Bill Text: NJ S2465 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: "New Jersey Health Care Transparency Act."

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2020-09-14 - Received in the Assembly, Referred to Assembly Regulated Professions Committee [S2465 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-S2465-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 2465

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 11, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  STEPHEN M. SWEENEY

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     "New Jersey Health Care Transparency Act."

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning health care professionals and supplementing Title 45 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    This act shall be known and may be cited as the "New Jersey Health Care Transparency Act."

 

     2.    The Legislature finds and declares that:

     a.     There are a multitude of professional degrees using the term "doctor," including "medical doctor" (M.D.); "doctor of osteopathy" (D.O.); "doctor of dental surgery" (D.D.S.); "doctor of podiatric medicine" (D.P.M.); "doctor of optometry" (O.D.); "doctor of chiropractic" (D.C.); "doctor of nursing" (D.N.); and other designations which may be used by health care professionals.

     b.    A July 2018 study by the American Medical Association found that 27 percent of patients erroneously believe that a chiropractor is a medical doctor; 39 percent of patients erroneously believe that a doctor of nursing practice is a medical doctor; 43 percent of patients erroneously believe that a psychologist is a medical doctor; 47 percent of patients erroneously believe that an optometrist is a medical doctor; and 67 percent of patients erroneously believe a podiatrist is a medical doctor.

     c.     There are widespread differences regarding the training and qualifications required to earn the degrees of the health care professionals subject to P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill). These differences often concern the training and skills necessary to correctly detect, diagnose, prevent and treat serious health care conditions.

     d.    There is a compelling state interest in patients being promptly and clearly informed of the training and qualifications of the health care professionals who provide health care services.

     e.     There is a compelling state interest in the public being protected from potentially misleading and deceptive health care advertising that might cause patients to have undue expectations regarding their treatment and outcome.

    

     3.    As used in this act:

     "Advertisement" means any communication or statement, whether printed, electronic or oral, that names the health care professional in relation to his or her practice, profession, or institution in which the individual is employed, volunteers or otherwise provides health care services. This includes business cards, letterhead, patient brochures, e-mail, Internet, audio and video, and any other communication or statement used in the course of business. "Advertisement" does not include office building placards or exterior building signage.

     "Health care professional" means a person licensed, certified, registered or otherwise authorized by any entity designated in section 2 of P.L.1978, c.73 (C.45:1-15), or by any principal department of the Executive Branch of State government or any entity within any  department or any other entity hereafter created to license or otherwise regulate a health care profession. "Health care professional" does not include individuals licensed in electrology; genetic counseling; massage and bodywork therapy; mortuary science; or veterinarian medicine.

     "Licensee" means a health care professional with an active New Jersey license, certification, registration, or other valid authorization.

    

     4.    a.  An advertisement for health care services that includes the name of a health care professional shall identify the type of licensure issued to the health care professional and shall not contain deceptive or misleading information, including, but not limited to, any affirmative communication or representation that misstates, falsely describes, holds out, or falsely details the health care professional's skills, training, expertise, education, public or private board certification, or licensure.

     b.    A health care professional shall communicate the specific licensure held by the professional in the following formats:

     (1)   a name tag to be worn during all patient encounters that is to include:

     (a)   a recent photograph of the health care professional;

     (b)   the full name of the health care professional;

     (c)   the profession in which the health care professional is licensed; and

     (d)   the expiration date of the health care professional's active license; and

     (2)   a poster or other writing, in font of a sufficient size, placed in a clear and conspicuous manner in the office or offices where the health care professional provides health care services that states the type of licensure held by the health care professional.

     c.     A medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine who supervises  or participates in collaborative practice agreements with non-medical doctor or non-osteopathic doctor health care professionals shall be required to clearly and conspicuously post in each office where the medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine provides services the schedule of regular hours the medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine are present in each office.

 

     5.    a.  In addition to any practice declared unlawful pursuant to P.L.1978, c.73 (C.45:1-14 et seq.), it shall be unlawful for a health care professional to engage in the following:

     (1)   Knowingly aiding, abetting, permitting, advising, or procuring an unlicensed person or entity to practice or engage in acts contrary to the profession practiced by the health care professional;

     (2)   Delegating or contracting for the performance of health care services by a health care professional when the individual delegating or contracting for performance knows, or has reason to know, that the individual does not have the required authority under a professional license to delegate or contract for performance; or

     (3)   Any other failure to comply with any provision of section 4 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     b. Each day of a failure to comply with any provision of section 4 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall constitute a separate and punishable offense.

     c.     Any fees or other amounts billed to a patient by a health care professional found in violation of section 4 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be effectively rescinded, or refunded. This includes third parties contracted to collect fees on behalf of a health care professional, the health care professional's employer, or other entities contracting with the health care professional.

     d.    Any imposition of professional sanctions, administrative fees, or other disciplinary action taken by the appropriate State entity shall be publicly reported in means determined by that State entity.

 

     6.    If any of provisions of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) or its application to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, the invalidity shall not affect any other provision or application of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application and, to this end, the provisions of P.L.     , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) are severable.

 

     7.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month next following enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

    

     This bill, the "New Jersey Health Care Transparency Act," requires any advertisement of health care professionals, licensed by the Division of Consumer Affairs, any principal department of the Executive Branch of State government, or any entity within any  department or any other entity hereafter created to license or otherwise regulate a health care profession, to include the type of licensure the professional was issued. Advertisements are to exclude deceptive or misleading information relating to the health care professional, including, but not limited to, any affirmative communication or representation that misstates, falsely describes, holds out, or falsely details the professional's skills, training, expertise, education, public or private board certification, or licensure.

     Under the bill, a health care professional is required to wear a name tag that includes the following information about the professional: a recent photograph, full name, the profession in which they are licensed, and the expiration date of the current license. Additionally, a poster or other writing, in sufficiently-sized font, has to be placed in the office or offices where the health care professional provides health care services and convey the type of licensure held by the professional. Moreover, the bill requires a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine who supervises  or participates in collaborative practice agreements with non-medical doctor or non-osteopathic doctor health care professionals to clearly and conspicuously post, in each office where the medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine provides services, the schedule of regular hours the medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine are present in each office.

     The bill makes it unlawful for a health care professional to knowingly aid, abet, permit, advise, or procure an unlicensed person or entity to practice or engage in acts contrary to the profession practiced by the health care professional; delegate or contract for the performance of health care services by a health care professional when the individual delegating or contracting for performance knows, or has reason to know, that the individual does not have the required authority under a professional license to delegate or contract for performance; and commit any other failure in complying with the bill's provisions.

     Under the bill, every day of a failure to comply is a separate and punishable offense. Any fees or billings charged a patient by a health care professional in violation of this bill would be rescinded or refunded. This includes fees or billings charged to a patient by a third party contracted to collect fees on behalf of a health care professional, the health care professional's employer, or other entity contracting with the health care professional. Any imposition of professional sanctions, administrative fees, or other disciplinary action taken by the appropriate State entity shall be publicly reported in means determined by that State entity.

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