Requires the specification of health professional's credentials in advertisements for such health professional's services.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the identification of health professional credentials in advertisements
PURPOSE: To ensure that all health professionals who advertise their services apprise the public of their professional credentials:
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill amends Section 6509 of the Education Law by adding a new subdivision fifteen (15) to make the failure to specify in advertisements informing the public of availability of their professional services, the title and type of license, registration or certificate conferred to such health care professional pursuant to title eight of the education law an act of professional misconduct for non-physician health care professionals.
This bill also amends Section 6530 of the Education Law by adding, a new subparagraph (viii) to subdivision twenty seven to require that they do not hold themselves out in a public manner as being certified by a public or private board unless they fulfill certain criteria such as the full name of the certifying board and other criteria written in the bill.
EXISTING LAW: Current law does not require non-physician providers to specify in their advertisements the title and type of license held by such health care professional. Current law prohibits physicians from making false, fraudulent and misleading advertisements but does not require physicians to specify their specialty credentials such as board certification in their advertisements.
JUSTIFICATION: In studies conducted by the AMA, it was found that patients are undeniably confused about who provides their medical care. Results of the survey revealed multiple examples of confusion by the public. 67% of respondents believed that a podiatrist was a medical doctor and 50% of the respondents believed that a psychologist was a medical doctor. A mere 69% of respondents believed that an ophthalmologist is a medical doctor. This confusion is exacerbated by advertisements which fail to specify the title and type of license held by the health professional advertising his or her services. Non-physicians who advertise their services are not required to specify what license they hold in advertisements. Moreover, even within medicine, physicians have trained in certain specialties and have achieved hoard certification by one of the 241 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties or certification by the American Osteopathic Association. Advertisements by health care professionals should assist the public in discerning the qualifications of health care professional. This can be accomplished by requiring advertisements to specify the title and
license held by the health care professional, and where the professional is a physician, the advertisement should also specify board certification attained by such physician. Clarity in advertising will enhance public information and decision making on matters affecting the public's choice of health professional.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7455 IN SENATE May 21, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. DeFRANCISCO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to the identification of health professional credentials in advertisements THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 6509 of the education law is amended by adding a new subdivision 15 to read as follows: (15) FAILURE TO SPECIFY, IN ADVERTISEMENTS INFORMING THE PUBLIC OF THE AVAILABILITY OF THEIR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES, THE TITLE AND TYPE OF LICENSE, REGISTRATION OR CERTIFICATE CONFERRED TO SUCH HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL PURSUANT TO TITLE EIGHT OF THE EDUCATION LAW. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, "ADVERTISEMENT" INCLUDES BILLBOARDS, BROCHURES, PAMPHLETS, RADIO AND TELEVISION SCRIPTS, ELECTRONIC MEDIA, PRINTED TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES, TELEPHONE AND DIRECT MAIL SOLICITATIONS AND ANY OTHER MEANS OF PROMOTION INTENDED TO DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY INDUCE ANY PERSON TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT FOR SERVICES WITH THE HEALTH PROFESSIONAL. S 2. Subparagraphs (vi) and (vii) of paragraph (a) of subdivision 27 of section 6530 of the education law, as added by chapter 606 of the laws of 1991, are amended and a new subparagraph (viii) is added to read as follows: (vi) makes claims of professional superiority which cannot be substan- tiated by the licensee, who shall have the burden of proof;
[or](vii) offers bonuses or inducements in any form other than a discount or reduction in an established fee or price for a professional service or product [.]; OR (VIII) HOLDS ONESELF OUT TO THE PUBLIC IN ANY MANNER AS BEING CERTI- FIED BY A PUBLIC OR PRIVATE BOARD INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO A MULTI- DISCIPLINARY BOARD OR "BOARD CERTIFIED," UNLESS ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA ARE SATISFIED: (1) THE FULL NAME OF THE BOARD FROM WHICH THE PHYSICIAN IS CERTIFIED AND THE NAME OF THE SPECIALITY OR SUBSPECIALTY IS INCLUDED IN THE ADVER- TISEMENT; ANDEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13021-03-2 S. 7455 2
(2) THE BOARD MEETS ANY OF THE FOLLOWING QUALIFICATIONS: (A) THE BOARD IS A MEMBER BOARD OF THE AMERICAN BOARD OF MEDICAL SPECIALTIES (ABMS) OR A CERTIFYING BOARD OF THE AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION (AOA); OR (B) THE BOARD HAS BEEN DEEMED EQUIVALENT TO AN ABMS BOARD BY THE STATE OF NEW YORK. THE STATE SHALL APPROVE A CERTIFYING BOARD UNDER THIS SUBSECTION AS EQUIVALENT ONLY IF THE CERTIFYING BOARD REQUIRES THAT, IN ORDER TO BE CERTIFIED, THE PHYSICIAN HAS COMPLETED A POSTGRADUATE RESI- DENCY TRAINING PROGRAM THAT PROVIDES COMPLETE TRAINING IN THE SPECIALTY OR SUBSPECIALTY BEING CERTIFIED AND THAT IS ACCREDITED BY THE ACCREDI- TATION COUNCIL FOR GRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION OR THE AMERICAN OSTEOPATH- IC ASSOCIATION, AND THE PHYSICIAN HAS ACHIEVED CERTIFICATION BY THE AMERICAN BOARD OF MEDICAL SPECIALTIES OR AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCI- ATION FOLLOWING THAT RESIDENCY; OR (C) THE BOARD REQUIRES SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF A POST-GRADUATE RESI- DENCY PROGRAM APPROVED BY THE ACCREDITATION COUNCIL FOR GRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION OR THE AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION THAT PROVIDES COMPLETE TRAINING IN THE SPECIALTY OR SUBSPECIALTY CERTIFIED, AND PRIOR CERTIF- ICATION BY THE MEMBER BOARD OF THE ABMS OR AOA FOR THAT RESIDENCY. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.