February Session, 2008
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 Section 20-13j of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2008):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 the purposes of this section:
(1) "Department" means the Department of Public Health; [,] and ["physician" means a physician licensed pursuant to this chapter]
(2) "Health care provider" means: (A) A physician licensed under this chapter; (B) a dentist licensed under chapter 379; (C) a chiropractor licensed under chapter 372; (D) an optometrist licensed under chapter 380; (E) a podiatrist licensed under chapter 375; (F) a natureopath licensed under chapter 373; (G) a dental hygienist licensed under chapter 379a; (H) an advanced practice registered nurse licensed under chapter 378; or (I) a physical therapist licensed under chapter 376.
(b) The department, after consultation with the Connecticut Medical Examining Board, [and] the Connecticut State Medical Society, or any other appropriate state board, shall collect the following information to create an individual profile on each [physician] health care provider for dissemination to the public:
(1) The name of the medical or dental school, chiropractic college, school or college of optometry, school or college of chiropody or podiatry, school or college of natureopathy, school of dental hygiene, school of physical therapy or other school or institution giving instruction in the healing arts attended by the [physician] health care provider and the date of graduation;
(2) The site, training, discipline and inclusive dates of [the physician's] any completed postgraduate [medical] education or other professional education required pursuant to the applicable licensure section of the general statutes;
(3) The area of the [physician's] health care provider's practice specialty;
(4) The address of the [physician's] health care provider'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] health care provider's primary practice locations;
(6) An indication of any disciplinary action taken against the [physician] health care provider by the department, the appropriate state board or any professional licensing or disciplinary body in another jurisdiction;
(7) [Any] With respect to a physician, 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 has admitting] health care provider has been granted privileges;
(9) [Any] With respect to a physician, any appointments of the physician to a Connecticut medical school [faculties] faculty and an indication as to whether the physician has current responsibility for graduate medical education;
(10) A listing of the [physician's] health care provider's publications in peer reviewed literature;
(11) A listing of the [physician's] health care provider's professional services, activities and awards;
(12) Any hospital disciplinary actions against the [physician] health care provider that resulted, within the past ten years, in the termination or revocation of the [physician's] health care provider's hospital privileges for a [medical] professional disciplinary cause or reason, or the resignation from, or nonrenewal of, [medical] professional 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] professional competence in such hospital;
(13) A description of any criminal conviction of the [physician] health care provider for a felony within the last ten years. For the purposes of this subdivision, a [physician] health care provider shall be deemed to be convicted of a felony if the [physician] health care provider 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] professional malpractice 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;
(15) An indication as to whether the [physician] health care provider is actively involved in patient care; and
(16) The name of the [physician's] health care provider's professional liability insurance carrier.
(c) Any report of a [medical] professional malpractice judgment or award against a [physician] health care provider 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] professional malpractice claims shall be placed in context by comparing an individual [physician's medical] health care provider's professional malpractice judgments, awards and settlements to the experience of other [physicians] health care providers licensed 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] health care provider; and (4) comparisons of professional malpractice payment data shall be accompanied by (A) an explanation of the fact that [physicians] health care providers 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] health care providers 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] health care provider has been in practice when considering the data; (C) an explanation that an incident giving rise to a professional 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] health care provider's professional malpractice history; and (E) an explanation that professional malpractice cases may be settled for reasons other than liability and that settlements are sometimes made by the insurer without the [physician's] health care provider's consent. 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] health care provider. A payment in settlement of a [medical] professional malpractice action or claim should not be construed as creating a presumption that [medical] professional malpractice has occurred."
(d) Pending professional malpractice claims against a [physician] health care provider and actual amounts paid by or on behalf of a [physician] health care provider in connection with a professional 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] health care provider on the basis of [medical] professional malpractice claims that are pending.
(e) Prior to the initial release of a [physician's] health care provider's profile to the public, the department shall provide the [physician] health care provider with a copy of the [physician's] health care provider's profile. Additionally, any amendments or modifications to the profile that were not supplied by the [physician] health care provider or not generated by the department itself shall be provided to the [physician] health care provider for review prior to release to the public. A [physician] health care provider 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] health care provider does not notify the department that the [physician] health care provider disputes the accuracy of such information within such sixty-day period, the department shall make the profile available to the public and the [physician] health care provider shall be deemed to have approved the profile and all information contained [therein] in the profile. If a [physician] health care provider notifies the department that the [physician] health care provider disputes the accuracy of such information in accordance with this subsection, the [physician's] health care provider'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] health care provider 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] health care provider.
(f) A [physician] health care provider may elect to have the [physician's] health care provider'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] health care providers 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] a health care provider. This profile should not, however, be your sole basis for selecting a [physician] health care provider."
(h) The department shall maintain a web site on the Internet for use by the public in obtaining profiles of [physicians] health care providers.
(i) No state law that would otherwise prohibit, limit or penalize disclosure of information about a [physician] health care provider shall apply to disclosure of information required by this section.
(j) All information provided by a [physician] health care provider pursuant to this section shall be subject to the [penalties of] penalty for false statement [, pursuant to] under section 53a-157b.
(k) Except for the information in subdivisions (1), (2), (10) and (11) of subsection (b) of this section, a [physician] health care provider shall notify the department of any changes to the information required in [said] subsection (b) of this section not later than sixty days after such change.
This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:
October 1, 2008
Joint Favorable Subst.