Michael Skolnik was 22 when he suffered brain trauma that required brain surgery. Michael’s family alleged that the surgeon who performed the brain surgery on Michael jostled his brain during the surgery, resulting in Michael requiring constant care for two years before he died, leaving $4.8 million in medical bills. It was only later that Michael’s family learned that the surgeon who had operated on Michael’s brain had performed that surgical procedure only once before, and that the surgeon had a prior medical malpractice claim against him. Michael’s family insisted that they would have selected another surgeon to operate on Michael had they known about the surgeon’s limited experience and the prior medical malpractice claim against him.
Colorado recently enacted a law it called the “Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act of 2010” (24-34-110, effective July 1, 2010) in order to provide transparency to the public regarding the competency of certain health care providers so that the public could be better informed regarding health care decisions. This law requires that on and after July 1, 2011, each applicant for a new license, certification, or registration or to renew, reinstate, or reactivate a license, certification, or registration in Colorado, must provide certain specified, detailed information about the applicant, including but not limited to information regarding public disciplinary action taken against the applicant in another state or country and information regarding any final judgment, settlement, or arbitration award paid on behalf of the applicant on or after September 1, 1990 for medical malpractice. Source
The Colorado State Board of Medical Examiners has reported that the total number of active licensees in Colorado grew from 16,501 in 2000 to 22,737 in 2009. While the Board took action on 75 complaints in 2000, it took action on 140 complaints (nearly double) in 2009.
There were 12 suspension or cessation of practice actions taken by the Board in 2000 and 27 actions taken in 2009. There were 24 stipulations, practice limitations, or other conditions placed on practice in 2000, which grew to 38 in 2009. The Board issued 19 letters of admonition in 2000; in 2009, that number grew to 47.
The Colorado Medical Board can (and does) issue summary suspensions of licenses when the Board determines during an emergency hearing that the licensee deliberately and willfully violated the Colorado Medical Practice Act and/or that the public health, safety, or welfare imperatively requires an emergency action. As an example, the Board recently issued an Order dated September 23, 2011 against a Colorado physician who had held a license to practice medicine in Colorado since 2000 because the Board determined that the doctor provided substandard care to multiple patients that included prescribing excessive amounts of narcotics for the patients’ documented injuries or in excess of the recommended daily maximum dosages, and the Board also determined that the doctor allowed multiple early refills of narcotics for lost prescriptions. The Board’s Order of Summary Suspension for this doctor can be read by clicking here .
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn if the medical negligence of a medical care provider in Colorado or in another state in the U.S. caused serious or permanent injuries or death to an innocent victim of medical malpractice. Visit our website or call us toll free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be able to assist you with your medical malpractice claim.