What constitutes medical misconduct by a physician

Medical misconduct takes on many forms in New York. It may be reported to the Office of Professional Medical Conduct of the New York State Department of Health and, if the complaint has substance, an investigation may ensue. State residents may be interested in knowing specifically what constitutes medical misconduct and what steps need to be taken if it is suspected.

Numerous actions may be construed to be misconduct by a health care provider. Practicing while impaired by drugs or alcohol or having been criminally convicted are examples. However, telling a patient that treatment will be curative without clarification may also be considered medical misconduct. Filing reports that are false, providing fraudulent information to the patient or a third party or not treating a patient due to religion, color or nationality are all considered wrongdoing by a medical provider.

There are other acts such as providing medical services to a patient in an incompetent or negligent manner. Such negligent practices may also be challenged by a medical malpractice suit filed separately. Reporting acts of alleged medical misconduct is done by getting in touch with the OPMC in Albany. Once the complaint is received, the office will assign an investigator who will review it.

Medical negligence is also the basis for medical malpractice suits. When physicians fail to provide the standard of expected care, they may be considered negligent and, if a patient was harmed by that behavior, they may be held civilly accountable and liable. Patients may experience financial hardship due to physician error including misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. The patient may require treatment that is more extensive and be unable to work. An attorney may review the case and obtain expert advice to determine if physician negligence occurred. Once established, the attorney may file a malpractice suit on the patient's behalf.

Source: New York State Department of Health , "Frequently Asked Questions", October 10, 2014

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