Tenn. Posting Doctors’ Malpractice Information Online

February 15, 2007

The state of Tennessee is now making sure doctors report all their malpractice claims so they can be posted on the Tennessee Department of Health’s Web site for the public to see.

A recent investigation by WTVF-TV in Nashville revealed some doctors were withholding that information.

In one case, Judy Cummings won a $1.5 million judgment against her doctor, George William Davis, after a botched back surgery 10 years ago.

Under the law, Davis should have reported it to the state so it could be posted on the Health Department’s Web site. But the investigation found Davis never provided that judgment or any of his other malpractice payouts.

State Health Commissioner Susan Cooper acknowledged, “The process didn’t work the way it was intended to work.”

She said the state did notify Davis more than three years ago that he needed to report his malpractice judgments, but he never responded, and the state never followed up.

“I can’t speak to what happened. It was long before my time,” said Cooper, who took the commissioner post two weeks ago. “But what I can tell you is we are taking this seriously.”

Cooper said her staff is now going through its records and updating all the doctors’ profiles where they have credible information that there was a settlement or judgment.

In Davis’ case, his profile now shows that he had at least 10 malpractice claims since 1998 that were over $75,000 each.

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