CHICAGO - October 19, 2011. As part of his ongoing efforts to increase consumer protections and transparency in Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn today launched a website that makes important information regarding Illinois’ physicians available to the public. Maintained by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), the site offers consumers the information they need to make good decisions about their families’ health care.
“Information is power, and we want to make sure that people get the information they need to make informed decisions about the doctors who treat them,” Governor Quinn said. “This online tool will provide valuable assistance for patients as they choose health care providers for their families.”
The website allows health care consumers to review important information about the professional and disciplinary backgrounds of the more than 46,000 physicians and surgeons licensed to practice in Illinois. It offers a search engine that is easy to use, and enables consumers to search by the physician’s name, specialty, geographic region or hospital affiliation. The program also allows consumers to compare several doctors who have similar specialties.
More than 85 percent of all licensed physicians and surgeons have provided the information necessary to create or update their profiles. Categories of information available to consumers include: the location and scope of practice; the type of insurance the physician accepts; specialties and certifications; legal and disciplinary actions taken against the physician; educational background; and professional activities or honors.
“It is clear that Illinoisans are craving this information and they should,” said Brent Adams, Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation. “Everyone is entitled to providing informed consent to medical treatment – not just being informed as to the procedure or medication, but also being informed as to who is recommending that course of treatment.”
The new website takes the place of Illinois’ original physician profile website, which was available between 2008 and 2010 and was removed as part of a larger Supreme Court decision. At the time, it averaged over 150,000 hits per week by over 42,000 unique visitors. The Patients' Right to Know Act (House Bill 105), signed into law by the Governor earlier this year, restored Illinois’ consumers’ right to access this important health care information.
“This legislation is needed even more today than it was in 2008, especially as more doctors are receiving performance-based pay,” Representative Mary Flowers, House sponsor of HB 105, said. “It provides valuable information to patients when they go to select a health care provider.”
"The Patients Right to Know Act will help to ensure that consumers are choosing the right physician for their needs," Senator Delgado, Chairman of the Senate Public Health Committee and Senate sponsor, said. "The database created under this Act will enable anyone to search by a doctor's partial first or last name, city, specialty, keyword, or hospital affiliation. Patients will be able to find out ahead of time if the physician has any the specialty certifications or legal and disciplinary actions for the past 5 years in addition to being able to see their resumes."
To find a physician’s profile, visit the IDFPR’s website: www.idfpr.com, or visit DoctorInfo.illinois.gov.