.

Anonymous said...

If one goes on the medical board's website and clicks on Board Action Reports, it will provide you with all public disciplinary action against board licensees for the past few years.

Kingfish said...

You obviously did not read the post at all. I said that but I also wrote that it only posts a four line entry. It only says "board actions" on the tab, as if the average consumer will know what that means. That could mean paying the light bill as far as the average consumer knows. I posted a screen shot of California's website to show how they did things. They post much more information. Visit the website. It even has a search box to look up doctors.

Nice try.

Anonymous said...

Look again...it's "Board Action Reports" as previously stated. And under "Verification Information" there was an option called "Locate A Physician" where you can search for a physician.

Kingfish said...

You again? Nice try.

So you first have to click on the verification tab on left side of page. It then offers several selections, including "locate a physician". New flash: Most people think that means assistance finding a doctor in their area. The Bar website has a similar feature and that is what it is for. SO......... I entered Dr. Collins name since he was just reinstated. What do I get? Nothing but his name, address, and a "yes" in a "public record" column. Doesn't tell you if he was suspended, fined, or whatever. If you want to find out, you have to go searching through board actions and those just tell you this:

Roger L. Collins, M.D.
Jackson, MS
Request for all restrictions to be lifted is hereby granted. Licensee now holds an unrestricted MS medical license.


There is nothing on the website that provides the records for his complaint and discipline. It doesn't even tell you what his restrictions were or what the offense was.

Keep trying.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that's why every other vehicle in this state has a blue handicapped card which, I'm beginning to assume, is the Mississippi version of "prestige bling". Other states like T for Tesla or B for Bentley. We got a wheelchair symbol with perfectly healthy people bouncing out of the blue parking slots. Thanks, doc, for heppin me with my bad beck! Blue card/green check.

Walter Mathias said...

Ranking last in a category that has California first should be reason for celebration. Stop the pissing match and hoist a craft beer.

Anonymous said...

Damn KF! You've lit a fire under the greedy docs. Hope you don't have to go in for a colonoscopy anytime soon. 😥

Anonymous said...

Dr. Matthias, you praise the board but then you also suggest that hospital privileges is one of the few protections a patient has.
If the website were user friendly ( and that is actually easy and not very expensive...small retail businesses can afford it),then patients could access it and learn whether or not a doctor has hospital privileges or had lost those privileges, could they not?
As it is, when patients see a specialist,they are most often referred by their primary doctor. I'm sure you are aware that is done more on friendship and who refers to them or who is in their practice circle than excellence in the field. And, frankly, I've been rather appalled at some of the referrals my friends have gotten when faced with life threatening problems. They aren't being referred to the best available in the area . I've wondered if that's because the best don't accept patients from some of their colleagues.
Being my own advocate for my health used to be unnecessary as my primary doctor would know me well enough to recognize an unusual change and could know to assume that I wouldn't be paying him and taking time to see him unless there were a problem. Fortunately, for me, I have the money and resources to get a second opinion for a problem that didn't show up on routine tests or else I wouldn't be here to write this. And, if I weren't an advocate for my family's health, I'd have lost a family member to a rare inherited family disease as well ( of which every doctor had been made aware).
Some of your patients are every bit as intellectually gifted as their doctor and might be more insightful about the normal functioning of their own bodies! They simply made different career choices.
The site is appallingly and unnecessarily user unfriendly. And, the Board doesn't have to post the " Draconian" features you seem to fear to be an aid to your patients!

Madison Doctor said...

If we had it our way, physicians would regulate all medical professionals. We are trained to lead and supervise everyone working under us. Physicians are naturally smarter and have more training. The Board gets money from our fees not taxes. Therefore, our Board is free to do as they damn well please. Sick of seing them get drug through the mudd when they do a good job.

Anonymous said...

With this Board, it is all about the 💰💰💰💰 in doc's pockets.

Anonymous said...

No mention that they were number 1 in the Nation for about 5 years running for disciplinary actions against physicians. It's been a while, but it happened. Changes are being made at the Medical Board and regardless of the negativity, the people who work there are very professional and work very hard trying to do what is right to protect the citizens of MS and keep up with the ever changing face of medicine. It's a complicated chess game and state agencies move slow at times.

There are only 9 physicians that are on the Board (who are not full-time) and only one full-time physician. The rest are lowly salaried public employees with many who did not have a raise for almost 7 years. I can assure you that the Board as a whole is getting a bad rap despite all the good they do. They are a self funded agency and very small, perhaps less then 30 people. Those hard working laymen and women are going to suffer another 7 years without raises when the legislature is mislead by much on the nonsense posted about them on this site. I know, who cares. I can foresee the negative comments about State Employees. 1.2.3...

Oh, and to the comment about the Nursing Board wanting total autonomy of the mid-level providers, you are spot on. They would love to have complete control and have one of the strongest lobbies next to the Teachers.

KF should spend some time over at their Board.

Standing In The Hall said...

9:14; Tell us more about this strong teacher lobby in Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

The website is made that way for a reason. Grown people should already know this. As usual with most websites the reason is $$ while taking advantage of those who are not intelligent enough to have learned this.

Anonymous said...

Waiting to hear about the 'stong teacher lobby'. There IS none.

Anonymous said...

@9:14 am- thanks for the comments Dr Easterling

Anonymous said...

Then there's this: "I've spent a few hours today looking at the Consumer Reports articles..."

What? No Mad Magazines in the lobby?

Anonymous said...

Not a surprise! It is time for Mississippians to know the truth about so many aspects of the harmful politics involved in some of our regulatory boards - people die from this, too (I know this personally)! Go to a state medical board meeting at some point - they are open to the public. The people deserve transparency and public reporting in healthcare. I strongly urge you to research the background of your healthcare provider and the hospital you choose to receive services from. Educate yourself on your medical conditions and demand a plan of care based on your desires and preferences. Challenge the options given to you. To change healthcare in our state and nation for the better, we must educate ourselves, know what is really going on behind the scenes, and speak out!

Anonymous said...

Not a surprise! It is time for Mississippians to know the truth about so many aspects of the harmful politics involved in some of our regulatory boards - people die from this, too (I have experienced this personally)! Go to a state medical board meeting at some point - they are open to the public. The people deserve transparency and public reporting in healthcare. I strongly urge you to research the background of your healthcare provider and the hospital you choose to receive services from. Educate yourself on your medical conditions and demand a plan of care based on your desires and preferences. Challenge the options given to you. To change healthcare in our state and nation for the better, we must educate ourselves, know what is really going on behind the scenes, and speak out!You have to be your own advocate! And for the vulnerable populations who can't - well, that is a totally separate blog topic for another day.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing the leading cause of death in Ms. is doctor mistakes. Makes it sort of dangerous to go to a doctor.

Cause of Death - Harmful Politics said...

"...people die from this, too (I have experienced this personally)!"

Holy Shit! How could that possibly happen?

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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