Governor Rell Signs Bill to Expand Health Care Registry, Help Patients Learn About Providers

June 18, 2008

In a State Capitol ceremony, Governor M. Jodi Rell signed into law Public Act 08-109, An Act Extending the State Physician Profile to Certain Other Health Care Providers.

The law requires chiropractors and other medical professionals to comply with the State Physician Profiling system.

“Consumers often know more about the waitress at their local diner than they do about their doctor or chiropractor,” Governor Rell said. “With little information available about a medical professional’s education, skill or professional history, choices are often made based on location, scheduling availability and insurance coverage. A consumer may not learn about a doctor’s past history of malpractice claims or professional discipline until it is too late. This law will protect patients.”

“By requiring chiropractors and other medical professionals to comply with the State Physician Profiling system, we are helping patients make more informed decisions when seeking specialized care,” said state Senator Leonard Fasano (R-34). “Through their hard work, Janet Levy, Governor Rell and other proponents of this law have improved public health by bringing greater transparency to one of the most important consumer choices we make – choosing a qualified health care provider.”

Several years ago, the General Assembly took an important step to provide the public with greater access to information regarding doctors’ professional histories by creating a state physician profiling system. The profile requires certain licensed health care providers to provide the Department of Public Health with a broad range of information, including:

1. Professional education, licensing and certifications
2. Disciplinary actions taken by any state agency, professional licensing or disciplinary board in Connecticut or any other jurisdiction
3. Professional malpractice judgments, arbitration awards or settlements
4. Felony criminal convictions

The Department of Public Health makes this information available to the public and posts it on their Web site. The physician profile allows the public to better understand patient safety and quality issues and make more informed choices regarding their health care providers.

The original profiling system did not cover all health care providers, however. Certain providers who engage in direct patient care, such as chiropractors, were left out. After hearing from constituents who had suffered serious complications, including stroke, after being treated by chiropractors, Senator Fasano led the charge to expand the physician profile to include chiropractors and other medical professionals.