Consumer Healthcare Professions Profile FAQs
- Information about the Healthcare Professions Profile Program
Q: What is the Healthcare Professions Profile Program?
A: The Healthcare Professions Profile Program (HPPP) is an online database to help consumers find a healthcare provider that meets their needs and expectations. As a consumer, it is important to have access to all available information when choosing your healthcare providers. The HPPP helps consumers make informed healthcare decisions for themselves and their families. Here, consumers can find information about a healthcare provider like disciplinary actions, restrictions or suspensions, criminal convictions, business interests, malpractice insurance settlements among other information useful to the public. The program includes profile information for 54 license types and over 225,000 healthcare professionals.
Q: How did the Healthcare Professions Profile Program start?
A: The law that created the Healthcare Professions Profile Program (HPPP) was championed by Patty Skolnik, a mom whose tragic loss of her son led her to advocate for greater transparency and disclosure by healthcare providers. Her legislative effort resulted in the passage of the Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act in 2007. Patty’s son Michael died in 2004 after suffering complications from brain surgery. Later, she learned details about the physician's background that were concerning to her. It was Patty’s belief that if she had been able to research the physician’s background, she would have made different healthcare decisions for her son.
Q: What is the Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act?
A: The Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act is the legislation that created the Healthcare Professions Profile Program (HPPP). When it was passed in 2007, the new profile requirement only applied to physicians. The Act required physicians to complete online questionnaires or “profiles”. The intent behind the law was for the consumers in Colorado to have access to information about their physicians in order to make more informed healthcare decisions. Due to the success of the program for physicians, the Colorado legislature has passed multiple expansions of the Act since 2010. Currently the profile requirement includes 54 license types and over 225,000 individual licensees.
Q: Who operates the Healthcare Professions Profile Program?
A: The Healthcare Professions Profile Program (HPPP) is administered by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of Professions and Occupations. The Division of Professions and Occupations (Division) is the same state government agency that licenses and regulates healthcare providers in Colorado. HPPP acts under the direction of the Director of the Division. The Director holds the decision making authority for the HPPP meaning the Director may enforce the requirement, adopt rules and administer the program according to state law.
The HPPP is staffed by a team that helps the Director carry out these duties. The information provided in profiles is submitted by the individual licensee, but the HPPP staff monitors the program to ensure all information is provided, processes complaints about inaccurate information and issues administrative fines to individuals found to be non-compliant with the requirement.
- Information about how the Healthcare Professions Profile Program can help you
Q: How does this help me as a patient/consumer?
A: Reviewing healthcare profiles helps you find a provider that is a good match for your needs and expectations. Information like disciplinary actions in Colorado and other states, criminal convictions, business interests and malpractice insurance settlements or refusals are all reported in a profile. For example, when searching for a dentist, the consumer will be able to see if the provider they are considering has a history of malpractice settlements or has been the subject of a healthcare facility action.
The Healthcare Professions Profile Program (HPPP) system averages over 7,500 public searches for individual records per month by patients and consumers. Additionally, there about 2,400 updates or new entries made by licensees per month. Patients and consumers are encouraged to frequent the site and perform searches regularly on their healthcare provider.
- Information about accessing a Healthcare Professions Profile
Q: Who has to complete a Healthcare Professions Profile?
A: Nearly all healthcare professions regulated by the Division of Professions and Occupations are required to complete profiles. This includes professions ranging from physicians to pharmacists. For a complete list visit: www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/hppp.
Q: How do I access a profile?
A: To look up a healthcare professional’s profile, visit our website at www.dpo.colorado.gov/HPPP/Search. This page contains a list of all participating professions. Look for the “Search” link to the right of the profession name. If you know the license type of the person, you can select that specific type. You can also search by their name or license number.
Q: What if the healthcare professional I am looking for does not have a profile?
A: This could mean many things. The healthcare professional may not be required to complete a profile yet. Professions that are new to the Healthcare Professions Profile Program (HPPP) typically are not required to create a profile until the renewal of a license. Additionally, individuals with Expired, Inactive, Lapsed, or Cancelled licenses are not required to complete profiles. If you are having problems looking up a professional, contact the HPPP at email@example.com.
Q: What does it mean if a healthcare professional has a disciplinary action?
A: If a healthcare provider you are considering has a disciplinary action, you are encouraged to review the action. Disciplinary actions may be taken for a number of different reasons such as failing to renew a license to something more serious such as providing substandard care leading to the serious injury of a patient. If a healthcare professional has answered “yes” to the profile question regarding disciplinary actions, there should be a link to the disciplinary document. By clicking on that link you can see the disciplinary action. If there is no document available, please contact the HPPP. This also pertains to the question about restrictions or suspensions, convictions, refusal or limitation of malpractice insurance and DEA registration.
Patients are encouraged to have a conversation with their healthcare professional if they have questions about the information provided in the profile.
