Blog | Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Watch out, bad doctors.


The interest group Public Citizen is launching a new campaign to get hospitals to step up their reporting of physician wrongdoing. Under a federal law, hospitals are required to submit to a database the names of any physicians who have lost their admitting privileges for more than 30 days. However the database has gotten very few reports; more than half of hospitals have never submitted a single name.

So either physicians have been being very, very good, or the hospitals are covering up their wrongdoing. Public Citizen suspects the latter and is urging the Obama administration to crack down on the failure to report. Doc are also on the hook: the organization's press release specifically calls them out for "lax peer review, including a culture among doctors of not wanting to 'snitch' on a colleague."

That's right; snitching isn't just for elementary schoolers and TV characters anymore. Let's hope that the next steps don't involve hair-pulling or cootie-catching.