Illinois Patients’ Right to Know Act Doesn’t Tell It All

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Jerry Latherow, an Attorney Familiar with Malpractice, Provides Information on Filling in the Gaps

It’s important to learn and understand the tools available to you today.

Jerry Latherow, a personal injury and medical malpractice attorney and President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, says that when facing a medical challenge, it’s important to have confidence in the medical team providing your care. Knowing the history and background of your doctor can not only provide ease of mind, but tell the truth on things that aren’t as apparent. Latherow states, “It’s important to learn and understand the tools available to you today. One that is going to be making a considerable difference in Illinois is the Patients’ Right to Know Act (P.A. 97-0280). Patients were often unaware of physicians' criminal convictions, malpractice payments, or terminations, and now this information will be readily available.”

Latherow’s law firm works with medical malpractice and wrongful death cases and knows firsthand the importance of this legislation. Latherow says that “While this Act is good, it is limited to the records in Illinois. It is important to understand what the database is not telling you, and to do your due diligence to check out other sources as well.”

Latherow recommends patients seek out the following online tools:

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (http://www.idfpr.com/DPR/licenselookup). The Patients’ Right to Know Act requires the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to post physician information on its site. This information has long been collected by the agency, but is now available to the public.

The Federation of State Medical Boards (http://www.docinfo.org). This site discloses if a doctor has been sanctioned by any medical board in the United States. A nationwide search could reveal if a doctor has been disciplined in another state where he or she has been known to practice.

The American Board of Medical Specialties (http://www.abms.org). This site allows you to check on medical specialties and certifications. When doctors get a state medical license, it only shows if they’ve met the minimum requirements. This will show what specialties and certificates they have.

Latherow further advises to ask these questions of your doctor that are legally permissible and extremely informative:
1) How long have you been doing this procedure, and what has been your success rate?
2) Have you experienced complications with this procedure in the past that I should be aware of?
3) What are the potential complications I could have that relate directly to the procedure I am having done?
4) If I don’t have the procedure, how will that affect me?
5) What are the alternatives to having this procedure?

Latherow is available for media interviews by contacting Tom Ciesielka at 312-422-1333. Additional information can also be found at http://www.latherowlaw.com

About Attorney Jerry Latherow
Jerry A. Latherow is a veteran trial lawyer who has attained verdicts and settlements for his clients in cases involving medical malpractice, vehicular and construction liability, and airplane crash cases. He currently serves as the President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and has repeatedly been listed, most recently in 2011, as one of the top 100 attorneys in Illinois by Illinois Super Lawyers, and as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in Illinois by the National Trial Lawyers Association, most recently in 2011.

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THOMAS CIESIELKA
TC PUBLIC RELATIONS
(312) 422-1333
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