§ 43-1-33. Identification by health care practitioners to patients with regard to their license; short title; legislative findings; definitions; requirements for advertisements and signage; applicability; violations.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 43. PROFESSIONS AND BUSINESSES

Chapter 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Current through 2019 Chapter 321

§ 43-1-33. Identification by health care practitioners to patients with regard to their license; short title; legislative findings; definitions; requirements for advertisements and signage; applicability; violations

(a) This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Consumer Information and Awareness Act."
(b) The General Assembly hereby finds and declares that:
(1) There are numerous professional degrees that include the term "doctor," such as Doctor of Medicine (M.D.); Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.); Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.); Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.); Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.); Doctor of Optometry (O.D.); Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.); registered professional nurses or advanced practice registered nurses (nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, and certified nurse anesthetists) with doctorate degrees (D.N.P., D.N.S., Ph.D., or Ed.D.); audiologists with doctorate degrees (A.U.D.); speech-language pathologists with doctorate degrees (S.L.P.D. or Ph.D.); and other designations, which may be used by health care practitioners; and
(2) Each health care professional receives education and training that qualifies them to provide general and specialized services respectively. This training is necessary to correctly detect, diagnose, prevent, and treat serious health conditions.
(c) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) "Advertisement" means any communication or statement, whether printed, electronic, or verbal, that names a health care practitioner in relation to his or her practice, profession, or institution in which the practitioner is employed, volunteers, or otherwise provides health care services. This term includes business cards, letterhead, patient brochures, e-mail, Internet, audio, and video.
(2) "Health care practice or facility" means a hospital, physician practice setting, nursing home, assisted living community, or personal care home.
(3) "Health care practitioner" means a:
(A) Chiropractor licensed pursuant to Chapter 9 of this title;
(B) Professional counselor, social worker, or marriage and family therapist licensed pursuant to Chapter 10A of this title;
(C) Dentist licensed pursuant to Chapter 11 of this title;
(D) Dietitian licensed or registered pursuant to Chapter 11A of this title;
(E) Advanced practice registered nurse, including nurse practitioner, certified registered nurse anesthetist, certified nurse midwife, clinical nurse specialist, registered professional nurse, and licensed practical nurse, licensed or registered pursuant to Chapter 26 of this title;
(F) Occupational therapist licensed pursuant to Chapter 28 of this title;
(G) Optometrist licensed pursuant to Chapter 30 of this title;
(H) Physical therapist licensed pursuant to Chapter 33 of this title;
(I) Physician or osteopath licensed pursuant to Chapter 34 of this title;
(J) Physician assistant licensed pursuant to Chapter 34 of this title;
(K) Acupuncturist licensed pursuant to Chapter 34 of this title;
(L) Podiatrist licensed pursuant to Chapter 35 of this title;
(M) Psychologist licensed pursuant to Chapter 39 of this title;
(N) Audiologist or speech-language pathologist licensed pursuant to Chapter 44 of this title;
(O) Pharmacist licensed pursuant to Chapter 4 of Title 26;
(P) Ophthalmic technician;
(Q) Medical assistant or certified nursing assistant; and
(R) Respiratory care professional certified pursuant to Article 6 of Chapter 34 of this title.
(d)
(1) An advertisement by a health care practitioner shall identify the type of license the health care practitioner holds.
(2) This subsection shall not apply to an advertisement by a health care practice or facility and shall not be construed to require any such practice or facility in which multiple health care practitioners are employed to list in an advertisement the name of every health care practitioner so employed by such practice or facility.
(e)
(1) A health care practitioner providing services in this state in a health care practice or facility shall conspicuously post and affirmatively communicate the practitioner's specific licensure to all current and prospective patients as follows:
(A)
(i) The health care practitioner shall wear an identifier during all patient encounters that shall include:
(I) The health care practitioner's name; and
(II) The type of license or educational degree the health care practitioner holds.
(ii) The identifier shall be of sufficient size and be worn in a conspicuous manner so as to be visible and apparent. A lab coat or similar distinguishing clothing or uniform indicating the practitioner's specific licensure may be considered an identifier if such clothing or uniform meets the requirements of division (i) of this subparagraph.
(iii) An identifier shall not be required in an operating room or other setting where surgical or other invasive procedures are performed or in any other setting where maintaining a sterile environment is medically necessary.
(iv) An identifier shall not be required in any mental health setting where it would impede the psychotherapeutic relationship.
(v) If a safety or health risk to the health care practitioner or a patient would be created as a result of the practitioner wearing such identifier in a specified practice setting, an identifier shall not be required or may be modified by omitting or concealing the last name of the practitioner in accordance with the requirements of the health care practice or facility; and
(B) A health care practitioner in a health care practice or facility other than a hospital shall display in the reception area of such practice or facility a notice that clearly identifies the type of health care practitioners employed in such practice or facility and the right of a patient to inquire as to the type of license of the health care practitioner treating such patient. The notice shall be of sufficient size so as to be visible and apparent to all current and prospective patients.
(2) A health care practitioner who practices in more than one office shall place the identifier information conspicuously on such practitioner's website if he or she maintains a website.
(3) A health care practitioner who practices in a nonpatient care setting and who does not have any direct patient care interactions shall not be subject to the provisions of this subsection.
(4) A health care practice or facility which requires, as of the effective date of this Code section, its health care practitioners to wear an identification badge shall not be required to replace such badges to conform to the requirements of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(5) Except as otherwise provided by paragraph (6) of this subsection, this subsection shall only apply to health care practices and facilities where more than one type of health care practitioner interacts with patients in exam settings. This subsection shall not apply to health care practices or facilities in which only one type of health care practitioner practices.
(6) This subsection shall only apply to a dentist if such dentist is practicing in a hospital. This subsection shall only apply to a chiropractor or optometrist if such chiropractor or optometrist is practicing in a hospital, nursing home, assisted living community, or personal care home.
(f) A health care practitioner who intentionally violates any provision of this Code section may be subject to disciplinary action by the health care practitioner's professional licensing board. Notwithstanding the imposition of any sanction, the health care practitioner's professional licensing board may seek an injunction or other legal means as appropriate against such health care practitioner violating this Code section.
(g) A violation of this Code section shall not constitute a private cause of action.

Cite as OCGA § 43-1-33

History. Added by 2015 Ga. Laws 200, §1, eff. 5/12/2015.