On June 10th of this year, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed Senate Bill 124, better known as the Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Expansion Bill, enlarging the circle of healthcare professionals in the state of Colorado that must make available all information related to their training, qualifications, criminal, disciplinary and malpractice history to healthcare consumers.
In 2007, Senator Morgan Carroll of Colorado, along with Patty and David Skolnik, championed the original Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act (HB 07-1331). This bill requires physicians in Colorado to report education, certain business relationships, malpractice involvement, and any disciplinary action or crimes. The bill is named after Patty and David’s son Michael, whose needless death at twenty-five years-old was the result of a surgery where related information was not disclosed to the family. Since Michael’s death in 2004, his mother, Patty Skolnik, has fought for greater transparency in healthcare. The expansion bill, passed earlier this summer, is further acknowledgement that there is a need to nurture a patient-centered approach to the delivery of health care services that starts with transparency.
Congratulations to Patty and David on this recent milestone in their continued efforts to make healthcare safer for all of us. Their ability and willingness to transform their tragic loss into prevention of similar events is changing the culture of medicine for the better.