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MO patients can now find out more about their doctors

Post-Dispatch, September 9, 2011

Want to know where your doctors earned their degrees? Or how about which physicians are — or aren't — certified by specialty boards for a medical expertise? In Missouri that information has been, literally, a state secret. But a law that took effect last week puts it in the public domain. That information, and more, is available from the agency that regulates doctors, the state Board of Professional Registration for the Healing Arts. Because of the data release, Missouri patients are empowered to make more informed decisions about their health care, said Suzanne Henry, policy analyst at Consumers Union. "By requiring the state to put this stuff up, it gives the patient a much better idea than if you just know this doctor is licensed," Henry said. John M. Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration, called the law "a significant step toward better transparency for patients in Missouri."