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Patients put a lot of trust into their doctors to provide the best care and prescribe the right medicine. One thing many North Adams residents may not consider is whether or not their physician is in good standing with local and national medical boards. In fact, due to a flawed system, recent reports show that doctors who have committed medical negligence are still practicing and prescribing.

There is a federal program called Medicare Part D that funds prescriptions, some of which are written by doctors who are in the process of appealing misconduct issues or who have moved to new states after losing their licenses. For example, a Massachusetts psychiatrist had her license revoked in Massachusetts in 2010 because she lied about having malpractice insurance. However, in 2011, she issued roughly $73,000 of prescriptions in New York, footed by the Medicare Part D program. She admitted that she continued to practice despite losing her license, though says that the prescriptions were valid.

According to a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a proposed change would effectively keep doctors from prescribing medicine until any misconduct or other charges have been decided.

A doctor with a history of medical malpractice or other errors should not be allowed to continue to treat patients. This could lead to additional problems, including creating a worsened condition or other complications. An individual who has experienced doctor negligence should contact an attorney to file a lawsuit. The resulting compensation can help pay for medical expenses and other damages due to the victim.

Source: NBC New York, “I-Team: Problem Doctors Prescribe, Medicare Still Pays,” Chris Glorioso, Feb. 14, 2014