FSMB tracking legislation to restrict medical board authority
The Federation of State Medical Boards is tracking legislation introduced in fourteen states that would restrict a medical board's authority to discipline doctors for spreading misinformation related to COVID-19. FSMB developed a policy statement that doctors spreading COVID misinformation could face disciplinary action. FSMB maintains that the statement is merely applying COVID-specific language to a rule that has long been in place - doctors who engage in behavior that puts patients at risk can be subject to disciplinary action.
Legislation in Tennessee was directed at the medical board's COVID policy, making it more difficult to investigate complaints about COVID misinformation.
Pending legislation in Florida would ban the medical board from taking disciplinary action against a doctor for what they say unless "direct physical harm" of a patient occurred.
A survey by FSMB in late 2021 indicated that two-thirds of state medical boards had seen an increase in misinformation complaints.