Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Maryland's entrapment of physicians

Maryland’s entrapment of physicians

Twenty four thousand physicians have been granted licenses to practice the medical arts in Maryland. This privilege came with one caveat, their licenses would be supervised by the Maryland Board of Physicians. Of the 21 political appointees on the Board forty percent are not physicians, which questions the extent of the expertise embedded in its membership. Worse, the Boards functions are not managed by physicians. Instead its administrative staff, which is heavily weighted with attorney input, runs the operations on a day to day basis. The Board’s quality assurance section is administered by lawyers, not physicians. Imagine the Maryland State Board of Law Examiners being fronted by physicians, the state would see an major reduction in malpractice suits. Maryland Board of Physicians must comply with Maryland legislative mandates which are in place to protect the public from errant physicians and to provide doctors a level of due process when their practices come into question. To carry out these functions rules and regulations must be promulgated by the Board to administer its authority, unfortunately they haven’t been written. Because of this specific failure, licensees are at a loss to know when they have transgressed certain boundaries this rogue Board may consider outside the scope of standard practice. It is the Board itself that has been found to be functioning outside Maryland law and mandate. In a scathing report issued recently by the Maryland Legislature against the Board of Physicians, the very basis of this Board’s existence is questioned. Dozens of citations noting the Board did not follow Maryland law and mandate when performing its function is part of this extensive report. More to the point, they were illicitly screwing physicians when they themselves were acting outside the bounds established for them. To make matters worse the Maryland Attorney General’s Office is guilty of violating the very laws they are empowered to uphold. This arm of Maryland government has knowingly lied to Circuit Court and Appellate judges that the Board of Physicians was following appropriate procedures and Maryland law as it hammered physicians for the most trivial of occurrences. The quiescent Maryland Medical Society has not weighed in on this report. They spend too much time in self-preservation mode to keep the cash coming in from its few members to take an interest in such minor matters. Perhaps physicians who have been affected by this rogue unit of Maryland government should file a class action suit against Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Board, the Health Secretary and the Attorney General’s Office for perpetuating the illicit activities of an administrative authority that should have been reined in long ago. Mark Davis, MD president of Healthnets Research Services,

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