How To Find Your Doctor's Medical Malpractice Track Record In Indiana
When choosing a doctor for yourself or any member of your family, it is important to choose your doctor wisely. There are several ways to research an Indiana doctor for their track record for medical malpractice claims. Just as important, however, is researching his or her credentials, experience, education, certifications and overall reputation in the community. When it comes to researching a doctor’s track record of disciplinary problems or malpractice, we offer the following advice:
Here is a high-profile case example of why researching a doctor is important: In 2007, rap star Kanye West’s mother chose a doctor named Jan Adams, MD, to perform her plastic surgery. While she may have visited his practice group’s website and been impressed by the information she found, she probably did not visit the California Medical Board website report, which would have shown his felony and misdemeanor convictions plus the many malpractice suits he had lost. Sadly, Ms. West died shortly after the surgery.
Indiana Online Licensing
Your first step should be to check the Indiana Medical Licensing Board. They have an online search feature at https://mylicense.in.gov/eVerification/. You can search for a doctor, dentist, chiropractor, nurse, pharmacy or psychiatrist as well as searching for a practice or hospital. This will tell you whether there has been any action taken against his or her license to practice medicine. Unfortunately, sometimes there is no information after you have conducted this search.
Indiana Professional Licensing Agency
You can further search a medical provider at http://www.in.gov/apps/pla/litigation/advancedsearch.aspx. This will provide you information on whether a doctor has a medical malpractice lawsuit or claim filed against them and will provide you with the relevant documents to the litigation, i.e., the lawsuit that was filed, an Order showing that a doctor’s license has been suspended or the Order granting reinstatement after a suspension.
Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund
Next, you should check the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund at http://www.indianapcf.com/. This site has a record of every Indiana medical malpractice lawsuit that has been filed against a particular doctor. It is important to note that just because a doctor has been sued multiple times; it does not always mean they have committed malpractice. Sometimes, a lawsuit is filed against the wrong doctor and later dismissed or it is found out later that the doctor had no participation in the care of the particular patient and dismissed. That being said, this is an excellent tool to use. You will first be required to enter one of those annoying validation codes. This website is very picky and it may take several tries to enter the website. Don’t give up! It will work eventually. The best advice is to use capital letters and the numbers on your keyboard above the letters, not the keypad on the right. Then click the “Validate” button rather than hitting Enter.
Once you are in the website, click the “Search for Providers” button.
You then have the option to search multiple ways. The easiest is to search by individual or organization. Click the appropriate button, and there will be blanks for you to enter the doctor or organization’s information. Then click the “Search” button.
You will then see all providers that match your search criteria. If you are searching for a doctor, click the “Select” button next to their name and then click the “Claims” button below.
This will take you to the screen where it lists all malpractice lawsuits. You will then want to click the “Generate Report – All” button. This will give you a summary of all of the lawsuits, the status (open, dismissed, closed) and the findings (malpractice, no malpractice, no opinion).
Finally, it is always prudent to do a Google search. The most efficient way to do this is to enter your medical provider, city and state. This will pull up recent news and several websites where patients are allowed to rate and comment on doctors. Clicking further into these websites can often lead to a wealth of information such as where they went to school, how long they have been in practice and their partners. The patient reviews are helpful for bedside manner, office staff interactions and general information.
In the end, the choice you make for a healthcare provider is your personal decision. You should feel comfortable with your relationship with your doctor in order to communicate with them effectively. These tools are in place to help narrow down the many options you may have for choosing a healthcare provider.
If you have difficulty finding the information you need on a doctor, please call the Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at Wagner Reese law firm and we will assist you with your search process free of charge. Contact us today!