Viewing a Physician Profile

Disclaimer

A Physician Profile contains the following information:

Physician Information

Education & Training

Specialty

Board Certifications

Honors and Awards

Professional Publications

Malpractice Information

Disciplinary and/or Criminal Actions

Criminal Convictions, Pleas and Admissions

Health Care Facility Discipline

Board Discipline

Out of State Discipline

 

Physician Information

        License Number – The Board of Registration in Medicine assigns a license number for each approved license. This number will appear on the physician's wallet card and profile.

        License Status – Statuses include:

        Profile is Being Updated – The Board may place an administrative hold on a physician's profile prior to release to the public to ensure that the profile is factually accurate.  It is possible that when the Profile is released, it may contain adverse information.

        Profile is Being Updated and Will be Available at a Later Date – The Board is required to provide physicians with copies of their profiles prior to release to the public. The physician is given 30 days to review the profile and correct factual inaccuracies that appear in the profile. It is possible that when the Profile becomes available, it may contain adverse information.

        Active License Status – A physician with an active status may prescribe medications and must complete the Board's continuing medical education requirements. In addition, physicians with an active status must have malpractice liability insurance coverage, unless they are not providing direct or indirect patient care.

        Active License Status (Subject to Restrictions) – A physician may be subject to restrictions in their practice, for example: not being able to perform certain medical procedures or being required to be supervised. Such restrictions may be imposed on a physician’s license by the Board or may be included in a Probation Agreement that a physician has entered into with the Board.  Such restrictions usually result from a disciplinary action taken by the Board against the physician’s license. A physician who is subject to restrictions is obligated to meet all requirements of licensure.

        Voluntary Agreement Not to Practice License Status – An agreement between the physician and the Board that the physician will not practice medicine.

        Resigned License Status – Under the Board's regulations, a physician who is under investigation or named in a complaint by the Board may choose to submit a resignation and terminate the investigation.

        Suspension License Status – As the result of a disciplinary action, the Board may suspend a physician for an indefinite or limited term. This suspension may be stayed upon compliance with specific conditions imposed by the Board.

        Summary Suspension License Status – The Board may summarily suspend a physician's license. If the Board determines, based on affidavits and other documentary evidence, that a physician represents a serious threat to the public health, safety or welfare, the Board may suspend the license pending a hearing on the merits.

        Revoked License Status – A revocation is permanent and removes all privileges of practice. The physician may not apply for reinstatement of licensure for at least five years from the date of imposition of the action, unless the Board permits a shorter period in its final decision.

        Inactive License Status – A physician who is inactive is exempt from the Board's requirements regarding continuing medical education credits and malpractice liability insurance coverage. In addition, a physician on inactive status may not provide patient care or prescribe medications.

        Lapsed License Status – The physician has not renewed his or her license prior to the license expiration date and therefore does not currently have a valid license to practice medicine in Massachusetts.

        License Issue Date – To practice medicine independently in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a physician must possess a full license. A physician is required to submit a full license application. The issue date is the date the Board originally approved a full license application.

       License Renewal Date – The next renewal date of the license.

        Primary Work Setting – The physician's primary place of work.

       Business Address – The physician's business address.

       Business Telephone – The physician's business telephone number.

        Accepting New Patients – Indicates whether the physician is accepting new patients. Since this status changes frequently, contact the physician's office for confirmation.

        Accepts Medicaid – Indicates whether the physician accepts Medicaid. Please be aware that these contract arrangements change quickly and you should always confirm eligibility with your provider.

        Translation Services Available – Many physicians provide translation services for their patients. A list of supported languages appears in this section.

        Insurance Plans Accepted – Indicates which insurance plans the physician accepts. Please be aware that these contractual arrangements change quickly and you should always confirm eligibility with your provider.

       Health Care Facility Affiliations – Indicates at which health care facilities the physician has affiliations. If there is a specific facility that you prefer to use, find out if a physician has privileges at that facility. Some physicians have full admitting privileges while others have different levels of access to a facility's services. Ask the physician to explain the type of privileges he/she has.

        National Provider Identification Number (NPI) – The primary purpose of the NPI is to uniquely identify health care providers as "health care providers" in HIPAA standard transactions. The NPI will replace all other identifiers assigned to health care providers such as those assigned by health plans, government programs and health care purchasers for purposes of conducting these business transactions.

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Education & Training

        Medical School – The name of the medical school where the physician obtained a medical degree.

        Graduation Date – The date the physician obtained a medical degree from the medical school.

        Post Graduate Training – The location, dates, and types of training. Postgraduate training prepares physicians for the independent practice of medicine in a medical specialty.

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Specialty

Area of Specialty – The physician's area of practice (Urology, Orthopedics, Primary Care, etc.).

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Board Certifications

        Board Name – The name of the board that has certified the physician.

        General Certification – The field in which the physician is certified.

        Subspecialty – A narrow field within the specialty that the physician is certified.

A "Board Certified" physician has additional training in that medical specialty or has passed special exams to prove his/her competence in the specialty. The Board of Registration in Medicine only recognizes certification by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) for medical doctors (MDs), and certification by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) for osteopathic doctors (DOs). Physicians are not required to be "Board Certified", but many patients prefer to see physicians with these credentials.

        ABMS Board Certification – The ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialties) is a national organization that tests physicians in their specialty. The ABMS also sets standards for additional training for specialties. Physicians who meet these additional requirements are board certified by the ABMS.

