OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 471 (File 172, as amended by Senate “A” and “B”)*

AN ACT EXTENDING THE STATE PHYSICIAN PROFILE TO CERTAIN OTHER HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS.

SUMMARY:

Under current law the Department of Public Health (DPH), after consulting with the Connecticut Medical Examining Board, and the Connecticut State Medical Society, must collect certain information to create an individual public profile on each physician licensed to practice medicine in Connecticut. This bill extends this requirement to dentists, chiropractors, optometrists, podiatrists, naturopaths, dental hygienists, advanced practice registered nurses, and physical therapists. Consistent with existing law for physicians, the bill requires DPH to consult with the appropriate state board. It also makes other conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2010

*Senate Amendment “A” changes the effective date from January 1, 2008 to January 1, 2010.

*Senate Amendment “B” requires the newly covered health care provider's profile to include (1) current certifications that specialty boards of the provider's profession issued him or her and (2) appointments to a Connecticut medical school faculty.

INFORMATION INCLUDED IN THE PUBLIC PROFILE

Education and Practice Information

The profiles must contain information about the health care provider's medical education and practice including:

1. professional school names and graduation dates;

2. the site, training, discipline, and dates of postgraduate medical education;

3. practice specialty;

4. the address of his or her primary practice location;

5. the languages, other than English, spoken at the practice;

6. the current certifications a specialty board of the provider's profession issued him or her;

7. appointments to a Connecticut medical school faculty and an indication as to whether he or she has current responsibility for graduate medical school education;

8. the hospitals and nursing homes where he or she has privileges;

9. a list of publications in peer-reviewed literature;

10. a list of professional services, activities, and awards;

11. an indication as to whether he or she is actively involved in patient care; and

12. the name of the provider's professional liability insurance carrier.

A provider can choose to have his or her profile omit information about his or her publications, professional services, activities, and awards. DPH must inform providers of this option.

Disciplinary Actions

The profile must indicate any disciplinary actions DPH has taken against the health care provider or any by the appropriate state board or any professional licensing or disciplinary body in another jurisdiction. It must also include any hospital disciplinary actions taken against him or her in the past 10 years resulting in (1) termination or revocation of privileges for a professional disciplinary reason; (2) resignation from, or non-renewal of, professional staff membership; or (3) restriction of privileges in lieu of or in settling a pending disciplinary case related to professional competence.

Criminal Convictions

The profile must contain a description of criminal convictions for felonies within the last 10 years. Conviction of a felony means the health care provider pled guilty, was found guilty by a court, or was convicted by a plea of no contest.

Medical Malpractice Claims

The profile must contain, to the extent available, all professional malpractice court judgments, arbitration awards, or settlements against the health care provider where payment was made during the last 10 years.

Duty to Update Information

A provider must notify DPH of any changes in the information other than publications and professional services, activities, and awards within 60 days of the change.

Prohibited Disclosure

DPH may not disclose to the public pending malpractice claims or actual amounts paid by or for the provider because of a judgment, award, or settlement.

Advance Copy to Providers

DPH must give the provider a copy of his profile before it is released to the public. Profile amendments or modifications not given by the health care provider or produced by DPH must be given to the provider to review before release. The provider can challenge the accuracy of any information in the profile and provide a written statement supporting the challenge.

Internet

DPH must have an Internet web site so the public can get the profiles.

Other Disclosure Laws

The law specifies that other state laws that would limit, prohibit, or penalize the disclosure of provider information do not apply to the provider profiles.

False Statements

All information from the provider is subject to penalties for 2nd degree false statement, which is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $ 2,000, or both.

Action Against a Provider's License

The law allows the appropriate board or licensing authority to restrict, suspend, revoke, or take other appropriate action against a provider's license for failure to provide DPH with information needed to complete a profile.

BACKGROUND

Related Legislation

SB 483, File 267, which the Judiciary Committee reported on March 12, makes similar, but not identical changes.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Insurance and Real Estate Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

19

Nay

0

(03/11/2008)

Public Health Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

27

Nay

0

(04/16/2008)