Plastic surgeons are not the only physician group that is frustrated by the confusion many patients have regarding the credentials of the health care professional they seek out for help. Nevada is another state alongside Maryland and Texas who have legislated the need for truth in advertising. A recent news release summarizing the new legislation from Nevada is included below. It broadly prohibits deceptive advertising and requires forthright exposure of physician’s credentials to their patients.
As Plastic Surgeons practicing in the state of Virginia, our frustration rises more so from non-Plastic surgeons implying the possession of training, experience and competency through using the term “Board Certification” in advertising to imply certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, an ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialties) approved specialty Board than it does from lack of clear identification of health care providers identity.
The State of Virginia already has regulations that prevent the ambiguous utilization of “Board Certification” That is, if a physician omits the name of the specific Board. e.g. Family Practice, Emergency Medicine, etc., that physician is in violation of State regulations and should be reported to the Virginia Board of Medicine.
The VASPS would favor a more specific law or regulation that would restrict the use of the term, “Board Certification” to be used only by physicians who have received this certification from an ABMS approved specialty.
From the AMA advocacy newsletter:
On May 31, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed Assembly Bill (A.B.) 456, a comprehensive truth in advertising bill based on AMA model legislation that: (1) ensures that any advertisement for health care services that names a health care practitioner will also identify the type of license he or she holds; (2) ensures that such advertisements are free of deceptive or misleading information; (3) requires that health care practitioners who provide health care services affirmatively communicate his or her specific licensure to all current and prospective patients; and (4) provides that health care professionals who wear a name tag during the course of providing health care services indicate on the tag the specific license held. The AMA sent a letter of support for this bill to the Nevada legislature.