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Wyoming's Board of Medicine Given Low Marks For Keeping Patients Informed

A national magazine has given Wyoming’s Board of Medicine low marks for failing to provide easy access to the disciplinary records of doctors in the state. 

Wyoming scored 27 out of a possible 100 points, placing the State Board of Medicine 6th from the bottom. California received the highest score with an 84. Wyoming Board of Medicine Director Kevin Bohenblust said his office has worked hard to make its website more user friendly and provide important information for residents. 

“Working very hard to make our web page far more accessible and far more informing. In the last year we got a lot of compliments on it and we’ve got more things coming on-line in the next few months. Will this give us a little bit more incentive? Absolutely. Is it something where we feel like we haven’t been doing our job? I really don’t think so.”

Consumer Reports said it’s important that Wyoming residents know if their doctor has been put on probation, made malpractice payouts, or been convicted of crimes. But Bohenblust said some of that is information the board can’t provide.

“They’d like to have criminal conviction information, now first of all, we don’t do 100 percent criminal background checks, we have not been given that authority or directive. We can do it selectively, otherwise we rely on self-disclosure from physicians. Similarly we will get reports of malpractice settlements but that’s not on our list of public information, generally by statute that’s non-public. And so our hands are tied at that point.”

Consumer Reports also thought Wyoming’s website was confusing. Bohenblust disagrees, but he said they are always looking to improve—and have made huge strides in recent months.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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