        AOA Board Certification – The AOA (American Osteopathic Association) is a national organization that tests osteopathic doctors in their specialty. The AOA also sets standards for additional training for specialties. Physicians who meet these additional requirements are board certified by the AOA.

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Honors and Awards

Physicians are not required to submit this information, but patients find the information helpful in choosing a new physician.

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Professional Publications

Physicians are not required to submit this information, but patients find the information helpful in choosing a new physician. For example, a patient with a significant family history of diabetes may prefer a physician who has published research papers in this area.

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Malpractice Information

This section shows malpractice claims on which this doctor has made a payment. These include a settlement payment, an arbitration/mediation payment, or a payment on a court judgment. Pending (unresolved) malpractice claims and claims that are closed without payment are not listed here.

Consumers should read the extensive disclaimer and explanations that accompany the information. Just because a physician made a malpractice payment, do not assume that the physician is not a good doctor. Sometimes, the insurer decides to settle a claim without ever discussing it with the doctor. The best way to understand malpractice data is to talk to the doctor about it.

Malpractice payments are presented within the context of the physician's specialty. Some medical specialties are far more likely to have numerous and expensive payments. Comparing physicians to others in the same specialty accounts for these specialty differences.

        Physician's Specialty – The physician's area of specialty (Urology, Orthopedics, Primary Care, etc.)

        MA Physicians Licensed in this Specialty – The number of Massachusetts physicians licensed in this specialty

        MA Physicians Who Made Malpractice Payments – The number of Massachusetts physicians who have made malpractice payments

        Payments for this Physician – The number of malpractice payments made for this physician

       Payment Details for this Physician

        Date – The date(s) payment(s) were made for this physician

        Category of Payment – The payment category (below average, average, above average)

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Disciplinary and/or Criminal Actions

Criminal Convictions, Pleas and Admissions

This section lists criminal convictions for felonies or serious misdemeanors. For purposes of this section, conviction of a felony includes all guilty pleas, guilty findings, nolo contendere pleas, and admissions of sufficient facts, regardless of the disposition. “Conviction of a serious misdemeanor” includes all guilty pleas, guilty findings, and nolo contendere (no contest) pleas resulting in a sentence of incarceration or home confinement of any duration; all guilty pleas, guilty findings, and nolo contendere pleas resulting in a suspended sentence of incarceration or home confinement of 60 days or more; and any misdemeanor that served as a basis (alone or in combination with other findings) for Board discipline. The criminal action may or may not be related to the practice of medicine.

        Court – The court(s) in which this physician was charged with the reported felony or serious misdemeanor.

        Docket Number – The number assigned to the case by the court.

        Charge – The reported felony or serious misdemeanor.

        Plea or Finding – The final decision on the reported criminal case.

        Date (of charge) – The date the doctor was arraigned on the criminal charge(s).

        Sentence or other disposition – The final disposition of the case including any fine, term of community service or imprisonment imposed by the court.

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Health Care Facility Discipline

Whenever a Massachusetts health care facility suspends or revokes a physician's privileges at the health care facility, the Board of Medicine is informed. Details on the cause for the action should be requested from the physician. Usually, the Board of Medicine will not have additional information about the reason for the action available to consumers.

This section shows any involuntary restriction or revocation of the doctor's privileges at a health care facility for reasons related to the doctor's competence or character.

This section shows any voluntary resignation or nonrenewal of health care facility staff membership when offered by the doctor instead of or in settlement of a pending health care facility disciplinary matter that is related to the doctor's competence or character.

        Facility – The health care facility that disciplined the doctor.

        Facility Type  – The type of health care facility. Choices include: Hospital, Clinic, Nursing Home, and Other.

        Action Begin Date – The date on which the health care facility disciplinary action took effect.

        Action End Date – The date on which the health care facility disciplinary action ended.

        Action – The type of action taken by the health care facility against the doctor, e.g., revocation or suspension of privileges. This section reports certain serious disciplinary actions taken by health care facilities. It does not include all health care facility disciplinary actions.

        Basis or Allegation – The reason the health care facility took a disciplinary action against the doctor. When the doctor voluntarily resigned, restricted or failed to renew his privileges during a pending disciplinary action, this describes the charges that were pending against the doctor at the time of the voluntary resignation, restriction or nonrenewal.

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Board Discipline

When the Board takes final disciplinary action against a physician, it is noted on the profile indefinitely. Additional information about the discipline can be found on the Board's website in the "Disciplinary Action List" and the press release for the corresponding date. The Board of Medicine plans to add copies of the actual disciplinary action report to its website in the near future.

        Date – The date the Board disciplinary action was imposed.

        Case Number – The adjudicatory case number assigned by the Board.

        Action – The disciplinary action imposed by the Board.

        Instrument – The legal document the Board used to impose the disciplinary action.

        Cost – The amount of costs assessed by the Board, if any.

        Action Note – An explanation of the action taken by the Board.

        Fine Amount – The amount of the fine imposed by the Board.

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Out of State Discipline

This section shows disciplinary action taken by an out of state medical board.

        Date – The date on which the disciplinary action was imposed.

        State – The state in which the disciplinary action was imposed.

        Selected State License Number – The physician's license number for the state the disciplinary action was imposed.

        Comment – Additional information about the disciplinary action.

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