The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 26: Professions and Occupations

Chapter 23: MEDICINE

 

Sub-Chapter 1: General Provisions

§ 1311. Definitions

For the purposes of this chapter:

(1) Practice of medicine means:

(A) using the designation "Doctor," "Doctor of Medicine," "Physician," "Dr.," "M.D.," or any combination thereof in the conduct of any occupation or profession pertaining to the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of human disease or condition unless the designation additionally contains the description of another branch of the healing arts for which one holds a valid license in Vermont;

(B) advertising, holding out to the public, or representing in any manner that one is authorized to practice medicine in the jurisdiction;

(C) offering or undertaking to prescribe, order, give, or administer any drug or medicine for the use of any other person;

(D) offering or undertaking to prevent, diagnose, correct, or treat in any manner or by any means, methods, or devices any disease, illness, pain, wound, fracture, infirmity, defect, or abnormal physical or mental condition of any person, including the management of pregnancy and parturition;

(E) offering or undertaking to perform any surgical operation upon any person;

(F) rendering a written or otherwise documented medical opinion concerning the diagnosis or treatment of a patient or the actual rendering of treatment to a patient within the state by a physician located outside the state as a result of the transmission of individual patient data by electronic or other means from within the state to the physician or his or her agent; or

(G) rendering a determination of medical necessity or a decision affecting the diagnosis or treatment of a patient.

(2) "Board" means the state board of medical practice established under section 1351 of this title.

(3) "License" means license to practice medicine and surgery in the state as defined in subchapter 3 of this chapter. "Licensee" includes individuals licensed under this chapter and chapter 7 of this title and registrants and holders of certificates issued by the board.

(4) "Medical director" means, for purposes of this chapter, a physician who is board-certified or board-eligible in his or her field of specialty, as determined by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), and who is charged by a health maintenance organization with responsibility for overseeing all clinical activities of the plan in this state, or his or her designee.

(5) "Health maintenance organization", as used in this section, shall have the same meaning as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 9402(10).

(6) "Members" means members of the board.

(7) "Secretary" means the secretary of the board. (Amended 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1999, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.), § 49; 2001, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 20, eff. June 13, 2002; 2003, No. 34, § 4, eff. May 23, 2003; 2009, No. 25, § 10; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1312. Faith cure; mind healing; laying on of hands

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to persons professing and attempting to cure disease by means of "faith cure," "mind healing," or "laying on of hands," but shall not apply to persons who merely practice the religious tenets of their church without pretending a knowledge of medicine or surgery.

§ 1313. Exemptions

(a) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the following:

(1) a health care professional licensed or certified by the office of professional regulation when that person is practicing within the scope of his or her profession;

(2) a member of the United States military or national guard, including a national guard member in state status, or to any person giving aid, assistance, or relief in emergency or accident cases pending the arrival of a regularly licensed physician;

(3) a nonresident physician coming into this state to consult or using telecommunications to consult with a duly licensed practitioner herein; or

(4) a duly licensed physician in another state, in Canada, or in another nation as approved by the board who is visiting a medical school or a teaching hospital in this state to receive or conduct medical instruction for a period not to exceed three months, provided the practice is limited to that instruction and is under the supervision of a physician licensed by the board.

(b) The provisions of sections 1311 and 1312 of this title shall not apply to a person, firm, or corporation that manufactures or sells patent, compound, or proprietary medicines, that are compounded according to the prescription of a physician who has been duly authorized to practice medicine, or to the domestic administration of family remedies. (Amended 1971, No. 221 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1995, No. 171 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2003, No. 34, § 14, eff. May 23, 2003; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1314. Illegal practice

(a) A person who, not being licensed, advertises or holds himself or herself out to the public as described in section 1311 of this title, or who, not being licensed, practices medicine as defined in section 1311 of this title, or who practices medicine under a fictitious or assumed name, or who impersonates another practitioner or who is not a licensed health care professional as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 5202 and signs a certificate of death for the purpose of burial or removal, shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

(b) An action shall not be maintained by such person for the recovery of compensation for such services. (Amended 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1317. Unprofessional conduct to be reported to board

