By now you probably know that the Maryland Medical Society has been under fire for allegedly failing to properly disclose the names of all its top-tier doctors, nurses, and other hospital employees.
In fact, it has faced intense criticism from patients and doctors alike, as the list of those who were listed was incomplete and potentially biased, leading some to wonder whether the society has purposely concealed the identities of its doctors, and even the identities and jobs of some of its hospital employees, to avoid scrutiny.
In recent weeks, Maryland legislators have introduced a bill to fix the problem.
The bill, SB 952, would require hospitals to disclose their doctor-level affiliations and the identities or jobs of those they employ.
In order to make the list, hospitals would have to disclose that their top doctors, senior medical assistants, and others who are not residents would be in-house physicians, nurses or resident nurse practitioners.
The committee that drafted the bill, which was initially presented to the state’s Senate Finance Committee on February 15, has since amended the bill to add the following:”In the event of a conflict between a hospital’s duty to its patients and its duty to disclose the identities, affiliations, or jobs, the law requires disclosure of the names, affiliants, or job of the person in charge of the hospital.
The committee has added that the names and affiliations of hospital employees should be disclosed, but that hospital employees are not required to disclose hospital affiliations.”
In addition to the inclusion of the word “conflict,” the bill’s proposed language also adds a section stating that hospitals would not have to make such a disclosure unless the hospital determines that there is a public health or safety threat to the public.
This is a major victory for Maryland hospitals, who had been lobbying for the disclosure to be made public.
As of Tuesday, the Maryland Hospital Association had called for the bill “to be fully enacted and implemented immediately.”
However, the bill has drawn a number of concerns from the public and some doctors, who believe that the bill is unnecessary.
As it stands, the proposed law requires hospitals to make a disclosure, but not the names or affiliations or jobs.
Maryland lawmakers, however, are optimistic that the public will ultimately support a law that would make public hospitals’ names and jobs public, even though some of the information is still classified.
The Maryland Medical Association has said that the proposed disclosure would make hospitals more transparent, but the bill contains language that could prevent hospitals from making it public in the first place.
The AMA has not yet responded to Ars’ request for comment, but it did address concerns about the proposed bill by saying that the AMA would not “disclose the names nor the affiliations nor the jobs of any physician, nurse, or other employee without prior approval of the State Department of Health.”