The State Medical Board of Ohio (“Board”) has proposed rules for a new confidential monitoring program, which, if approved, is anticipated to be implemented later this year and the rules for which would be contained in OAC 4731-28, Mental or Physical Impairment.
The proposed program would be non-disciplinary and voluntary. The licensee’s participation in the proposed program would be governed by a written contract (called a participation agreement) between the licensee and the Board. The Board’s intent of the proposed program is to enable licensees, who would otherwise be subject to formal discipline, to avoid formal discipline for issues related to mental or physical illness.
The proposed program will be administered by the Board and not by a third party private monitoring organization (such as the Ohio Physicians’ Health Program “OPHP”).
Eligibility criteria for the proposed program includes, but is not limited to:
1) The Board may conduct any investigation necessary to evaluate the totality of circumstances, including requiring a physical or mental examination;
2) The individual must provide continuing authorization for the disclosure and release of information between the Board, the individual, and any other persons or entities involved in the evaluation, treatment or monitoring of the individual;
3) The individual must be willing to begin treatment or demonstrate that they have been significantly compliant with their established treatment plan;
4) Any individual that has been issued a Notice of Opportunity for Hearing that is pending is not eligible; and
5) There is no information indicating that allowing the individual to participate in the proposed program will create a substantial risk of potential harm to patients.
As proposed, OAC 4731-28-04 authorizes the Board to disqualify a participant from the proposed program for any alleged violation of their participation agreement, as determined by the sole discretion of the Secretary and Supervising Member, and shall constitute grounds for the Board to take a public disciplinary action against the licensee.
Finally, as proposed, OAC 4731-28-05 outlines the conditions that the participant must complete to have the participation agreement terminated.
The full draft of the proposed rules may be found at the Board’s website at: http://med.ohio.gov/Laws-Rules/Newly-Adopted-and-Proposed-Rules/Confidential-Monitoring-Program.
As always, if you have any questions about this blog or the State Medical Board of Ohio, please feel free to contact one of the attorneys at Collis Law Group LLC at (614) 486-3909 or email me at Beth@collislaw.com.