Proposed bill aims to address 'truth in advertising' by Connecticut health care providers
A bill under consideration by Connecticut state legislators aims to clarify how health care providers display information about their training and licensing.
The "truth in advertising" legislation proposes that information from health providers be free of deceptive and misleading details. That could include patient brochures, websites, audio and video messages and email, among other items.
Dr. Tarik Kardestuncer, president of the Connecticut Orthopaedic Society, spoke in favor of S.B. 1016, saying patients have a right to know who is treating them.
“Many people that are providing care are not doctors. So I think it’s happening more and more often,” he told lawmakers Monday at the Public Health Committee hearing. “And also with social media and advertising, in the last 10 or 15 years, that’s exploded, so there’s all kinds of ads on social media for health care providers who are not really accurately identifying their credentials.”
The legislation would also require a health care provider to wear photo ID that includes information about the type of license they have and when it expires.
The bill also would restrict entities from knowingly helping any unlicensed worker or group to "practice or engage in the provision of any health care or mental health care service" that's subject to state public health licensing.
The bill also restricts people from providing nursing-related services unless they're licensed.
The Connecticut Hospital Association says that the bill’s language is too vague and that current laws already address licensing, oversight and consumer protections.
“These protections have been on the books in Connecticut for decades,” the CHA wrote in submitted testimony. “We are not aware of widespread problems with unlicensed persons impersonating medical providers — or licensed persons utilizing inappropriately qualified staff that are not addressed by current law or the existing oversight mechanisms of the Department of Public Health and the various licensing boards.”