(a) Any hospital, clinic, community mental health center, or other health care institution in which a licensee performs professional services shall report to the board, along with supporting information and evidence, any disciplinary action taken by it or its staff which significantly limits the licensee's privilege to practice or leads to suspension or expulsion from the institution, a nonrenewal of medical staff membership, or the restrictions of privileges at a hospital taken in lieu of, or in settlement of, a pending disciplinary case related to unprofessional conduct as defined in sections 1354 and 1398 of this title. The commissioner of health shall forward any such information or evidence he or she receives immediately to the board. The report shall be made within 10 days of the date such disciplinary action was taken, and, in the case of disciplinary action taken against a licensee based on the provision of mental health services, a copy of the report shall also be sent to the commissioner of mental health and the commissioner of disabilities, aging, and independent living. This section shall not apply to cases of resignation or separation from service for reasons unrelated to disciplinary action.

(b) Within 30 days of any judgment or settlements involving a claim of professional negligence by a licensee, any insurer of the licensee shall report the information to the commissioner of health and, to the extent the claim relates to the provision of mental health services, to the commissioner of mental health.

(c) Except as provided in section 1368 of this title, information provided to the department of health or of mental health under this section shall be confidential unless the department decides to treat the report as a complaint, in which case, the provisions of section 1318 of this title shall apply.

(d) A person who acts in good faith in accord with the provisions of this section shall not be liable for damages in any civil action.

(e) A person who violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000.00. (Added 2001, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. June 13, 2002; amended 2007, No. 15, § 20; 2007, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § 7a; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1318. Accessibility and confidentiality of disciplinary matters

(a) It is the purpose of this section both to protect the reputation of licensees from public disclosure of unwarranted complaints against them and to fulfill the public's right to know of any action taken against a licensee when that action is based on a determination of unprofessional conduct.

(b) All meetings and hearings of the board shall be open to the public, except in accord with 1 V.S.A. § 313.

(c) The commissioner of health shall prepare and maintain a register of all complaints, which shall be a public record, and which shall show:

(1) with respect to all complaints, the following information:

(A) the date and the nature of the complaint, but not including the identity of the licensee; and

(B) a summary of the completed investigation; and

(2) only with respect to complaints resulting in filing of disciplinary charges or stipulations or the taking of disciplinary action, the following additional information, except for medical and other protected health information contained therein pertaining to any identifiable person that is otherwise confidential by state or federal law:

(A) the name and business addresses of the licensee and complainant;

(B) formal charges, provided they have been served or a reasonable effort to serve them has been made;

(C) the findings, conclusions and order of the board;

(D) the transcript of the hearing, if one has been made, and exhibits admitted at the hearing;

(E) stipulations presented to the board at a public meeting; and

(F) final disposition of the matter by the appellate officer or the courts.

(d) The commissioner shall not make public any information regarding disciplinary complaints, proceedings, or records, except the information required to be released under this section.

(e) A licensee or applicant shall have the right to inspect and copy all information in the possession of the department of health pertaining to the licensee or applicant, except investigatory files which have not resulted in charges of unprofessional conduct and attorney work product.

(f) For the purposes of this section, "disciplinary action" means action that suspends, revokes, limits, or conditions licensure or certification in any way, and includes reprimands and administrative penalties.

(g) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the disclosure of information by the commissioner regarding disciplinary complaints to Vermont or other state or federal law enforcement or regulatory agencies in the execution of its duties authorized by statute or regulation, including the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living or the department of financial regulation in the course of its investigations about an identified licensee, provided the agency or department agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the information as provided in subsection (d) of this section.

(h) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the board, at its discretion, from sharing investigative and adjudicatory files of an identified licensee with another state, territorial, or international medical board at any time during the investigational or adjudicative process.

(i) Neither the commissioner nor any person who received documents, material, or information while acting under the authority of the commissioner shall be permitted or required to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential documents, material, or information. (Added 2001, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. June 13, 2002; amended 2003, No. 34, § 5, eff. May 23, 2003; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011; 2011, No. 78 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 2, 2012.)

