The ASPS has announced its support of the federal Healthcare Truth and Transparency Act of 2007 (H.R. 2260). This bipartisan legislation was introduced in the US House of Representatives by Reps. John Sullivan (R-OK) and Jim McDermott, MD (D-WA). The legislation would prohibit misleading and deceptive advertising and require nonphysicians to clearly identify their profession in advertisements.

“We applaud Reps. Sullivan and McDermott for introducing this propatient legislation,” says Roxanne Guy, MD, ASPS president. “We strongly endorse it and feel the Healthcare Truth and Transparency Act of 2007 will help prevent deceptive practices, such as nonqualified practitioners misrepresenting their training.”

The act specifically addresses questionable advertising in any medium, such as making false statements regarding the education, skills, training, or licensure of medical professionals in a manner that causes the public, a potential patient, or a current patient to mistakenly believe that such a person is a physician.

“Unfortunately, there are abundant examples of this type of deceptive advertising across the country, which ultimately place consumers at risk for receiving medical treatments from unqualified practitioners,” says Guy. “ASPS is committed to upholding the highest patient education standards to ensure patient safety and we feel this bill will make a significant contribution in these efforts.”

The federal legislation would create a uniform national policy and authorize federal enforcement against misleading health care provider advertising to help ensure that, no matter where they live, patients are not misled about the qualifications of their health care professionals.

[ASPS, May 10, 2007]