November 16, 2011

Medical board reprimands the doctors who wrote sick notes for Wisconsin protesters.

"The Medical Examining Board reached stipulations with seven doctors Wednesday that saw them formally reprimanded and required them to pay $225 to $350 each for costs and take four hours of continuing education courses within 90 days on medical record keeping."

Here's my video encountering the doctors last February:



ADDED: I wonder if you can get a note if you need to stay out of work because your wrist got slapped.

76 comments:

A. Shmendrik said...

Ha!

ALH said...

Wrist, slapped.
The guilty docs will just take this as a badge of honor I suspect.
And continue with their smug sense of satisfaction of "sticking to the man".

Instead of a class on record keeping, it should be an ethics class.

Craig said...

I suppose they will take to calling themselves the "Madison Seven".

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan said...

Your right, this is a wrist slap for the doctors. Doubtful that his will harm them in anyway, except possible employment and possible higher ,malpractice insurance, if they pay any working for U.W.

Jason (the commenter) said...

They should be banned from giving out sick notes. Make them get someone else (like a nurse) co-sign any note they write.

Bender said...

Wrist slaps.

Is that the current going rate for aiding and abetting theft by false pretenses?

How about they reimburse the employers who paid out wages to those workers who fraudulently claimed to be sick? And if any were government workers (many, most?), then criminal prosecutions for defrauding the government.

Carol_Herman said...

Better than nothing.

Proves some medical department heads really got pissed off! Probably figured the doctors ditched clinical duties ... to be a part of the "note passers."

And, doctors are TAUGHT never to sign anything that can lead them to trouble. Or the appearance of trouble.

Chuck66 said...

The trial lawyers are going to eat these frauds alive in the any and all malpractice suits. I hope any hospitals who think of hiring them think about this.

Chuck66 said...

So in my younger days I used to drink and drive a lot (never got caught or caused in accident). If I had done that in Madison and got stopped, all I would have had to say to the police is "I am a liberal Democrat on my home from an anti-Republican protest" and I would have been let go. Gotta love a bananna republic.

epador said...

In one sense this is a wrist slap, however they will be forced to list the sanction every time they apply for a job, privileges at a hospital, apply for participation in an insurance program as a participating provider, apply for a medical license in another state, apply for malpractice insurance, etc.

Chuck66 said...

AA, I hear you know a thing or two about law. Can a trial lawyer bring this up in a malpractice lawsuit, or do all subjects have to be related directly to the given case?

Just wondering if a suing lawyer could say "you have be shown in the past to diagnos patients without a proper and full examination. And I will show that you continue to do that which caused you to miss the xxxx in my client, which caused her death/disability."

NYTNewYorker said...

Educated punks.

Sebastian said...

That's a pretty pathetic punishment.

PETER V. BELLA said...

It's about time. The only thing worse than a union teacher is a radical doctor.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Ooooh. So harsh!

$225 and a whole 4 hours on record keeping...OMG the inhumanity!!!!!!

That'll lern 'um.

/facepalm

Michael K said...

There is whole new career open to them in writing disability letters for slackers and frauds. Just one more blow to professional ethics. Why should teachers be the only ones to benefit from poor ethics ?

edutcher said...

Nicely done, Madame. One way or another, they'll pay for this. If not now, and I agree the fine is paltry, but some day when their, y'know, integrity is an issue, this will come up.

Craig said...

I suppose they will take to calling themselves the "Madison Seven".

Madison, maybe, but by no means Magnificent.

Michael K said...

It's about time. The only thing worse than a union teacher is a radical doctor.

Then there is Donald Berwick. Where do you think HMO doctors get their education?

"No, we don't think prostate cancer tests are necessary ."

Pogo said...

Politicizing medical decisions.

What could possibly go wrong?

Crimso said...

They'll be back to unnecessary tonillectomies and amputations in no time.

Chuck66 said...

I'll say it again....the problem with Madison is the lack of diversity. A left wing medical person sees nothing wrong with going out to an incredbly busy street and advertising fake medical documents. In a more...and I mean this with a little respect...more cosmopolitian/larger city, one with some diversity, a little red bell would go off alerting said person that this may not be a good idea.

MadisonMan said...

One of the doctors cited is parent to kids that my kids know, and although this parent is pretty liberal, I'm surprised they let themselves be open to charges like this.

I wonder how much was caused by GroupThink. They certainly were not actually reflecting on what they were doing.

(I say this after spending a good deal of this week dealing with the results of GroupThink in Teen Boys).

garage mahal said...

Just a little Alinksy tactical payback for all the Alinskying the right has resorted to in recent years.

Like Pogo, I give up. I just don't care anymore!

edutcher said...

Turnabout is fair play, but payback is a bitch.

