Each year, the Federation of State Medical Boards publishes the Summary of Board Actions, a compilation of disciplinary actions initiated by its 70 member medical boards. In addition to providing disciplinary data, the report includes information about the context in which each board operates, including standards of proof required when prosecuting cases and the health care professions regulated.
This year’s report includes disciplinary data for each board from 2005-09. During 2009, state medical boards took 5,721 actions against physicians, an increase of 342 actions over 2008. To view annual Summary of Board Actions reports since 1990, please go to “Physician Data Center” at www.fsmb.org.
Because states operate with different financial resources, levels of autonomy, legal constraints and staffing levels, the FSMB discourages using data from this report to compare or rank states. The Summary of Board Actions is most useful in tracking trends in physician discipline within each state over time.
To assist in tracking disciplinary trends, the report includes the Composite Action Index. Designed by the FSMB, the CAI is a weighted average of disciplinary actions taken against physicians practicing in a state, as well as all physicians licensed by that state. Actions affecting physicians’ licenses, such as revocations and suspensions, are weighted more heavily in a state’s CAI. (For more detailed information on how the CAI is calculated, please see the Definitions section on page 3 of the report.)
The CAI is a barometer that can signal significant changes in a medical board’s disciplinary activity level. Changes in a board’s funding, staffing levels, changes in state law and many other factors can impact the number of actions taken by a board. Click here to see the full report.