New York Doctors Urge Albany, Healthcare Providers to #MakeItClear

May 20, 2014

Medical Society of the State of New York Tackles Confusion about Variety of Healthcare Designations

ALBANY, N.Y., May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Taking a head-on approach in addressing patient confusion about the wide variety of designations held by healthcare providers, the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) is actively supporting state-level legislation to require all healthcare providers to prominently display and identify their specific credentials.

Senate bill S5493 — and its Assembly companion, A7889 — would require anyone providing healthcare services to clearly display in their office a document indicating the type of license they hold. It also would require the wearing of informational badges that provide specific information beyond simply name and title. The emphasis would be on enabling patients to more quickly, easily determine whether someone is a Medical Doctor (M.D.), a Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.), a Ph.D., or something else entirely.

In short, MSSNY has assumed a leading role in the battle against confusion, initiating a campaign — “#MakeItClear” — in support of the legislation. The society encourages members of the public to utilize the #MakeItClear hashtag to share details about incidents of confusion in their dealings with healthcare providers.

“MSSNY strongly supports what’s being referred to as the ‘Truth in Advertising’ legislation, because it will provide patients with specific, significant information they need and deserve,” says Andrew Kleinman, M.D., president of MSSNY. “This relates to face-to-face encounters, as well as to advertising, marketing and communications materials. Particularly when someone is making crucial medical decisions, it’s vital there’s no ambiguity and that they understand the level of expertise of everyone consulting with them.”

A recent American Medical Association (AMA) survey determined many patients are uncertain or even confused about the title and education level of individuals who are actively engaged in providing medical care. As an example, 44 percent of AMA survey respondents indicate they’ve had difficulty identifying a licensed M.D. based solely on marketing materials. Further, 69 percent incorrectly believe an ophthalmologist is a medical doctor, while 67 percent believe a podiatrist is an M.D.

“This comes down to doing what’s necessary to prevent confusion,” Kleinman says. “The legislation seeks to accomplish something quite simple — and our society is committed to helping it pass. There’s absolutely no reason a patient should have any uncertainty about who they’re interacting with.”

Recent immigrants and others who may not speak English, or who speak it as a secondary language, are particularly vulnerable to misunderstandings about who has what type of training.

Infographics in support of the “#MakeItClear” campaign:

    --  http://visual.ly/who-treating-you-makeitclear
    --  http://visual.ly/end-confusion-healthcare-makeitclear
    --  http://visual.ly/confused-about-who-providing-your-medical-care

About the Medical Society of the State of New York

The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) is an organization of approximately 30,000 licensed physicians, medical residents, and medical students in New York State. Members participate in both the state society and in their local county medical societies. MSSNY is a non-profit organization committed to representing the medical profession as a whole and advocating health related rights, responsibilities and issues. MSSNY strives to promote and maintain high standards in medical education and in the practice of medicine in an effort to ensure that quality medical care is available to the public.

SOURCE Medical Society of the State of New York

Source: PR Newswire

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