 

Sub-Chapter 2: Board Of Medical Practice

§ 1351. Board of medical practice

(a) A state board of medical practice is created. The board shall be composed of 17 members, nine of whom shall be licensed physicians, one of whom shall be a physician assistant licensed pursuant to chapter 31 of this title, one of whom shall be a podiatrist licensed pursuant to chapter 7 of this title, and six of whom shall be persons not associated with the medical field. The governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint the members of the board. Appointments shall be for a term of five years, except that a vacancy occurring during a term shall be filled by an appointment by the governor for the unexpired term. No member shall be appointed to more than two consecutive full terms, but a member appointed for less than a full term (originally or to fill a vacancy) may serve two full terms in addition to such part of a full term, and a former member shall again be eligible for appointment after a lapse of one or more years. Any member of the board may be removed by the governor at any time. The board shall elect from its members a chair, vice chair, and secretary who shall serve for one year and until their successors are appointed and qualified. The board shall meet upon the call of the chair or the commissioner of health, or at such other times and places as the board may determine. Except as provided in section 1360 of this title, nine members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The affirmative vote of the majority of the members present shall be required to carry any motion or resolution, to adopt any rule, to pass any measure or to authorize any decision or order of the board.

(b) In the performance of their duties, members of the board shall be paid a per diem and their actual and necessary expenses as provided by 32 V.S.A. § 1010(b).

(c) The board of medical practice is established as an office within the department of health. With respect to the board, the commissioner shall have the following powers and duties to:

(1) appoint a director of the office;

(2) employ or contract for legal counsel and such assistants as may be required, to fix the compensation to be paid for these services, and to incur such other expenses as the commissioner determines are necessary;

(3) employ, contract, or make arrangements for the performance of administrative, investigative, and similar services required or appropriate in the performance of the duties of the board;

(4) act as custodian of the records of the board;

(5) prepare an annual budget and administer money appropriated to the board by the general assembly. The budget of the board shall be part of the budget of the department. A board of medical practice regulatory fee fund is created. All board regulatory fees received by the department shall be deposited into this fund and used to offset up to two years of the costs incurred by the board, and shall not be used for any purpose other than professional regulation and responsibilities of the board, as determined by the commissioner of health. To ensure that revenues derived by the department are adequate to offset the cost of regulation, the commissioner shall review fees from time to time, and present proposed fee changes to the general assembly;

(6) prepare and maintain a registry of all physicians licensed by the board; and

(7) make available an accounting of all fees and fines received by the board and all expenditures and costs of the board annually.

(d) The commissioner of health shall appoint, and may terminate the employment of, the director, administrative support staff, and any investigator or private legal counsel employed or retained by the board.

(e) The commissioner of health shall adopt, amend, and repeal rules of the board which the commissioner determines necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter and chapters 7, 29, 31, and 52 of this title.

(f) Classified state employees who are employed as investigators by the department of health who have successfully met the standards of training for a full-time law enforcement officer under 20 V.S.A. chapter 151 shall have the same powers as sheriffs in criminal matters and the enforcement of the law and in serving criminal process, and shall have all the immunities and matters of defense now available or hereafter made available to sheriffs in a suit brought against them in consequence for acts done in the course of their employment. (Amended 1969, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1977, No. 91, § 1, eff. May 5, 1977; 1981, No. 100, § 12; 1985, No. 208 (Adj. Sess.), § 18, eff. June 30, 1986; 1989, No. 102, § 1; 1989, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), § 92; 2001, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 21, eff. June 13, 2002; 2001, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. June 13, 2002; 2003, No. 34, § 6, eff. May 23, 2003; 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 117a; 2009, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 19d, eff. May 12, 2010; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1352. Repealed. 2011, No. 61, § 9, effective June 2, 2011.

§ 1353. Powers and duties of the Board

The Board shall have the following powers and duties to:

(1) License and certify health professionals pursuant to this title.

(2) Investigate all complaints and charges of unprofessional conduct against any holder of a license or certificate, or any medical practitioner practicing pursuant to section 1313 of this title, and to hold hearings to determine whether such charges are substantiated or unsubstantiated.

(3) Issue subpoenas and administer oaths in connection with any investigations, hearings, or disciplinary proceedings held under this chapter.