Q: Why is the profile for some professions different than others?
A: Each profession’s profile will contain relevant questions to the profession that are required by the Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act. Some of the questions required by the Act do not pertain to all license types. For example, professions like chiropractors, physical therapists and mental health professionals cannot prescribe medications and cannot hold DEA Registrations. Those professions will not have the DEA question included in their profiles.
Q: Why doesn't the professional have an address listed? There is only the city, state and zip code.
A: Licensed professionals have the option to select their home address or their business address as their address of record. If an individual has decided to use a home address, it is not viewable on the profile, but if the professional is practicing in the profession, there will be a location of practice listed in the first profile question.
- Information about how to report an incorrect profile
Q: What if I find out that a healthcare professional did not provide accurate information on a profile?
A: Anyone can report an incorrect profile to the Healthcare Professions Profile Program (HPPP). If you believe a provider has provided inaccurate information, visit our Report a Profile Inaccuracy page, where you you can access a report form and learn more about the reporting process. You can fill out the report form and submit it to the HPPP through email or mail it to our office.
Professional Healthcare Professions Profile FAQs
- Information about updating your Healthcare Professions Profile
Q: When do I need to update my Healthcare Professions Profile?
A: Your profile must be updated within 30 days of the effective date of any reportable action, unless your profession's statute has a separate reporting requirement. Information regarding employers, employment contracts and business ownership interests, must be updated annually. To review the Program policies, visit the Laws, Rules and Policies page.
Q: What if I do not timely update my Healthcare Professions Profile as required by law?
A: The Director of the Colorado Division of Professions and Occupations (Director) may impose a non-disciplinary administrative fine not to exceed $5000. The Director must notify the appropriate Board when an administrative fine is imposed and the Board may also pursue disciplinary action against your license if warranted. Payment of an administrative fine does not exempt an individual from complying with the requirements of the Act.
Q: I have been a healthcare professional for many years, do I need to list every hospital and health care facility affiliation I have ever had?
A: No. You are only required to list current and active affiliations.
Q: I recently signed a disciplinary action with the Colorado Board. do I need to update my profile and provide the documents to the Healthcare professions Profile Program?
A: Yes. Even though the board who took the action supplies the Healthcare Professions Profile Program with the document, each individual is responsible for ensuring the information in their profile is reflected correctly and that the Program has a copy of the documentation.
Q: I recently signed a disciplinary action of restriction/suspension with another state, do I need to update my profile and provide the documents to the Healthcare Professions Profile Program?
A: Yes. Any time there is a change to the information in your profile, you are required do update the information within the time frame outlined in the Act. You must also notify your Board or Program of the action. A copy of the final action must be provided to the Healthcare Professions Profile Program because it must be available for viewing on your profile.
Q: I perform locum tenens work. Do I need to report all my affiliations and employment contracts?
A: Yes. All current affiliations must be reported. Every contract, regardless of the length of time, which has an annual value of greater than $5000, or where you receive greater than $5000 must be reported.
Q: I am not sure how much I made from my employment or independent contracts last year. When do I have to update the information?
A: The statute requires the information be updated within a year of a change in the information. It is acceptable for an individual to update the employment contracts after they receive their tax information. This should happen in February every year.
Q: I have an Inactive license, do I need to complete a Healthcare Professions Profile?
A: No. Only licenses in active and retired statuses must have profiles completed.
Q: I have more than one Active license, do I need to complete a profile for every license?
A: Yes. The law states that every active license must have a corresponding profile.
Q: I have a restraining order against someone and am concerned they will have information about my employer, where I practice and my home address. What should I do?
A: By law you are still required to report this information to the Healthcare Professions Profile Program. In addition, the Colorado Address Confidentiality Program may be of assistance. There are certain requirements for eligibility. For more information, please visit their website at: www.colorado.gov/pacific/dcs/acp.
Q: Who do I contact if I need assistance or have questions relating to the Healthcare Professions Profile?
- Information about what is available to the public
Q: Is my address of record available to the public?
A: Consistent with Colorado law, your address and phone number of record with the Division of Professions and Occupations are public information and will appear on your Healthcare Profession Profile. If you select a home address for your address of record, only the city, state, and zip code are viewable however if an inquiry is received the address of record will be provided. In most cases, it is permissible for an individual to provide an address of record other than a residence, such as a post office box or a practice location. Please be advised that all correspondence, including renewal notices, licenses, and other legal documents, will be mailed to the address provided. If your address is not current, it is possible you will not receive important documents. To update your address online, please visit Online Services.
- Information about using the Healthcare Professions Profile for credentialing
Q: Can the Healthcare Professions Profile be used for credentialing purposes?
A: No. The information in Healthcare Profession Profiles is not primary source data, meaning it is data provided by the individual licensee. The information is not verified by the Division and should not be used for credentialing purposes.