In 2007, Colorado enacted the Michael Skolnik Transparency Act, which directed Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies to create a database of information on physicians. The stated purpose of the Act was to provide transparency to the public regarding the competency of their doctors and to permit Coloradans to make informed health care decisions. The Skolnik Act was one of the first of its kind in the country, and required doctors to make public a broad range of information, including previously confidential information such as involuntary hospital privilege restrictions and malpractice settlements.
In 2010, the General Assembly enacted new legislation to expand the scope of the Transparency Act to include not only medical doctors, but most licensed or registered health care provider within Colorado. The Act covers audiologists, acupuncturists, podiatrists, chiropractors, dentists, dental hygienists, hearing aid providers, physician assistants, mid-wives, nurses, optometrists, physical therapists, psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, marriage and family therapist, addiction counselors and unlicensed psychotherapists.
As a practical matter, the new Medical Transparency Act goes into effect for non-physician health care providers July 1, 2011. For all licensing/registration cycles after July 1, 2011, these health care providers must provide certain information to their respective regulatory agencies. The information that must be provided includes such things as Board certifications and specialties; affiliations with or clinical privileges held at hospitals or health care facilities; health care-related business ownership interests; disciplinary actions in other states or countries; health care-related employment contracts; DEA registration surrenders; criminal convictions and malpractice settlements and judgments. Penalties for non-compliance include administrative fines of up to $5,000, and discipline for unprofessional conduct.
The precise reporting requirements for each board will vary and will be generally dictated by DORA policies, and will be dependent on individual circumstances. While at the attorney general’s office, I co-authored the Medical Board’s policy compliance with the Transparency Act.
The entire Medical Transparency Act of 2010 can be viewed here.