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FOI Leader Hopes Legislature Will Look At Rules On Doctor Information

Statewide Iowa — The leader of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council is hoping the Iowa Legislature takes action after a recent Iowa Supreme Court decision preventing the state Board of Medical Examiners from releasing preliminary information in the investigations of complaints against doctors.

FOI executive director, Randy Evans, says the Medical Board had done this for many years.

Evans says the Supreme Court ruling found the law doesn’t allow information to be released until the final settlement.

Evans says this is important information that could impact the lives of people seeking medical treatment.

Evans says doctors do need to be protected from unsubstantiated claims but he believes the Medical Board has done a good job of investigating. He says there are some 600 accusations each year against the 66-hundred physicians in the state.

He says the justices noted the tough situation of protecting the public and the physicians in this case.

Evans says the FOI Council supports the legislature looking at the issue and he says it’s likely the medical board will pursue action with the legislature. The case involved allegations against former University of Iowa doctor, Domenico Calcaterra, a cardiothoracic surgeon, who now practices out of state. He reached a settlement where he accepted a citation and warning and agreed to pay a five-thousand-dollar civil penalty. Calcaterra later sued, saying information still on the medical board’s website was hurting his medical career.

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