What Happens Initially After a Complaint or Suit Reaches the Board?
- If the Board receives a complaint, or if a lawsuit or reservable claim is reported to the Board, the Board staff triage the complaint or suit to the Medical Review Subcommittee (MRSC). The MRSC members meet once a month for regularly scheduled meetings. The MRSC then assigns that case to one of its members, who is responsible for examining relevant documents (hospital or office records, billing records, pharmacy and prescription records, etc.)
- If necessary, the Board investigator (a State employee assigned to the Board of Medicine) may interview witnesses, visit an office, or conduct other appropriate investigations.
- Also if necessary, the MRSC may ask a physician, deemed by the MRSC to have an expertise in the appropriate specialty, to review the case, render an opinion, and draft a Report of Investigation.
- Of great importance, the physician against whom a complaint or suit is brought is asked to respond. That response is crucial, because it allows the physician to explain in detail what happened and answer the complaint directly. Some physicians choose to have a lawyer respond, but the majority write the letter themselves. The Board appreciates a detailed and explanatory letter covering all aspects of the case or complaint.
- The case is then presented to the entire MRSC, which, by majority vote, makes a recommendation to the Board.