The medical malpractice attorneys of Passen & Powell have frequently written about the legislative efforts to return physician profiles to the public domain after more than a decade of absence. We have lobbied for this important public access, and lent our support to the Patients’ Right to Know Act as it wound its way through the legislative process.
Now, at last, the hard work of the many individuals and groups who worked to make this law a reality is paying off. The Patients’ Right to Know Act takes effect this week, and physician profiles will soon be available and searchable again. This marks step in the right direction for patient empowerment and safety in the state of Illinois.
Once the physician profiles go live, patients will be able to access historical information for their physician. The profiles will include convictions for crimes and disciplinary action against the physician, as well as some medical malpractice information. Other details that will be listed include the medical schools the physician attended, any specialty board certifications she has obtained, how long she has been practicing and where, and her participation in the Medicaid program.
The Act, which had been successfully opposed by the medical lobby for years, only became a reality after the public learned that our Illinois regulators had been letting the worst offenders, including physicians convicted of sex crimes against patients, continue to practice with little or no discipline.
In the absence of the profiles, patients had no way of knowing that their physicians were dangerous. Our medical negligence lawyers are encouraged that the profiles will allow members of the public to access important information about their doctors.
Although the law became effective this week, the profiles will not be immediately available. But it does require the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to make the profiles available on its website within two months.
Within those two months, Illinois physicians will have the opportunity to review their profiles and correct any errors. After the initial assembly of the profiles, updates will be easier and “cheating” more difficult, as malpractice payments must be reported by insurance companies, and serious criminal convictions must be reported by prosecutors.
We encourage all Illinois residents to check the profiles of their physicians once they are posted, especially if they have questions about the background or qualifications of any of their doctors.
For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago medical malpractice lawyer at Passen & Powell, call us at (312) 527-4500.