Medical Board Roundtable Summary, 5/11/15

Medical Board Website Review Update: We are in the middle of the project reviewing over 60 medical board websites.  The 65 final criteria were send to Roundtable particpants. Daphne and Suzanne will complete their independent reviews by 5/19 or 5/20.  They will spend the following week comparing their findings and reconciling them into one report.  That report will be sent to each state medical board to be verified.  The guiding principles for their reviews were 1) They should not have to spend a lot of time hunting for the information on the site and 2) We want to err on the side of saying information is “not there” in order to have the state verify that it is there (and send us a link to the verified information). We have received a state medical board Director e-mail list (with some second names) from Dave Swankin, though Jean is also checking on getting a list from FSMB. We're hoping to send the reviews to the states in June. We have asked Art Levin and Dave Swankin to help weight the criteria.  The project team has met with the Consumer Reports Health Rating staff for a preliminary discussion of final methodology and report dissemination and will be meeting with them again soon. We are also starting to think about the final report outline and hope to finish the project over the summer and publish it in the fall.  Jean Rexford said that she would be happy to present the project to the FSMB at either their summer or fall meeting.  


FSMB Update: Jean talked about her 5 day FSMB meeting in Texas.  She will be serving on a committee looking at the implications for licensing of team based care and on the education committee which will plan next year's conference. She broached the idea of the FSMB Foundation possibly funding “best practice” work, but didn't sense a lot of interest as they have other priorities now. During the meeting, Jean hosted a gathering of the public members.  The meeting was successful as members appreciated getting to know one another, learning about medical board best practices and receiving information about the broader health/medical world which gives context to their  work. Discussion focussed on how many medical boards don't have public members (3 states: Al, MS and LA and possibly some territories), whether any states had majority public members (RI was mentioned as having 50-50, CA – 40% and TX may have a third). Whether there were any rules about how to define a public member was also discussed—with Dave Swankin noting that usually you can't be a physician, or married to a physician, but little guidance is given in terms of attributes that the Boards look for in public members.   


Update on Speaker: Carol talked with Tom Granatir, Senior Vice President for Policy and External Realtions at the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) about coming to speak to our group. ABMS has been quite involved in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) issue that is now quite controversial with doctors.  He may have a conflict on the next meeting: June 6th, but was interested in doing it.  Carol will wait to hear whether he can come, and then also invite Rosemary Gibson who is on the policy committee at ABMS.   Al Levine has also made preliminary contact with someone at the Administrators in Medicine (AIM) group, but had not heard back from him. There was also discussion about having Lisa Robin, DC representative for FSMB come and speak with the group. 


Lousiana Medical Board: Al has been contacted by the Executive Director of the Louisiana Medical Board about about proposed legislation from the Lousiana Medical Association that would negatively affect the LA State Medical Board.  Public Citizen sent a press release opposing the bill. Al also read a letter from a physician in Louisiana that supported the Public Citizen action. Unfortunately, Roundtable members did not know any advocates in Louisiana that could help, though perhaps CU might have activists there. 


California Medical Board: Mary Ann O'Sullivan had sent the group a 3 page document (and sent a revised version after the meeting) that outlined some of the activities and victories of the work of actvitists in California aided by CU with foundation funding. The activists attend quarterly medical board meetings, testify, raise issues in the public meetings that they then work to get on the board agenda, and participate in periodic calls with the Executive Director.  Over their 4 years of work, they have been successful, particularly in working behind the scenes. Their current effort focusses on getting physicians who are on probation to inform their patients of their status – an issue that is now on the July Board agenda.  They are working to generate media interest in the topic and find patients who can tell their story.  


Update on FOIA Request: Carol reminded the group of the FOIA request from USA Today and ProPublica to the WA state Medical Board that Yanling had mentioned.  She followed up and found that it was Charles Ornstein who had made the request for the data from some states.  In a recent e-mail he noted that they are in a “brainstorming phase” now regarding what they are going to do with the data so he had nothing to share publicly. He also noted that nothing is imminent. Carol mentioned our group and the medical board website project to him.


Citizen Advocacy Center(CAC) Supreme Court Activity:will be holding an all day meeting on June 23, 2015 do discuss the implications of the Supreme Court case (NC Dental Board vs. FTC).  An Attorney from the FTC will be at the meeting.  

Here is a link for more information:

In addition, CAC, CU and the Center for Public Interest Law sent a letter to all State Attorneys General on the case. Carol will circulate the letter to the group. 


Meeting dates: There was discussion about whether the group wanted to meet in the summer.  It was decided that right now we would meet in July (July 13 – primarily to offer a second date if a speaker can't do in June) and revisit that at our June meeting.


Next Meeting date: Monday, June 8th at 4:00PM EST.