The Importance of Timely Physician Profile Updating
An increasing number of prosecutions have been filed against physicians for failing to timely update their New York State Physician Profile information on the State DOH website. The Department of Health maintains this website to allow the public to access information on all licensed physicians including their education, legal actions taken, and services provided. The State requires every physician as a condition of their licensure to accurately provide required information and to update it regularly (within six months before the registration period ends). The information required includes malpractice actions; settlements and judgments; hospital restrictions; practice limitations; out-of-state actions; and criminal convictions. A full listing of these requirements can be found online at www.nydoctorprofile.com.
We have seen an increase in actions by the Office of Professional Medical Conduct, the prosecutorial arm of the Health Department, to investigate and bring charges against physicians for professional misconduct due to non-compliance with reporting requirements. This has particularly led to problems for physicians at the time licensure, re-registration and re-credentialing at their affiliate hospitals. Some physicians overlook or do not accurately revise the information posted or submitted. This can result in a variety of potential sanctions with potentially serious consequences.
Minimize Professional Uncertainty
If a physician is contacted by the Department of Health, which is usually done by a Nurse Investigator who may not reveal their position, we strongly suggest you do not speak with them but seek immediate legal counsel from attorneys experienced in disciplinary matters. In fact, most of the policies issued by professional liability insurance carriers and risk retention groups provide fee allowances for such services.