After being sued more than a dozen times for medical malpractice, an Illinois doctor is still able to treat patients. What is even more concerning to some is that an online database created by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation has yet to update its public files with some of the doctor’smedical malpractice settlements. The online database went live in October and is meant to provide patients with current information about practicing health care professionals in the state.
A spokeswoman for the department stated that since the database became available to the public just a few months ago, the department is still adding some older cases to the site. Two settlements that are not listed on the site under the doctor, who is a physician in Peoria, included settlements in the amounts of $255,000 and $17,500. Although the website includes information about settlement amounts and disciplinary actions, the site does not provide other details about medical malpractice cases.
Since 2010, malpractice suits filed against the doctor in the state of Illinois have resulted in more than $1 million in settlements. The doctor has allegedly been investigated by the Department of Professional Regulation, but the department cannot discipline doctors for medical malpractice cases unless the cases involve the doctor repeating similar mistakes or if a mistake was made as a result of gross negligence.
Many of the medical malpractice claims filed against the doctor and his company, Health Professionals Limited, cite substandard care provided to patients who were incarcerated. Recently, a family who filed a claim against the doctor and his company for the wrongful death of a Sangamon County Jail inmate was settled. The inmate died in 2007 after the doctor failed to treat the inmate for a perforated ulcer. The doctor has also been fined for withholding prescription drugs from patients.
Source: The Illinois Times, “Despite malpractice payouts, sheriffs still use jail doctor,” Bruce Rushton, Jan. 19, 2012