Public Health Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5045

Title:

AN ACT REQUIRING HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TO DISPLAY PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION BADGES DURING WORK HOURS.

Vote Date:

3/14/2011

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/9/2011

File No.:

266

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Public Health Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

To require Health Care providers who provide direct care to patients to wear identification badges whenever providing health care services in a health care facility so that patients can easily identify who is providing their care.

Substitute language made the following changes:

● Deletes reference to health care facility for the disabled,; substance abuse treatment facility; a facility engaged in providing services for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment or care of human health conditions, including facilities operated and maintained by any state agency, and a residential facility for persons with mental retardation licensed pursuant to section 17a-227 of the general statutes.

● Adds at end of Section 2 subsection (b)... (2) any exemptions to the requirements of this subsection necessary to ensure the safety of patients and health care providers in surgical settings or other sterile environments.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

State Representative Michele Cook: It is important for health care employees who provide direct patient care to wear a photographic identification badge that includes the name of the health care facility, the name of the health care provide, and their type of license or job title.

This will allow health care providers to easily identify one another; and patients will know they are receiving care from a trained professional. It will provide an additional layer of safety in medical facilities benefiting both the employer and patients.

Patricia Rehmer, MSN, Commissioner Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMAS): Clients receiving psychiatric services may view this measure as creating additional stigma for them in their communities. We request language be included to allow individuals who provide psychiatric services in the community to wear a badge that is more generic in nature and does not identify the agency if it is solely an agency that provides psychiatric services.

Peter O'Meara, Commissioner, Department of Developmental Services (DDS): DDS has concerns in mandating the display of badges by the department's employees and the employees of our private providers and contractors during work hours.

First is the concern for the protection of the department's consumers, our employees and our provider's employees.


Second is concern for the protection of our consumers
' rights under HIPAA. The requirement of visible badges would negate our mission to have individuals with intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder become full members of their community, free from discrimination, and to have all the rights and responsibilities of any Connecticut citizen.

Third, DDS would be required to reissue new photo badges to roughly 3000 employees. Staff time and labor would be required would be considerable and have a real impact in terms of re-directing staff hours to the project. In addition, there will be costs incurred by our private providers.

There is also the question of whether persons licensed to operate a Community Training Home would be required to wear badges at all times in their own home,.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Karen J. Nichols, American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and Darrin D'Agostino, Connecticut Osteopathic Medical Society (COMS): COMS is in strong support of requiring health care providers working in facilities or institutions to wear name badges identifying the type of license under which they are practicing; however, COMS position is that physicians in private practice should not be required to wear such name badges, while providing care to patients in their office.

John Satterfield, M.D.: Visible identification badges provide patients with peace of mind, knowing they are being treated by the appropriate medical professional. Requiring health care providers to wear identification badges would enhance patient safety by reducing the potential for confusion.

Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS): At a time when healthcare services are becoming more integrated and an increasing number of healthcare providers are interacting independently with patients, clearly identifying the type of healthcare provider at point of contact is critical. Furthermore, it is important to increase patient understanding of who is providing medical care and their educational training and background. This can only be done through increased transparency and clarity in badge identification.

However, we do not believe that it is the intent of the proponents to include solo and small practice physicians under this legislation.

Denis Lafreniere, M.D., Connecticut Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery Society: It is generally accepted that confusion over provider and staff identities can adversely affect the patient's care and understanding of their health issues. This bill will help remedy the problem.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Alyssa Goduti, Vice President for Public Policy, Connecticut Community Providers Association (CCPA): The bill raises concerns for CCPA:

1. Safety concerns – If staff wear photo IDs clients would be readily identified as having specific disabilities. This may foster discrimination, feed into existing prejudices and create unnecessary and unwanted attention.

2. Privacy Rights – It would identify clients' disabilities, which contradicts efforts to integrate individuals seamlessly into the community.

3. Cost Concerns – Any additional cost passed on to community providers to implement this legislation would take away resources that should be focused on client care.

Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA): The mandated use of identification badges with specific information in the hospital setting is far more complex than it may seem. Replacing all existing badges with a Connecticut –specific standard issue badge, would be an unnecessary cost and would draw resources away from direct patient care.

In addition, key areas of patient safety in hospitals are affected by the details and protocols for identification badges.

We request a new subsection be added:

Subsection (c): A hospital shall be deemed in compliance with the provisions of this act if it is in compliance with The Joint Commission's identification standards.

Reported by: Randall Graff

Date: March 15, 2011