New Access to Medical Malpractice Data – For a Price

A nationwide healthcare advocacy group is touting what it calls “the first national database of physician malpractice records,” including those of doctors in Indiana. HealthGrades, a Colorado-based organization that rates doctors and health care facilities, has posted detailed information about medical malpractice judgments, settlements and arbitration awards against doctors here and in 14 other states.

Malpractice records are public in Indiana, but consumers generally must go to the state’s Medical Licensing Board offices in Indianapolis to view them. The HealthGrades data is available for a fee, along with other healthcare industry reports, on the organization’s Web site.

The data include “the amount or range of payment and whether the resolution was a judgment, settlement, or the result of arbitration,” according to a HealthGrades press release.

“Now consumers have access to all available physician malpractice information in one place, helping them identify doctors who may have trouble spots in their past — even if the physician currently practices in a state where malpractice information is not publicly reported,” said Sarah Loughran, HealthGrades executive vice president.

Other states whose malpractice data is available through HealthGrades are California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont and West Virginia.