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NY: revocation for negligence & incompetence: failing to maintain accurate medical records.

CASE FACTS: Dr. Paul Maglione, a physician licensed to practice medicine in New York since 1959, was charged by the Bureau of Professional Medical Conduct (Bureau) with 49 specifications of misconduct, including practicing medicine with gross negligence and gross incompetence as well as, inter alia, failing to maintain accurate medical records. All charges related to his care of eight patients (hereinafter referred to as patients A through H). Following a hearing, a Hearing Committee of the State Board for Professional Medical Conduct sustained six charges of practicing medicine negligently on more than one occasion and eight charges of failing to maintain accurate medical records. However, charges of gross negligence and gross incompetence were not sustained. The Hearing Committee suspended the physician's license to practice medicine in New York for five years, stayed the suspension, and placed the physician on probation with a practice monitor for that period. The suspension was affirmed, Dr. Maglione brought suit seeking the annulment of the suspension, arguing that he was deprived of due process.

COURT'S OPINION: The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, affirmed the suspension. The court held, inter alia, that an administrative determination may be annulled when "prejudice so permeated the underlying hearing as to render it unfair." However, "[m]erely alleging bias is not sufficient to set aside an administrative determination. Rather, the party alleging bias must set forth a factual demonstration supporting the allegation as well as prove that the administrative outcome flowed from it." After careful analysis, the court concluded that Dr. Maglione's claims were either unsupported by the record or amounted to no more than allegations of bias with no factual demonstration supporting the allegations or the administrative outcome that flowed from it. The failure of the physician to make and keep medical records was a focal point of court's decision. The court concluded that a physician is guilty of professional misconduct for "failing to maintain a record for each patient, which accurately reflects the evaluation and treatment of the patent." Medical records, which "fail to convey objectively meaningful medical information concerning the patient treated to other physician is inadequate." Dr. Maglione did not even address the finding regarding his failure to keep adequate medical records with regard to at least two of the patients. The court further noted that Dr. Maglione's own expert medical witness agreed that his records were "inadequate." This case illustrates the importance of keeping accurate medical records on every patient. Maglione v. NY State Dept. of Health, 779 N.Y.Supp.2d 319 -NY (2004)

Meet the Editor & Publisher: A. David Tammelleo, JD, is a nationally recognized authority on health care law. Practicing law for over 40 years, he concentrates in health care law with the Providence, R.I., firm of A. David Tammelleo & Associates. He has presented seminars on medical, nursing and hospital law throughout the United States. In addition to his writings as Editor of Medical Law's, Nursing Law's & Hospital Law's Reagan Reports, his legal articles have been published in the most prestigious health law journals. A prolific writer, his thousands of articles, as well as his achievements as an attorney and lecturer, have won him recognition in Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Marquis Who's Who in American Law, and Who's Who in America.
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Title Annotation:Medical Malpractice Cases
Author:Tammelleo, A. David
Publication:Medical Law's Regan Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2004
Words:543
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