James Pawlak said...

Now, focus on the like and meaningless actions as to misbehaving lawyers.

Skyler said...

So should employers now have to decide whether doctor's notes should be honored, or should they insist on second opinions?

Don M said...

cough (Righthaven) cough

traditionalguy said...

Madison started the Progressive Revolution of 2011 when it's police and doctors openly supported civil disorder under a theory that all is fair in war.

That means there was a declaration of war on elected conservatives.

Darren said...

Do the school districts now have to honor the dishonored/dishonorable notes?

Eric said...

Is that the current going rate for aiding and abetting theft by false pretenses?

That's what I'm wondering. They broke the law - why is this being handled by a medical board instead of a court?

Wally Kalbacken said...

Take-down by Althouse!

madAsHell said...

He wasn't a doctor.

He's dumber than a box of rocks.

Pogo said...

Those doctors, especially the young ones, will find the notoriety and encouraging fines enticing, marking the first few steps, one little lie after another, dishonesty for politics and then for other reasons, all justified, one after another, ultimately corrupted and co-opted by other forces, some malign.

Might be a good time to read Nazi Doctors by Jay Lifton.

That would require insight and an ethical framework, though, so, probably a waste of time.

Beldar said...

This is a shameful decision.

This is a declaration by those charged with upholding the ethical vitality of a crucial profession that its most fundamental integrity is to be measured in tens of dollars, maybe hundreds.

Hang your heads, you physicians everywhere, and lament the perfidy and utter cheapness of your governing class.

Pogo said...

@Beldar,
"Hang your heads, you physicians everywhere?

Say what?

Brush too broad, there, son.

I have as much clout with the WI Medical Board as I have on UW Madison's Diversity Provost, meaning zero.

Mike_K said...

Hang your heads, you physicians everywhere, and lament the perfidy and utter cheapness of your governing class.

I have a dislocated vertebra from hanging my head at what has happened and is happening to our profession. I have a Dartmouth degree in medical outcomes research and I know how these people think. Cash medicine will be my choice once the guys I know have all retired. Not much time left.

I have nothing against female docs and know a couple good ones but they are more likely to work for HMOs and HMO docs are very dependent on their bonuses.

rcommal said...

Well. Reprimanded. OK, then.

Shit, your basic blog of whatever stripe does a better job, however weakly and without firmness it does it, of disapproving of, sanctioning, rejecting and punishing transgressions. WTF?

The med-ex board did the bare minimum to cover its own ass, and not 1/1000th of a scintilla more.

So much for actually respecting the notion of a public medical license actually deserving unquestioning public respect from the general public.

So it goes.

Milwaukee said...

My understanding has been that for years malpractice insurance in Wisconsin was less than malpractice insurance in Illinois because Wisconsin doctors did a better job of policing each other. Calling out and punishing a bad doctor means the ones who are left are better doctors. However, if the doctors of Wisconsin want to play this game, there are consequences. I can see where a lawyer would want to use such a past as a reason to explain to a jury why said doctor is not so honest in their work.

Just think how hard it is to get into medical school, and these asses got in. While we complain about the healthcare reform, with this sort of shit going on, it is hard to be sympathetic to doctors. The system of admissions is rigged to admit those related to doctors into medical school ahead of others, to let the 1%ers in before others based on merit. Then doctors get subsidized educations. Sure, the have huge loans, but they seem to charge huge fees. Now they pull this crap. Doctors then are part of the healthcare problem. Is this painting with a broad brush? Sure. Will we hear outrage from any other doctor that this "punishment" was insignificant? No.

rcommal said...

Those doctors actively engaged in dishonesty in the use of their professional credentials, and the Med-Ex board has adjudged that "A-OK."

Well, then:

And that, as they say, is that.

Pogo said...

For what it's worth, I think every one of these doctors should be fired, and their licenses suspended for one year. The residents should be expelled. The teachers should be removed from teaching ever again.

The fine is a goddamned joke and pisses me off. But the fact remains that people like that have been running medicine for decades.

Beldar said...

@ Pogo: You're a physician with no throat to protest, no letterhead on which to write letters, no contacts through professional groups to make known your disapproval of your peers?

If the State Bar of Texas had done this, I'd be raising hell.

If you think this doesn't reflect poorly on the entire medical profession of Wisconsin, and indirectly beyond Wisconsin's borders, you've lost your moral compass, friend physician.

edwardroyce said...

Astonishing. My last visit with traffic court ended up costing me more than that.

Well. Law & order in Wisconsin. Words you'll never hear again in a single sentence.

Beldar said...

Look, Pogo: This means that according to the docs in WI appointed to oversee and speak for all docs in WI, lying through your teeth in a medical excuse letter is an offense whose seriousness is measured in a fraction of the cost of a business-class airplane ticket to Las Vegas.

