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‘3 strikes’ toll to date? Zero

By Carol Gentry
9/11/2009 © Health News Florida

No Florida physicians have lost their licenses under the “3 strikes and you’re out” amendment to the Florida Constitution in the four years since it took effect, the Department of Health said late Thursday.

The “3 strikes” provision as passed by voters in 2004 said Florida physicians would lose their state medical license if they were found to have committed malpractice in three cases. Malpractice findings can come from courts, arbitration or disciplinary action by a medical board.

However, the Legislature’s “enabling legislation” enacted the following spring said the malpractice findings from courts or arbitration had to be verified by the medical board. That enabling legislation has now come under a court challenge, described in a Health News Florida story on Thursday.

In its release, DOH said the Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine have revoked or accepted permanent relinquishment of the licenses of 64 physicians since July 1, 2005, the date on which the “3 strikes” legislation took effect. But all of those actions were based on violations unrelated to the “3 strikes” provision.

It is not clear from the information provided whether the medical boards have considered and rejected cases that came from the “3 strikes” provision, or whether none of those cases has come up yet. 

--Contact Carol Gentry at 727-410-3266 or Carol.Gentry@HealthNewsFlorida.org.