OHIO PHYSICIANS: DO YOU KNOW THE REPORTING REQUIREMENTS?

Did you know that in Ohio, if you give aid to a sick or injured person, the failure to report to law enforcement any gunshot or stab wound that you have treated or observed, or any serious physical harm to a person that you know or have reasonable cause to believe resulted from an offense of violence, could result in a misdemeanor criminal charge and conviction?

Ohio Revised Code 2921.22(B) provides:
“Except for conditions that are within the scope of division (E) of this section, no person giving aid to a sick or injured person shall negligently fail to report to law enforcement authorities any gunshot or stab wound treated or observed by the person, or any serious physical harm to persons that the person knows or has reasonable cause to believe resulted from an offense of violence.”

Many are unaware of this reporting requirement.  However, ignorance of the law is no defense.

Unless you have completed a residency program in emergency medicine, trauma, or surgery, you might have never heard of this reporting law.  We are not aware that medical schools in Ohio routinely address this reporting law.

Often, patients who have been involved in or have been a victim of a crime, or an incident involving a gunshot or stab wound or serious physical harm, are unwilling or unable to truthfully explain to their medical professional how the injury occurred.  In certain instances, it may be difficult to determine if an injury is the result of a crime of violence.  Physicians should be aware that a patient who has been involved in a crime might try to tell the physician that they were “accidently” injured (for example, while hunting or by mistake).

If you have reasonable cause to believe that a gunshot or stab wound or serious physical harm resulted from an offense of violence, the failure report to law enforcement could result in criminal charges and conviction for misdemeanor, Failure to Report a Crime, and the conviction could result in a disciplinary action against your Ohio medical license (R.C. 4731.22(B)(11)).

As always, if you have any questions about this post or the State Medical Board of Ohio, please feel free to contact one of the attorneys at the Collis Law Group LLC, or contact me at beth@collislaw.com or 614-486-3909.

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Time to renew your Ohio Medical license – not something that should be delegated!

Depending on the first initial of your last name, it might be time to renew your Ohio medical license. This can be done on-line by going to the Medical Board’s website http://www.med.ohio.gov/.  If it is your renewal time, you should have been sent instructions from the Medical Board with your login information to complete your renewal application on-line. Or, you may request that the Board send you a paper renewal form to complete and return to the Board. Whether you choose to renew online or to complete the paper renewal form it is important that you take a few quiet minutes to yourself to complete the form on your own!

Often, physicians think they are too busy to take the time to personally complete the renewal form. I am often told by physicians that they allow the “girl” (their assistant) to complete the renewal forms for them. This is a mistake.  Does your assistant know that you were arrested in college for disorderly conduct or an open container violation?  Does your assistant know of the reckless operation of a vehicle charge that you plead guilty to on the way home from your sister’s wedding? Probably not.

However, by signing the renewal application you are certifying to the Medical Board that all information contained in the application is correct and complete. The Medical Board reviews all original applications for licensure and renewal applications very seriously and will take a disciplinary action against a licensee who fails to provide the Board with correct and complete information.

It is important to read all the questions on the renewal application carefully and to provide the Medical Board with clear, complete, honest and correct answers to their questions. If you do not understand a question, you may call the Medical Board staff and ask  – however, the staff is unable to give legal advice.

If you provide the Medical Board with an incorrect or incomplete answer or if you omit information called for in a question, the Board may take a disciplinary action against you based on a violation of Ohio Revised Code 4731.22(B)(5), “for providing false, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading statement … to obtain certification of registration from the Board.”

The Medical Board’s disciplinary guidelines permit the Board to impose a minimum sanction of an indefinite suspension (minimum one year) to a maximum penalty of permanent license revocation if a licensee provides, false information to obtain anything of value.  http://med.ohio.gov/pdf/meddis.pdf

When completing an initial application or submitting your renewal application to the Medical Board, complete the form yourself and take the time to answer all the questions with complete, clear, concise and correct answers.

As always, if you have any questions about this post or another question involving the State Medical Board of Ohio, feel free to email me at Beth@collislaw.com or call me at 614-486-3909.