Is that what you want for your profession?

Is there nothing that you think the "average WI physician" can do about it?

Tim said...

This is ironic, in that doctors have, since the inception of the "labor" movement, been highly resistant to unionizing, for the all-too-obvious reason that making physicians join unions effectively de-professionalizes them and makes them a common labor commodity, paid in wages rather than in salary or fee for service.

Younger doctors, raised in an America where credentials matter more than professional standards (there is a distinction), may be o.k. with this.

Smarter ones will rue the day.

rcommal said...

"The board action today holds these physicians accountable for their very public actions," said a statement from Sujatha Kailas, a physician and chairman of the Medical Examining Board.

No, it didn't.

The Med-Ex board has no clothes, however much, for one example, Sujatha Kaila might prefer, even choose, otherwise. This decision contributes to no "wonderful fabric" [quite the contrary], and it's Kaila's--and the entire Med-Ex board's--job to understand that and why. Or at least it was. Apparently, it's now understood differently.

Peter B. said...

The main effect of the bogus doctor notes should have been that school districts no longer accept a doctor's note as an excuse for a teacher missing school. Teachers should be required to provide something a bit more substantial, since a doctor's note is now no more believable than a student's note signed "Horshak's mom".

Beldar said...

Actually, Pogo, I'm assuming you're from WI, and that may be unwarranted. Let me put it this way:

I'm a Texas lawyer. When North Carolina prosecutor Nifong went insane, I wrote about it (on my own and many other blogs) to try to educate the public as to the nature of this cancer on my profession, even though it was from a state in which I was not licensed. I discussed it with colleagues; I took a stand and made it public. His actions made me hang my head just out of discomfort that that lawless asshole, that abuser of a sacred public trust, was in the same profession as me.

If your attitude about this is, "Oh well, far away and some other jurisdiction, doesn't affect me or my practice of my profession where I live," then color me unimpressed.

JAL said...

Should have been a bigger fine.

Peanuts.

ALH was right -- should have been an Ethics class.

Pogo said...

Beldar,
I already wrote the WI Medical Board. They yawned. The MN Medical Board has also refused to comment.

They are all lefties.

Should I get a bazooka or what?

The reality is that lefties control medicine, and have done so for decades. You can't raise holy hell about this, not from Minnesota. They agree with this travesty.

Face it. Medicine is dying, soon to be replaced by boards and protocols and NPs and PAs and nurses.

Should I write a strongly worded letter?

Tim said...

"Is there nothing that you think the "average WI physician" can do about it?"

Mocking the Med Board's decision, and the physicians in question, is an excellent place to start.

Tim said...

"They are all lefties."

Yes, and so too are virtually all in health care policy.

They will only succeed in destroying medicine and impoverishing themselves as they cannibalize health care in the names of "social justice" and "equity."

Pogo said...

Who watches the watchers?

rcommal said...

"They are all lefties."

That's shallow. What it is, is that they are in it for their own elites, their own little bits of the rug, and they'll bite anything and anyone who gets in the way of maintaining that rug (they'd like to grow it, yes; but in this day and age, the main thing is to maintain their bit of the rug). This is how loops and echoes operate: They tend to replicate incessantly and bounce back over and over.

rcommal said...

Medicine is dying, soon to be replaced by boards and protocols and NPs and PAs and nurses.

See: Medicare. Right, Pogo?

Various Mayo Clinics (is it all of them, yet?), for example, in several states have stopped accepting certain Medicare patients (or, at least, have stopped providing certain types of treatments at Medicare-reimbursement levels).

Worth pondering, no?

Fen said...

Garage: Just a little Alinksy tactical payback for all the Alinskying the right has resorted to in recent years.

Yes, Garage reaches for the tu quo again. He must pretend the right wing does it so he can justify his side doing it.

And yes, he actually goes through life like this. As do most liberals. Their moral code is based off whatever they imagine the other side does.

Fen said...

Should I get a bazooka or what?

Name and shame? Every time an HR office googles them, it should return results for medical fraud.

Let them hand out sick notes in Angola.

rcommal said...

I think Mayo (and its doctors) for example, could lead the way by stating that it is a strictly private-pay endeavor. Or at least a recipient of reimbursements only from personal payers or private insurers. This should be stated in very strong terms (henceforth, many years in advance, because continuity of care is profoundly important, which every patient knows and no doctor of true Mayo caliber can or ought challenge) such that people who might be making the transition from private/personal insurance to Medicare understand and accept the ground rules sufficient years in advance. Both sides should state and sign onto the ground rules, including lead times. Both should then live by those rules and lead-times (otherwise known as principles, applied without corruption on the margins). No fair cheating for personal advantage.

