A new state law means Missourians will have access to more information about their doctors. The law allows the State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts to release information about licensed physicians, in hopes of offering better transparency to patients.
Previous state statute allowed the Board to give out very little. Department of Insurance Spokesman Travis Ford says, “Really all the board could give to the public was a doctor’s name and address and license status.”
Now, an individual can verify that a doctor has a license, where he or she went to medical school and what certification a doctor has, and soon information on disciplinary action will be available such as whether a court has ordered limitations to a doctor’s practice.
Any future information submitted to the board will also be released if it pertains to discipline or court-ordered limitations.
The law also broadens the Board’s authority to discipline doctors who violate the law. It can now:
More effectively seek an immediate suspension of a physician’s license when the board believes the doctor is a danger to patients;
Streamline the process for discipline of doctors;
Move cases more quickly through the state Administrative Hearing Commission, which conducts hearings related to the discipline of doctors; and
Discipline doctors for alcohol dependency, being on a sex offender registry or failing to cooperate with board investigations.