The Indiana Physician Coalition and its partners are working with state lawmakers to increase transparency in health care by (1) requiring that advertisements clearly state a health care professional’s license type; (2) that an ID with license type be worn in appropriate clinical settings, and if applicable, (3) include their status as a student, intern, trainee or resident; and (4) that medical specialty designations be reserved for physician specialists.
Senate Bill 239 seeks to do just that for practitioner identification and advertising. It's authored by Sen. Kevin Boehnlein (Greenville) and Liz Brown (Fort Wayne), and co-authored by Senators Eddie Melton (Merrillville), Jean Leising (Oldenburg), Vaneta Becker (Evansville), and Shelli Yoder (Bloomington).
If passed into law, these transparency measures would apply to a wide variety of practitioners holding a license – physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, physician assistants, pharmacists and many others. Health care professionals would have until Jan. 1, 2023 to comply, which would carry minimal costs. More importantly, passage of these measures would demonstrate a willingness to help patients better understand who is providing their care and the qualifications of those professionals.
UPDATE: On Jan. 26, an amended version of SB 239 passed out of the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee by a vote of 9-1. But there’s still advocacy work to be done to get the bill through the full Senate by the deadline of Feb. 1 – before it can cross over to the House.
For the sake of patient safety and to help patients make the best decisions when seeking care, we need the collective voices of organized medicine to urge legislators to support this common-sense solution.
Email BOTH your state senator and representative from this Action Center using our pre-written message – and ask them to support physicians and patients calling for greater transparency by voting YES on SB 239.
If you wish to email your own message to your legislators, you may do so using the Indiana General Assembly's Find-Your-Legislator tool.
Why is this important?
Asking health professionals to display their credentials and capabilities allows patients to make informed choices about their health care.
An independent statewide public opinion survey in 2020 revealed that:
- 85% of Hoosiers say it’s important to know the training and education of health care professionals when seeking care.
- 76% of Hoosiers over the age of 40 feel that physicians should have primary responsibility for leading and coordinating their health care.
- However, nearly 40% of Hoosiers think that nurse practitioners (NPs), for example, go through the same training and education as a physician.
- Meanwhile, 25% of Hoosiers are not confident the professional they saw the past few years was a physician or nonphysician, such as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant.
It’s time to clear up this unnecessary confusion on some of the most important decisions a Hoosier could be faced with.