Choose the parameters, state them, and then live by them--and no cheating. Everyone.

Unknown said...

Dan, much earlier in this thread, wondered if doctors at UW pay for malpractice insurance. They don't. The Stae of Wisconsin covers them. And, no lawyer in Wisconsin will bother suing a UW doctor for malpractice because there is a limit of 25K on awards against covered State employees. That's the law. Neat, isn't it.

gbarto said...

I think Chuck66 and Milwaukee have this right. If we want to do something about it, the best thing we can do is to make the day of any medical malpractice attorney who googles:

* Adam H. Balin, 51.
* Mark B. Beamsley, 41.
* Hannah M. Keevil, 50.
* Bernard F. Micke, 67.
* Kathleen A. Oriel, 47.
* James H. Shropshire, 50.
* Louis A. Sanner, 59.

and finds it useful to know that they were formally sanctioned for issuing medical documents without doing a proper examination.

This info might also be of use to someone trying to pick a new doctor.

Curious George said...

"gbarto said...
This info might also be of use to someone trying to pick a new doctor."

Dude, these guys are heroes to the lefties in Madison.

Mary Beth said...

Close ranks, support colleagues and try to minimize any problems. Keep it all inside the group so that outsiders know as little as possible about what goes on.

Where else have I heard about this same type of behavior lately?

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Disingenuous.

Liberals HAVE to obfuscate in order to get what they want.

Because if they were truthful about their intentions, it would just be another 'no sale' in the world of bad ideas.

Hence, the inherent corruption of a long-failed ideology.

Silly liberals.

Mian said...

A wrist slap, for sure, but I'm surprised they were penalized at all.

Maybe there's hope for the medical profession after all...

MadisonMan said...

Can I just say that the whole notion of a doctor's note is weird to me.

But then, I think I'm pretty honest. If I say I'm sick, I actually am.

This is a reason I like teaching online classes. None of this 'I missed classes because I was sick' nonsense. You're rarely so sick that you can't work at home.

Bruce Willis said...

Knowledge giving Article! I appreciate you. I completely agree with you. Phonesex

MadisonMan said...

I mean, if you don't trust someone when they say they are sick, why are you trusting the Doctor's note that they bring in?

Brennan said...

An appropriate sentence, for the full years that Obamacare is capping reimbursement rates for services rendered to Medicaid, and Medicare patients is the policy, these doctors are first in service and last to receive payment.

Sofa King said...

I mean, if you don't trust someone when they say they are sick, why are you trusting the Doctor's note that they bring in?

There was a time, since passed I suppose, that your average doctor was considered ethics-bound not to lie about such things, so providing the note had some actual truth value to the employer.

Beevalo Bill said...

These doctors' acts were no less than theft of the public treasury by fraud.

Or am I missing something?

Grace said...

As an RN of 20 years I knew this would be the ultimate outcome since the get go. I would be delighted to detail all the ugly things I see routinely from incompetent residents, to attending docs who could give a shit about what is actually going on with their patients, particularly in the middle of the night at the hospital. However to do so would risk someone tracking done who I actually am and ensuring I no longer had a job, or the ability to get another. And no that is not simply paranoia speaking.
As far as medicine being taken over by the left wing, that has been the case for about a hundred years, the mental health community as well as the top tier of educators in both medicine and nursing have been of that political ideology for at least those 100 years. The vast majority back then were also supporters of eugenics, which was not a conservative baby, it was a progressive baby. One of those early supporters was the head of the dept. of medicine at U of M, as well as other "top" schools.

It's taken more than just since the late 60s to us where we are today folks, this has been going on since the late 1800s, at least in our institutions.

Without yanking it out by the roots, don't expect anything different, in medicine or otherwise.

DCS said...

AS a physician who practices in neighboring Minnesota, I can report that getting a reprimand from the Board of Medical Practice is a Big Deal, no matter what the offense. Hasn't ever happened to me, but I know several docs that have landed therer. The local paper loves to print the story and every time one applies for re-certification or re-credentialing or just a license renewal there is a requirement to report the discipline. Ouch! It may or may not affect things like malpractice insurance but I can report I'm very glad it has never happened to me.

BarrySanders20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BarrySanders20 said...

nice typooos.

Me fingres are fat

Jhn1 said...

Since the state medical association will not firmly dicipline atttempted medical fraud, how about any time any of those doctors sign off on anything the state pays for, it trigggers an automatic fraud investigation.
Both the fraudsters and the state medical board that decriminalises medical fraud perpetrated by a doctor.

Republican said...

I would not go to any of them for medical treatment.

(Assuming they are physicians who actually treat people.)

Take some baths and shave, dirty docs. Ugh.