(4) Take or cause depositions to be taken as needed in any investigation, hearing, or proceeding.

(5) Undertake any such other actions and procedures specified in, or required or appropriate to carry out, the provisions of this chapter and chapters 7, 29, 31, and 52 of this title.

(6) Require a licensee or applicant to submit to a mental or physical examination, and an evaluation of medical knowledge and skill by individuals or entities designated by the Board if the Board has a reasonable basis to believe a licensee or applicant may be incompetent or unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety. The results of the examination or evaluation shall be admissible in any hearing before the Board. The results of an examination or evaluation obtained under this subsection and any information directly or indirectly derived from such examination or evaluation shall not be used for any purpose, including impeachment or cross-examination against the licensee or applicant in any criminal or civil case, except a prosecution for perjury or giving a false statement. The Board shall bear the cost of any examination or evaluation ordered and conducted pursuant to this subdivision in whole or in part if the licensee demonstrates financial hardship or other good cause. The licensee or applicant, at his or her expense, shall have the right to present the results or reports of independent examinations and evaluations for the Board's due consideration. An order by the Board that a licensee or applicant submit to an examination, test, or evaluation shall be treated as a discovery order for the purposes of enforcement under 3 V.S.A. §§ 809a and 809b. The results of an examination or evaluation obtained under this subdivision shall be confidential except as provided in this subdivision.

(7) Investigate all complaints of illegal practice of medicine and refer any substantiated illegal practice of medicine to the Office of the Attorney General or the state's attorney in the county in which the violation occurred.

(8) Obtain, at the Board's discretion, from the Vermont Criminal Information Center a Vermont criminal history record, an out-of-state criminal history record, and a criminal history record from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for any applicant, licensee, or holder of certification. The Board may also inquire of Interpol for any information on criminal history records of an applicant, licensee, or holder of certification. Each applicant, licensee, or holder of certification shall consent to the release of criminal history records to the Board on forms substantially similar to the release forms developed in accordance with 20 V.S.A. § 2056c. When the Board obtains a criminal history record, it shall promptly provide a copy of the record to the applicant, licensee, or holder of certification and inform him or her of the right to appeal the accuracy and completeness of the record pursuant to rules adopted by the Vermont Criminal Information Center. When fingerprinting is required pursuant to this subdivision, the applicant, licensee, or holder of certification shall bear all costs associated with fingerprinting. The Board shall comply with all laws regulating the release of criminal history records and the protection of individual privacy. No person shall confirm the existence or nonexistence of criminal history record information to any person who would not be eligible to receive the information pursuant to this chapter. For purposes of this subdivision, "criminal history record" is as defined in 20 V.S.A. § 2056a.

(9) Inquire, at the Board's discretion, of the Vermont Department for Children and Families or of the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living to determine whether any applicant, licensee, or holder of certification who may provide care or treatment to a child or a vulnerable adult is listed on the Child Protection Registry or the vulnerable adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation registry.

(10) As part of the license application or renewal process, collect data necessary to allow for workforce strategic planning required under 18 V.S.A. chapter 222. (Amended 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1989, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), § 38; 1991 No. 167 (Adj. Sess.), § 30; 1993, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 24, 25, eff. Feb. 16, 1994; 1995, No. 188 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 8, 9; 1999, No. 14, § 2; 2001, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. June 13, 2002; 2003, No. 34, § 8, eff. May 23, 2003; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011; 2013, No. 79, § 43, eff. June 7, 2013.)

§ 1354. Unprofessional conduct

(a) The board shall find that any one of the following, or any combination of the following, whether or not the conduct at issue was committed within or outside the state, constitutes unprofessional conduct:

(1) fraud or misrepresentation in applying for or procuring a medical license or in connection with applying for or procuring periodic renewal of a medical license;

(2) all advertising of medical business which is intended or has a tendency to deceive the public or impose upon credulous or ignorant persons and so be harmful or injurious to public morals or safety;

(3) [Repealed.]

