Requires notification on the department of health's website that all physician information may not be all-inclusive or up-to-date; requires an active link to the website maintained by the unified court system containing information on active and disposed cases in the local and state courts in the state.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to notification that all physician information on the department of health's website may not be all-inclusive or up-to-date
PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to ensure that the users of the department of health physician profiles website are able to easily view disclaimers stating that the information on the site is not guaranteed to be up-to-date or accurate. Further, it requires the department of health to include a link to the website maintained by the unified court system so that users can search potential physicians on that site as well.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one amends subdivision 15 of section 2595-a of the public health law by adding subdivision (a) requiring the department of health Ln include in their standard disclaimer a statement encouraging users of the physician profile website to utilize multiple sources when researching a physician. Further, it adds a statement indicating that the information provided on the website may not be accurate or up-to-date. The complete disclaimer shall be visible on each page of the physician profile. Section one also adds subdivision (b), requiring the department to include a link to the unified court system website where court records are maintained.
Section two defines the effective date as sixty days following the enactment date.
JUSTIFICATION: The physician profile website maintained by the department of health allows users to research the qualifications of physicians in order to select one that meets their needs. Currently, the disclaimer required by statute on the physician profile is weakly-worded and can only be viewed by clicking on a "disclaimer" link.
This bill was written in response to a young woman who used the physician profile website to select a surgeon to perform a complicated lapband surgery. Tragically, the young woman died from complications shortly after the surgery. After her death, it was discovered that the information provided on the physician profile was incomplete.
The bill strengthens the language of the physician profile disclaimer to include a statement that the information on the website may not be accurate, complete, or up-to-date. It also adds language encouraging users to utilize various sources when researching a physician. The bill requires that the full text of the disclaimer be visible on each page of the physician profile. Finally, the bill requires that the department maintain a link to the online unified court system database where users can research any cases of medical malpractice involving the
physician. These changes will ensure that users are aware of the risks of basing their physician selection decision solely on the information provided in the physician profile maintained by the department of health.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6069 IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 4, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. GALLIVAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to notification that all physician information on the department of health's website may not be all-inclusive or up-to-date THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 15 of section 2995-a of the public health law, as added by chapter 542 of the laws of 2000, is amended to read as follows: 15. (A) All physician data disseminated shall include the following
[statement]STATEMENTS: "THE DATA COLLECTED BY THE DEPARTMENT IS ACCU- RATE TO THE BEST OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE DEPARTMENT, BASED ON THE INFOR- MATION SUPPLIED BY THE PHYSICIAN WHO IS THE SUBJECT OF THE DATA. WHILE THE DEPARTMENT UTILIZES A VARIETY OF SOURCES OF INFORMATION IN CHECKING THE ACCURACY OF THE DATA REPORTED, WE CANNOT BE SURE THAT ALL OF THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE IS RIGHT, COMPLETE, OR UP-TO-DATE, AND CANNOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INFORMATION THAT IS WRONG OR HAS BEEN LEFT OUT. CONSUMERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONSULT OTHER SOURCES TO VERIFY OR OBTAIN ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT A PHYSICIAN, INCLUDING ACTIONS AGAINST A PHYSICIAN." THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ENSURE THAT THE FULL TEXT OF THE STATEMENTS APPEAR ON EACH WEB PAGE OF THE PHYSICIAN PROFILE IN A MANNER THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE THE USER OF THE SITE TO CLICK ON A SEPARATE LINK IN ORDER TO VIEW THE STATEMENTS. (B) THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE ON THE PHYSICIAN PROFILES AN ACTIVE LINK TO THE WEBSITE MAINTAINED BY THE UNIFIED COURT SYSTEM CONTAINING INFORMATION ON ACTIVE AND DISPOSED CASES IN THE LOCAL AND STATE COURTS IN THE STATE. S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11951-01-1