An investigative report by the Hartford Courant has revealed that a number of medical malpractice cases against Connecticut physicians is missing from their files kept in the state’s database. The database, updated and maintained by the state Department of Public Health, is missing important data in approximately 1 in 6 cases. According to the Courant investigation, there are more than 100 doctors who have missing malpractice cases. This is important since the goal of the database is to provide consumers with accurate information concerning their physicians. The database is supposed to include any malpractice payments made in the last 10 years.
According to the Hartford Courant, “Anthony Anastasi, a Hartford obstetrician, fought a malpractice case all the way to the state Supreme Court, which in 2009 upheld the verdict against him, while reducing the award to $2 million. There is no record of that case in the health department’s profile.” The Courant investigation lists a number of similar instances where such physician information is missing or inaccurate.
Here’s an excerpt from the Courtant article: “The profiles — accessible at https://www.elicense.ct.gov/Lookup/LicenseLookup.aspx — list each physician’s schooling and post-graduate training, the location of their practice, the hospitals where they have staff privileges, and any board certifications or published articles listed by the doctors. The site is also supposed to show malpractice payments, as well as state- or hospital-imposed discipline, and any felony convictions. The state legislature mandated creation of the profiles in 1999. Jean Rexford, executive director of the non-profit Connecticut Center for Patient Safety, said incomplete information on malpractice payments prevents patients from making informed choices about their medical care.
“The message in the past few years has been that the consumer has to take more responsibility for his or her health care. And so they are trying to do that,” she said. “But in order to do that effectively, they have to have access to accurate and timely information.”
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