(4) abandonment of a patient;

(5) habitual or excessive use or abuse of drugs, alcohol, or other substances that impair the licensee's ability to practice medicine;

(6) promotion by a physician of the sale of drugs, devices, appliances, or goods provided for a patient in such a manner as to exploit the patient for financial gain of the physician or selling, prescribing, giving away, or administering drugs for other than legal and legitimate therapeutic purposes;

(7) conduct which evidences unfitness to practice medicine;

(8) willfully making and filing false reports or records in his or her practice as a physician;

(9) willful omission to file or record, or willfully impeding or obstructing a filing or recording, or inducing another person to omit to file or record medical reports required by law;

(10) failure to make available promptly to a person using professional health care services, that person's representative, succeeding health care professionals or institutions, when given proper written request and direction of the person using professional health care services, copies of that person's records in the possession or under the control of the licensed practitioner;

(11) solicitation of professional patronage by agents or persons or profiting from the acts of those representing themselves to be agents of the licensed physician;

(12) division of fees or agreeing to split or divide the fees received for professional services for any person for bringing to or referring a patient;

(13) agreeing with clinical or bio-analytical laboratories to make payments to such laboratories for individual tests or test series for patients, unless the physician discloses on the bills to patients or third party payors the name of such laboratory, the amount or amounts to such laboratory for individual tests or test series and the amount of his or her processing charge or procurement, if any, for each specimen taken;

(14) willful misrepresentation in treatments;

(15) practicing medicine with a physician who is not legally practicing within the state, or aiding or abetting such physician in the practice of medicine; except that it shall be legal to practice in an accredited preceptorship or residency training program or pursuant to section 1313 of this title;

(16) gross overcharging for professional services on repeated occasions, including filing of false statements for collection of fees for which services are not rendered;

(17) offering, undertaking, or agreeing to cure or treat disease by a secret method, procedure, treatment, or medicine;

(18) consistent improper utilization of services;

(19) consistent use of nonaccepted procedures which have a consistent detrimental effect upon patients;

(20) professional incompetency resulting from physical or mental impairment;

(21) permitting one's name or license to be used by a person, group, or corporation when not actually in charge of or responsible for the treatment given;

(22) in the course of practice, gross failure to use and exercise on a particular occasion or the failure to use and exercise on repeated occasions, that degree of care, skill, and proficiency which is commonly exercised by the ordinary skillful, careful, and prudent physician engaged in similar practice under the same or similar conditions, whether or not actual injury to a patient has occurred;

(23) revocation of a license to practice medicine or surgery in another jurisdiction on one or more of the grounds specified in this section;

(24) failure to comply with the provisions of 18 V.S.A. § 1852;

(25) failure to comply with an order of the board or violation of any term or condition of a license which is restricted or conditioned by the board;

(26) any physician who, in the course of a collaborative agreement with a nurse practitioner allows the nurse practitioner to perform a medical act which is outside the usual scope of the physician's own practice or which the nurse practitioner is not qualified to perform by training or experience, or which the ordinary reasonable and prudent physician engaged in a similar practice would not agree should be written into the scope of the nurse practitioner's practice, shall be subject to disciplinary action by the board in accordance with chapter 23 of this title;

(27) failure to comply with provisions of federal or state statutes or rules governing the practice of medicine or surgery;

(28) practice of profession when medically or psychologically unfit to do so;

(29) delegation of professional responsibilities to a person whom the licensed professional knows, or has reason to know, is not qualified by training, experience, education, or licensing credentials to perform them;

(30) conviction of a crime related to the practice of the profession or conviction of a felony, whether or not related to the practice of the profession, or failure to report to the board a conviction of any crime related to the practice of the profession or any felony in any court within 30 days of the conviction;

(31) use of the services of an anesthesiologist assistant by an anesthesiologist in a manner that is inconsistent with the provisions of chapter 29 of this title;

(32) use of the services of a radiologist assistant by a radiologist in a manner that is inconsistent with the provisions of chapter 52 of this title;

(33)(A) providing, prescribing, dispensing, or furnishing medical services or prescription medication or prescription-only devices to a person in response to any communication transmitted or received by computer or other electronic means, when the licensee fails to take the following actions to establish and maintain a proper physician-patient relationship:

(i) a reasonable effort to verify that the person requesting medication is in fact the patient, and is in fact who the person claims to be;

