Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 471

February Session, 2008

 

LCO No. 2170

 

*02170_______INS*

Referred to Committee on Insurance and Real Estate

 

Introduced by:

 

(INS)

 

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

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 20-13j of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2008):

(a) For purposes of this section: "Department" means the Department of Public Health, [and] "physician" means a physician licensed pursuant to this chapter, and "medical professional" has the same meaning as provided in section 38a-976.

(b) The department, after consultation with the Connecticut Medical Examining Board and the Connecticut State Medical Society, shall collect the following information to create an individual profile on each physician and medical professional for dissemination to the public:

(1) The name of the medical school attended by the physician and the date of graduation, or the applicable school attended or training received by the medical professional and the date of graduation or completion of such training;

(2) The site, training, discipline and inclusive dates of the physician's postgraduate medical education, or other training or education for a medical professional, required pursuant to the applicable licensure or certification section of the general statutes;

(3) The area of the physician's or medical professional's practice specialty;

(4) The address of the physician's or medical professional's primary practice location or primary practice locations, if more than one;

(5) A list of languages, other than English, spoken at the physician's or medical professional's primary practice locations;

(6) An indication of any disciplinary action taken against the physician or medical professional by the department, the state board or any professional licensing or disciplinary body in another jurisdiction;

(7) Any current certifications issued to the physician by a specialty board of the American Board of Medical Specialties;

(8) The hospitals and nursing homes at which the physician or medical professional, where applicable, has admitting privileges;

(9) Any appointments of the physician or medical professional to Connecticut medical school faculties and an indication as to whether the physician or medical professional has current responsibility for graduate medical education;

(10) A listing of the physician's or medical professional's publications in peer reviewed literature;

(11) A listing of the physician's or medical professional's professional services, activities and awards;

(12) Any hospital disciplinary actions against the physician or medical professional that resulted, within the past ten years, in the termination or revocation of the physician's or medical professional's hospital privileges for a medical disciplinary cause or reason, or the resignation from, or nonrenewal of, medical staff membership or the restriction of privileges at a hospital taken in lieu of or in settlement of a pending disciplinary case related to medical competence in such hospital;

(13) A description of any criminal conviction of the physician or medical professional for a felony within the last ten years. For the purposes of this subdivision, a physician or medical professional shall be deemed to be convicted of a felony if the physician or medical professional pleaded guilty or was found or adjudged guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction or has been convicted of a felony by the entry of a plea of nolo contendere;

(14) To the extent available, and consistent with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, all medical malpractice court judgments and all medical malpractice arbitration awards against the physician or medical professional in which a payment was awarded to a complaining party during the last ten years, and all settlements of medical malpractice claims against the physician or medical professional in which a payment was made to a complaining party within the last ten years;

(15) An indication as to whether the physician or medical professional is actively involved in patient care; and

(16) The name of the physician's or medical professional's professional liability insurance carrier.

(c) Any report of a medical malpractice judgment or award against a physician or medical professional made under subdivision (14) of subsection (b) of this section shall comply with the following: (1) Dispositions of paid claims shall be reported in a minimum of three graduated categories indicating the level of significance of the award or settlement; (2) information concerning paid medical malpractice claims shall be placed in context by comparing an individual physician's or medical professional's medical malpractice judgments, awards and settlements to the experience of other physicians or medical professionals licensed or certified in Connecticut who perform procedures and treat patients with a similar degree of risk; (3) all judgment award and settlement information reported shall be limited to amounts actually paid by or on behalf of the physician or medical professional; and (4) comparisons of malpractice payment data shall be accompanied by (A) an explanation of the fact that physicians or medical professionals, if applicable, treating certain patients and performing certain procedures are more likely to be the subject of litigation than others and that the comparison given is for physicians or medical professionals who perform procedures and treat patients with a similar degree of risk; (B) a statement that the report reflects data for the last ten years and the recipient should take into account the number of years the physician or medical professional has been in practice when considering the data; (C) an explanation that an incident giving rise to a malpractice claim may have occurred years before any payment was made due to the time lawsuits take to move through the legal system; (D) an explanation of the effect of treating high-risk patients on a physician's malpractice history or medical professional's malpractice history, if applicable; and (E) an explanation that malpractice cases may be settled for reasons other than liability and that settlements are sometimes made by the insurer without the physician's consent or medical professional's consent, if applicable. Information concerning all settlements shall be accompanied by the following statement: "Settlement of a claim may occur for a variety of reasons that do not necessarily reflect negatively on the professional competence or conduct of the physician or medical professional. A payment in settlement of a medical malpractice action or claim should not be construed as creating a presumption that medical malpractice has occurred."

(d) Pending malpractice claims against a physician or medical professional and actual amounts paid by or on behalf of a physician or medical professional in connection with a malpractice judgment, award or settlement shall not be disclosed by the department to the public. This subsection shall not be construed to prevent the department from investigating and disciplining a physician or medical professional on the basis of medical malpractice claims that are pending.

(e) Prior to the initial release of a physician's or medical professional's profile to the public, the department shall provide the physician or medical professional with a copy of the physician's or medical professional's profile. Additionally, any amendments or modifications to the profile that were not supplied by the physician or medical professional or not generated by the department itself shall be provided to the physician or medical professional for review prior to release to the public. A physician or medical professional shall have sixty days from the date the department mails or delivers the prepublication copy to dispute the accuracy of any information that the department proposes to include in such profile and to submit a written statement setting forth the basis for such dispute. If a physician or medical professional does not notify the department that the physician or medical professional disputes the accuracy of such information within such sixty-day period, the department shall make the profile available to the public and the physician or medical professional shall be deemed to have approved the profile and all information contained therein. If a physician or medical professional notifies the department that the physician or medical professional disputes the accuracy of such information in accordance with this subsection, the physician's or medical professional's profile shall be released to the public without the disputed information, but with a statement to the effect that information in the identified category is currently the subject of a dispute and is therefore not currently available. Not later than thirty days after the department's receipt of notice of a dispute, the department shall review any information submitted by the physician or medical professional in support of such dispute and determine whether to amend the information contained in the profile. In the event that the department determines not to amend the disputed information, the disputed information shall be included in the profile with a statement that such information is disputed by the physician or medical professional.

(f) A physician or medical professional may elect to have the physician's or medical professional's profile omit information provided pursuant to subdivisions (9) to (11), inclusive, of subsection (b) of this section. In collecting information for such profiles and in the dissemination of such profiles, the department shall inform physicians or medical professional that they may choose not to provide the information described in said subdivisions (9) to (11), inclusive.

(g) Each profile created pursuant to this section shall include the following statement: "This profile contains information that may be used as a starting point in evaluating the physician or medical professional. This profile should not, however, be your sole basis for selecting a physician or medical professional."

(h) The department shall maintain a web site on the Internet for use by the public in obtaining profiles of physicians or medical professional.

(i) No state law that would otherwise prohibit, limit or penalize disclosure of information about a physician or medical professional shall apply to disclosure of information required by this section.

(j) All information provided by a physician or medical professional pursuant to this section shall be subject to the penalties of false statement, pursuant to section 53a-157b.

(k) Except for the information in subdivisions (1), (2), (10) and (11) of subsection (b) of this section, a physician or medical professional shall notify the department of any changes to the information required in [said] subsection (b) not later than sixty days after such change.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2008

20-13j

Statement of Purpose:

To require medical professionals, as defined in section 38a-976 of the general statutes, to submit information to the state physician profile, as specified in section 20-13j of the general statutes.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]