A new Missouri law that took effect in August will give consumers more information about their doctors.
In an effort to create more transparency between patients and their doctors, the new law will allow the Board of Registration for the Healing Arts to release more detailed information about licensed doctors. Travis Ford is spokesman for the board.
"In the past the only thing that we were allowed to release under the law about a doctor was the persons name, address and licensing status basically. And now we can release educational information such as where that person went to med school or whether they were board certified in a certain specialty. And soon we will be able to release discipline by other agencies of government such as a court ordered limitation on his practice," says Ford.
Patients now will be able to look up information on their doctors simply by going to the Board of Healing Arts website and searching for the history of any licensed doctor in Missouri.
In addition to giving the public more information about doctors, Ford says the board has a bigger role in disciplining doctors.
"There is a prevision in the law that allows for what's called an emergency suspension. Which is that if the board believes there is a doctor that is posing a clear and present danger to a patient the board can get in. And move quickly to try to get an emergency suspension and ban that person from practicing until there is a chance for a hearing to be held. There are also some other previsions that speed up the discipline process," Says Ford.
In order to speed up the discipline process for doctors, the new law requires the Administrative Hearing Commission to respond to requests for discipline by the Board of Healing Arts within 120 days after the board shows its case.