The American health care system may be buckling under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic, but one number is inexplicably falling.
Disciplinary actions against doctors were down sharply in the first 9 months of 2020, with 4,393 adverse action reports recorded against physicians in the National Practitioner Data Bank, a federal registry of health care professionals and facilities. That compares with 5,225 reports in the same period in 2019, a nearly 16% decline, according to figures provided to CNBC by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The totals include 3,752 actions taken by state licensing boards compared with 4,521 in the same period in 2019. Also in 2020, through…