Insurance and Real Estate Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-471

Title:

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

Vote Date:

3/11/2008

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/4/2008

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Insurance and Real Estate Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill will provide the consumer with expanded health care profiles for all licensed and certified practitioners.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Jennifer Filippone, Chief, Practitioner Licensing and Investigations, Department of Public Health – Jennifer Filippone, Chief Practitioner Licensing and Investigations, Department of Public Health submitted written testimony outlining her concerns for HB 471. There are as follows:

1. The bill does not clearly identify all of the practitioners for which a profile would be mandated.

2. The bill would require the Department to expand physician profiles to include practitioners who are not within it regulatory purview.

3. The bill would require the Department to consult with the Connecticut Medical Examining Board and the Connecticut State Medical Society concerning practitioners other than physicians.

4. The bill does not include provision to address practitioners who do not comply with the reporting requirements.

5. Additional funding would be necessary to upgrade our information technology infrastructure and to carry out the activities associated with implementing a program of this magnitude, as these functions could not be absorbed within existing resources.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Connecticut State Medical Society – Connecticut State Medical Society submitted written testimony in favor of SB 471. This proposed legislation supplements important legislation passed several years ago by this General Assembly. The legislation expands the profiling system to include many other health care professionals who provide direct patient care to Connecticut Residents. As health care is focused on a team approach, information on all members of the health care team needs to be available in a manner that is easy to comprehend and follows the familiar format of the physician profile. This will allow the public to more fully understand patient safety and quality in Connecticut, providing critical information to guide their choice of providers.

Brittmarie Harwe, Co-Founder of Chiropractic Stroke Awareness Group of Wethersfield, CT – Brittmarie Harwe, Co-Founder of Chiropractic Stroke Awareness Group submitted written testimony and spokein favor of SB 471. Almost 15 year ago, Brittmarie went to a Chiropractor because I had a sore shoulder and neck. She had a stroke immediately following a chiropractic cervical adjustment. The stroke has forever changed her life and the lives of her family. She later discovered that this chiropractor had a large malpractice settlement. Chiropractors, who are call physicians and use the title DR., must be included in the Physician's profile system. SB 471 will provide the public with important information about chiropractors that is already available for only medical and homeopathic physicians.

Janet Levy, Woodbridge, CT – Janet Levy submitted written testimony and spoke in favor of SB 471. Janet went to a chiropractor one day for a simple sore shoulder and ended up having a major stroke because he tore a vertebral artery. She strongly encourages you to include chiropractors and any other health care providers who refer to themselves as physicians or doctors.

Gina Carucci, CT Chiro, Connecticut Chiropractic Association – Gina Carucci of Connecticut Chiropractic Association submitted written testimony and spoke in favor of SB 471. This legislation will extend the physician profile that is accessible to the public on the DPH web site to other health care providers who are defined in the Connecticut Insurance Information and Privacy Protection Act, Section 38a-976. Just as last year, the Connecticut Chiropractic Association supports this bill as it treats all professions in a similar category, equally. It is fair and responsible.

Gina would also like to make one small amendment for SB 471. The draft permits physicians to list in their profile any particular certifications they have received from a specialty board, but does not provide a similar opportunity to the other professions. We would ask that the bill extend the same opportunity to the other professions listed in the profile, and we will provide you with language to do so on line 30.

Overall, SB 471 will provide more transparency and information to health care consumers and the public.

Connecticut Hospital Association – The bill, as constructed, contains some concerning elements that we wish to bring to your attention:

1. The current physician profile required a physician to report the name of hospitals and nursing homes that have granted him or her staff privileges. The change in SB 471 would extend this reporting to a much broader set of healthcare providers. Unfortunately, that extension would cause significant confusion.

2. Subpart (b)(14) and subsection (c) raise significant concerns because it is unclear whether they refer only to health care providers against whom a claims is made personally, and could be misinterpreted to apply to providers who were involved in an untoward event or claim situation. We recommend the following lanuage to resolve this ambiguity:

(b)(14) For individuals who have been specifically named as defendants or in the case of arbitration as respondents, [T]to the extent available, [and] consistent with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, all [medical] professional court judgments and all [medical] professional malpractice arbitration awards against the [physician] health care provider in which a payment was awarded to a complaining party during the last ten years, and all settlements of [medical] professional malpractice claims against the [physician] health care provider in which a payment was made to a complaining party within the last ten years;

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

NONE

Reported by: Anne Ramsey

Date: 03/24/2008