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Public Given More Information About Doctor's Backgrounds in Colorado

In a positive step for patients -- at least in Colorado -- doctors in that state will soon be required to report information about their background to state authorities to obtain or renew a medical license.  The public will have access to this information.  The required information includes the professional's education, business dealings, malpractice cases, and crimes or disciplinary actions that have been brought against them. According tothe law, the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners will make the information available to the public. The measure carries penalties for physicians and other health care professionals who fail to comply with the reporting information.

Nationwide, this information is generally unavailable to patients or to the public.  Colorado's new law will hopefully be a springboard for Pennsylvania and the other states to require equal transparency and disclosures to the public by doctors.  

The Colorado law is called the Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act of 2010, and goes into effect in Colorado on August 11, 2010.