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date: 28 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on professional and regulatory bodies to which patients can lodge complaints and other concerns over the quality of care provided by medical practitioners and healthcare institutions. It first considers state regulation of professional licensing boards, together with the procedures employed by medical boards for patient complaints, as well as the challenges and criticisms faced by such boards with respect to their approach to complaint investigation and disciplinary enforcement. It then turns to federal regulation of providers and institutions that participate in Medicare and Medicaid, with particular reference to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It also examines private organizations, such as the Joint Commission (formerly the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Health Organizations) and specialty medical associations. Finally, the article looks at online consumer reviews and healthcare ratings websites as alternative mechanisms for patient reporting and complaints.

Keywords: patients, state regulation, professional licensing boards, medical boards, patient complaints, federal regulation, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, private organizations, Joint Commission, specialty medical associations

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