One decision my mother and I had to make when writing our bill was the scope. How much of the healthcare system should be affected by this requirement for disclosure? We tried to find a balance between being broad enough to cover most cases of serious unanticipated outcomes and errors, but narrow enough to be manageable. (But if the healthcare community would like to expand the language in the bill to cover more providers and facilities, we certainly support that.)
Question: Who would be required to disclose unanticipated outcomes and medical errors?
Answer: “Healthcare providers”, defined as persons licensed by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. This includes Medical doctors (MDs) and Osteopathic Doctors (DOs), as well as physician assistants, physical therapists, and respiratory therapists, among others (see complete list here).
Professionals who are licensed by other organizations would not be covered by this bill. This includes nurses, dentists, optometrists, emergency medical technicians, and veterinarians. (Although we hope that many of these people, particularly nurses, would have a role in disclosure conversations as appropriate.)
Question: What healthcare facilities would be required to have policies for disclosure?
Answer: “Medical facilities”, as defined in Kansas statute 65-425. These are hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and recuperation centers.
This does not include physician clinics, dental clinics, optometry clinics, nursing homes, hospice facilities, or veterinary clinics.