Monday, September 05, 2011

Illinois Physician Disciplinary Database Is Revived

"The Illinois Patient Right to Know Act is testament that some ideas are so responsible, even the monied forces of entrenched self-interest can’t defeat them.

 State Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago) has worked for 10 years to guarantee that Illinois patients can find out if their doctor is good or bad, based on work history.

 She accomplished her goal, a state website with such information, only to see it removed after two years because of an Illinois Supreme Court ruling.

 Gov. Pat Quinn signed a revised bill into law this month and pronounced it the best customer rights bill the Legislature passed this year.

 He’s right about that.

 The centerpiece of the law is a computer database, first launched in 2008, that provides a physician’s disciplinary history, practice specialties, insurance information, hospital affiliations and, perhaps most importantly, a list of malpractice judgments or settlements involving the doctor during the previous five years. The state’s roughly 48,000 physicians and chiropractors will all be listed when the site returns in a couple of months."
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