(ii) establishment of documented diagnosis through the use of accepted medical practices; and

(iii) maintenance of a current medical record;

(B) for the purposes of this subdivision (33), an electronic, on-line, or telephonic evaluation by questionnaire is inadequate for the initial evaluation of the patient;

(C) the following would not be in violation of this subdivision (33) if transmitted or received by computer or other electronic means:

(i) initial admission orders for newly hospitalized patients;

(ii) prescribing for a patient of another physician for whom the prescriber has taken the call;

(iii) prescribing for a patient examined by a licensed advanced practice registered nurse, physician assistant, or other advanced practitioner authorized by law and supported by the physician;

(iv) continuing medication on a short-term basis for a new patient, prior to the patient's first appointment; or

(v) emergency situations where life or health of the patient is in imminent danger;

(34) failure to provide to the board such information it may reasonably request in furtherance of its statutory duties. The patient privilege set forth in 12 V.S.A. § 1612 shall not bar the licensee's obligations under this subsection (a) and no confidentiality agreement entered into in concluding a settlement of a malpractice claim shall exempt the licensee from fulfilling his or her obligations under this subdivision;

(35) disruptive behavior which involves interaction with physicians, hospital personnel, office staff, patients, or support persons of the patient or others that interferes with patient care or could reasonably be expected to adversely affect the quality of care rendered to a patient;

(36) commission of any sexual misconduct which exploits the physician-patient relationship, including sexual contact with a patient, surrogates, or key third parties;

(37) prescribing, selling, administering, distributing, ordering, or dispensing any drug legally classified as a controlled substance for the licensee's own use or to an immediate family member as defined by rule;

(38) signing a blank or undated prescription form;

(39) use of the services of a physician assistant by a physician in a manner which is inconsistent with the provisions of chapter 31 of this title.

(b) The board may also find that failure to practice competently by reason of any cause on a single occasion or on multiple occasions constitutes unprofessional conduct. Failure to practice competently includes, as determined by the board:

(1) performance of unsafe or unacceptable patient care; or

(2) failure to conform to the essential standards of acceptable and prevailing practice.

(c) The burden of proof in a disciplinary action shall be on the state to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the person has engaged in unprofessional conduct. (Amended 1967, No. 307 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. March 22, 1968; 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1977, No. 259 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 1985, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1989, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2; 1991, No. 167 (Adj. Sess.), § 31; 1993, No. 190 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. June 11, 1994; 1993, No. 201 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2001, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. June 13, 2002; 2001, No. 151 (Adj. Sess.), § 19a, eff. June 27, 2002; 2003, No. 34, § 3, eff. May 23, 2003; 2009, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 19c, eff. May 12, 2010; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1355. Complaints; hearing committee

(a) Any person, firm, corporation, or public officer may submit a written complaint to the board alleging any person practicing medicine in the state committed unprofessional conduct, specifying the grounds therefor. The board shall initiate an investigation of the physician when a complaint is received or may act on its own initiative without having received a complaint. The chairperson shall designate four members, including one public member, to serve as a committee to hear or investigate and report upon such charges.

(b) The chair may designate a hearing committee constituting less than a quorum of the board, to conduct hearings which would otherwise be heard by the board. A hearing committee shall consist of at least one physician member of the board and one public member of the board. No member of the hearing committee shall have been a member of the investigative committee which reviewed the matter at the investigative stage. When the board is unable to assign one or more members to investigate a complaint or serve on a hearing committee by reason of disqualification, resignation, vacancy, or necessary absence, the commissioner may, at the request of the board, appoint ad hoc members to serve on the investigation or the hearing for that matter only. When a hearing is conducted by a hearing committee, the committee shall report its findings and conclusions to the board, within 60 days of the conclusion of the hearing unless the board grants an extension. The board may take additional evidence and may accept, reject, or modify the findings and conclusions of the committee. Judgment on the findings shall be rendered by the board. Nothing herein is intended to limit the discretion of the board to determine whether a matter will proceed to hearing before a hearing committee under this subsection or by a quorum of the board.

