The Health Care Truth and Transparency Act of 2006, a bipartisan legislation to increase transparency in the nation’s health care system by making it unlawful for providers to misrepresent their qualifications to patients, was supported today by the physician and dental Coalition for Healthcare Accountability, Responsibility and Transparency (CHART).

“The Health Care Truth and Transparency Act of 2006 is a significant step forward to end patient confusion about the qualifications and training of their healthcare providers,” says Rebecca Patchin, MD, American Medical Association board member.

Results from a CHART telephone survey of 1,000 US adults shows that the public is unaware of the differences in education and training between limited-license health care practitioners and medical doctors: 72% believe a podiatrist is a medical doctor; 70% believe an optometrist is a medical doctor; 59% believe a psychologist is a medical doctor; 56% believe a chiropractor is a medical doctor; and 3% believe a dental assistant is a medical doctor.

According to Patchin, 86% of Americans support the federal legislation, which would make it easier for patients to understand the qualifications of their health care professionals, and 90% believe that someone who is not a medical doctor should make that clear to the patient before they provide treatment.

[www.prnewswire.com, June 27, 2006]