Jay Riseman, M.D., had a 15-year career as an Illinois surgeon that included facing 13 medical malpractice lawsuits. An attorney with the state's medical board referred to him as an “imminent danger to the public” during one of his many disciplinary hearings. He later relocated out-of-state and the majority of his history did not follow him. There are approximately 500 current doctors who were the subject of disciplinary action in the state and have since begun practicing in another with a “clean” medical license. Dr. Riseman is currently in good-standing and practicing in Missouri, where his license shows no record of his history. He also has a Kansas medical license, which was established after agreeing to perform no surgeries within the state.
One case involved the death of an infant that was just two-months old after he prescribed a lethal dosage of a laxative that well exceeded the amount any adult would use. With Riseman's surgical career in Illinois virtually on “life support,” he applied for licensure in several other states. According to MedPage Today and the Journal-Sentinel, his request was denied in Colorado but later he became licensed in Kansas, under an agreement to refrain from surgical practice. A document from the database of the Kansas State Board shows that in 2002 his Illinois license was subjected to an “emergency suspension” for a minimum of five years. In 2007, his license was restored, yet a note below indicated that he was subject “to thirteen malpractice actions.”
In recent years, Dr. Riseman has resurrected his medical career. Laurel Gifford, a representative with St. Luke's Health System, explained that he has undergone training for a transition to practicing in a hospice setting. He has since completed a fellowship in hospice and palliative care at the University of Kansas Hospital. Last year, Dr. Riseman was the recipient of an award for distinguished service with the Missouri Hospice and Palliative Care Association.
State Leaders Respond
Kansas Senator Barbara Bollier, a retired physician, found that Riseman's medical license in Kansas contains no restrictions; however, he was granted the license specifically based on his pledge to not perform surgery. She speculated that because many jobs require an unrestricted license, the board likely made an accommodation for him. She explained that agencies generally do not want to hinder a person's ability to earn a living. Missouri Representative Cody Smith says the key should be transparency. He feels that a person seeking care from a doctor should be able to see incidents of disciplinary action.
National Practitioner Data Bank
In 1986, Congress implemented the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB). This database was to function as a centralized location that operated across state lines for access to key data including disciplinary measures and actions involving medical malpractice that pertain to physicians, dentists, and many other medical professions. Division Director David Loewenstein stated that the NPDB does not offer a “full picture” of a provider's past. The data within the NPDB is also inaccessible to the public; many feel this confidentiality runs contrary to the original intentions. Despite efforts to do so, USA Today reports that many state medical boards simply fail to report their data to any central or universal database.
Lori Cory of the Missouri Department of Insurance explained that despite having authority to post the disciplinary actions of other states, the Board's available resources are insufficient to do so. Kansas is currently one of only about 16 states that have established procedures that facilitate the sharing of data. The result is a largely disconnected flow of information, much of which is inaccessible to those who use healthcare services.
Attorneys for Victims of Medical Malpractice in Central Illinois
If you or a loved one has been the victim of negligent medical care, you may be able to recover significant monetary compensation for injuries incurred and related hardship. The attorneys at Benassi & Benassi, P.C. have the experience necessary to obtain justice for you in cases involving birth injuries, anesthesia or surgical errors, misdiagnosis, medication-related mistakes and more. To consult with an attorney, contact our Peoria office today at (309) 674-3556.