Arkansas News

Public Citizen consumer group urged the Arkansas State Medical Board to investigate

Public Citizen consumer group urged the Arkansas State Medical Board to investigate the eight doctors that have lost or settled four or more medical malpractice cases but have never received any disciplinary penalties. Public Citizen's President Joan Claybrook testified before Arkansas lawmakers to increase medical malpractice insurance premiums in the state. The group released a report on January 27, 2003 that linked preventable deaths and injuries to unreliable medical care and lack of doctor oversight and discipline in Arkansas.

From September 1990 to September 2002, 2.6% of doctors in Arkansas made two or more Arkansas medical malpractice payouts totaling $48.9 million in damages. The federal government's National Practitioner Data Bank finds that these Arkansas medical malpractices represent 43.7% of all payments made.

Claybrook's testimony attributed the repeat Arkansas medical malpractice offenders to a large reason why medical malpractice cases continue to plague Arkansas. Arkansas medical malpractice cases are physically, emotionally, psychologically, and financially difficult. Despite the hardships patients endure because of an Arkansas medical malpractice, repeat medical malpractice offenders are not disciplined. Since 1990, just 15 of the 153 physicians that made two or more payments to patients because of Arkansas medical malpractices had been disciplined. Patients are not even able to access names of doctors that have been repeat Arkansas medical malpractice offenders.

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