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N.C. includes more disciplinary actions in physician profiles

The North Carolina Medical Board has begun posting online a broad range of disciplinary actions taken against physicians and physician assistants ( Among the information now included in profiles are final suspensions or revocations of hospital privileges; final disciplinary orders of any regulatory agency or board; felony convictions; misdemeanor convictions involving offenses against a person; offenses of moral turpitude and those involving drugs or alcohol or violations of public health and safety codes; and certain malpractice lawsuit payment information. The disciplinary information, which physicians and physician assistants are required to report, make North Carolina's physician profiles among the most comprehensive in the nation. Of the 70 state medical boards, about 65 feature online data, and 25 of those include at least some disciplinary information. The North Carolina expansion comes in respo ...

Chinese delegation looks at U.S.-style health IT

Chinese health officials visited the United States recently to learn more about the U.S. medical system and its use of health information technology. Earlier this year, China passed legislation to create a universal health care system. Part of the reform plan involves building a nationwide health information exchange. Representatives from the China Ministry of Health, which is heading up the country's three-year, $124 billion plan to completely reform its health care system, visited with officials at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society in Chicago. Fran Perveiler, vice president of communications for HIMSS, said the representatives were surprised that U.S. hospitals weren't further along in adopting electronic medical records. HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of HIMSS, has a database of 5,000 hospitals and conducts an annual survey to determine the level of EMR adoption. Its 2009 survey, which was shared with the delegation, found that only 42 hospital ...

N.J. could be first to target doctors who accept industry gifts

New Jersey physicians would have to refuse lunches from drug reps and publicly disclose any industry payments of more than $200 as conditions of licensure if new recommendations from the state attorney general's office are adopted. The proposals were among 22 recommendations included in a Dec. 3 report to Attorney General Anne Milgram ( The report also recommended the state medical board require that 25% of continuing medical education credits should come from "evidence-based educational programs" that refuse industry grants. Also, doctors would be barred from claiming authorship for articles they did not write and from misrepresenting their financial interests on disclosure forms. While a handful of states have fought financial conflicts in medicine by regulating drugmakers and threatening hefty fines, the proposals would make New Jersey the first to make doctors the targets of enforcement. The proposed regulations "are desig ...