(c) A person or organization shall not be liable in a civil action for damages resulting from the good faith reporting of information to the board about alleged incompetent, unprofessional, or unlawful conduct of a licensee.

(d) The hearing committee may close portions of hearings to the public if the hearing committee deems it appropriate in order to protect the confidentiality of an individual or for medical and other protected health information pertaining to any identifiable person that is otherwise confidential by state or federal law.

(e) In any proceeding under this section which addresses an applicant's or licensee's alleged sexual misconduct, evidence of the sexual history of the victim of the alleged sexual misconduct shall neither be subject to discovery nor be admitted into evidence. Neither opinion evidence nor evidence of the reputation of the victim's sexual conduct shall be admitted. At the request of the victim, the hearing committee may close portions of hearings to the public if the board deems it appropriate in order to protect the identity of the victim and the confidentiality of his or her medical records. (Amended 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1989, No. 102, § 2; 1991, No. 167 (Adj. Sess.), § 32; 2001, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. June 13, 2002; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1356. Specification of charges

If the board or committee determines that a hearing is warranted, the secretary shall prepare a specification of the charge or charges of unprofessional conduct made against a medical practitioner, a copy of which shall be served upon the person complained against, together with a notice of the hearing, as provided in section 1357 of this title. (Amended 1969, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

§ 1357. Time and notice of hearing

The time of hearing shall be fixed by the secretary as soon as convenient, but not earlier than 30 days after service of the charge upon the person complained against. The secretary shall issue a notice of hearing of the charges, which notice shall specify the time and place of hearing and shall notify the person complained against that he or she may file with the secretary a written response within 20 days of the date of service. The notice shall also notify the person complained against that a stenographic record of the proceeding will be kept, that he or she will have the opportunity to appear personally and to have counsel present, with the right to produce witnesses and evidence in his or her own behalf, to cross-examine witnesses testifying against him or her and to examine such documentary evidence as may be produced against him or her. (Amended 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1358. Subpoenas; contempt

Subpoenas may be issued by the board to compel the attendance of witnesses at any investigation or hearing. The board shall issue subpoenas at the request and on the behalf of the person complained against. (Amended 1969, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1983, No. 230 (Adj. Sess.), § 8a.)

§ 1359. Report of hearing

Within 30 days after holding a hearing under the provisions of section 1357 of this title, the committee shall make a written report of its findings of fact and its recommendations, and the same shall be forthwith transmitted to the secretary, with a transcript of the evidence. (Added 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1360. Hearing before board

(a) If the board deems it necessary, the board may, after further notice to the person complained against, take testimony at a hearing before the board, conducted as provided for hearings before the hearing committee. In any event, whether the board makes its determination on the findings of the hearing committee, on the findings of the committee as supplemented by a second hearing before the board or on its own findings, the board shall determine the charge or charges upon the merits on the basis of the evidence in the record before it. Five members of the board, including at least one public member, shall constitute a quorum for purposes of this section.

(b) Members of the committee designated under section 1355 of this title to investigate the complaint shall not sit with the board when it conducts hearings under this section.

(c) In any proceeding under this section which addresses an applicant's or licensee's alleged sexual misconduct, evidence of the sexual history of the victim of the alleged sexual misconduct shall neither be subject to discovery nor be admitted into evidence. Neither opinion evidence of nor evidence of the reputation of the victim's sexual conduct shall be admitted. At the request of the victim, the hearing committee may close portions of hearings to the public if the board deems it appropriate to close portions of the hearing in order to protect the identity of the victim and the confidentiality of his or her medical records.

(d) The board may close portions of hearings to the public if the board deems it appropriate in order to protect the confidentiality of an individual or for medical and other protected health information pertaining to any identifiable person that is otherwise confidential by state or federal law. (Added 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1989, No. 102, § 3; 1991, No. 167 (Adj. Sess.), § 33; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1361. Decision and order

(a) If a majority of the members of the board vote in favor of finding the person complained against guilty of unprofessional conduct as specified in the charges, or any of them, the board shall prepare written findings of fact, conclusions and order, a copy of which shall be served upon the person complained against.

(b) In such order, the board may reprimand the person complained against, as it deems appropriate; condition, limit, suspend, or revoke the license, certificate, or practice of the person complained against; or take such other action relating to discipline or practice as the board determines is proper, including imposing an administrative penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 for each act that constitutes an unprofessional conduct violation. Any money received from the imposition of an administrative penalty imposed under this subsection shall be deposited into the board of medical practice regulatory fee fund for the purpose of providing education and training for board members and licensees. The commissioner shall detail in the annual report receipts and expenses from money received under this subsection.

(c) If the person complained against is found not guilty, or the proceedings against him or her are dismissed, the board shall forthwith order a dismissal of the charges and the exoneration of the person complained against.

(d) Any order issued under this section shall be in full force and effect until further order of the board or a court of competent jurisdiction. (Added 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1979, No. 169 (Adj. Sess.); 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§§ 1362Repealed. 1989, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), § 92.

§ 1363. Repealed. 1991, No. 167 (Adj. Sess.), § 66(7).

§ 1364. References to the state board of medical registration

The state board of medical registration is abolished. All references in the Vermont statutes annotated to the state board of medical registration shall be deemed from and after July 1, 1976, to refer to the state board of medical practice. (Added 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

§ 1365. Notice of conviction of crime; interim suspension of license

(a) The board shall treat a certified copy of the judgment of conviction of a crime for which a licensee may be disciplined under section 1354 of this title as an unprofessional conduct complaint. The record of conviction shall be conclusive evidence of the fact that the conviction occurred. If a person licensed under this chapter is convicted of a crime by a court in this state, the clerk of the court shall within 10 days of such conviction transmit a certified copy of the judgment of conviction to the board.

(b) Upon receipt of the certified copy of the judgment of conviction of a crime for which a licensee may be disciplined for unprofessional conduct, the board may immediately suspend that person's license until the time for appeal has elapsed and no appeal has been taken, or until the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or has otherwise become final, and until further order of the board. The board shall notify the licensee whose license has been suspended under this section and advise the licensee of his or her right to request a hearing, within 90 days. At such hearing, the licensee shall have the burden of showing why the suspension should not remain in effect pending appeal.

(c) The disciplinary hearing shall not be commenced until all appeals from the conviction are concluded unless the licensee requests that the matter not be deferred. The sole issue to be determined at such hearing shall be the nature of the disciplinary action to be taken by the board.

(d) An interim suspension ordered under subsection (b) of this section shall automatically terminate if the licensee demonstrates that the conviction which served as the basis of the interim suspension has been reversed or vacated. However, a reversal or vacated conviction shall not prohibit the board from pursuing disciplinary action based on any cause other than the overturned conviction. (Added 1995, No. 188 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; amended 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1366. Out-of-state discipline; interim suspension of license

(a) The board shall treat a certified copy of an order revoking or suspending the license of a person licensed to practice medicine or surgery in another jurisdiction on grounds for which a licensee may be disciplined under subdivision 1354(a)(23) of this title as an unprofessional conduct complaint. The order of revocation or suspension shall be conclusive evidence of the fact that the revocation or suspension occurred.

(b) The board shall treat a certified copy of a statement of a licensing entity in another jurisdiction which verifies that a person licensed to practice medicine or surgery in that jurisdiction failed to renew, surrendered, or otherwise terminated his or her license during, or prior to initiation of, proceedings to revoke or suspend his or her license as an unprofessional conduct complaint. The statement shall be conclusive evidence of the fact that such termination occurred.

(c) Upon receipt of the certified copy of an order or statement referred to in subsections (a) or (b) of this section, the board shall follow the procedures for interim suspension set forth in subsection 1365(b) of this title.

(d) The sole issue to be determined at the disciplinary hearing on a complaint filed under subsection (a) of this section shall be the nature of the disciplinary action to be taken by the board. (Added 1995, No. 188 (Adj. Sess.), § 12.)

§ 1367. Appeals from board orders

A party aggrieved by a final order of the board may, within 30 days of the order, appeal that order to the Vermont supreme court on the basis of the record created before the board. (Added 2001, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. June 13, 2002.)

§ 1368. Data repository; licensee profiles

(a) A data repository is created within the department of health which will be responsible for the compilation of all data required under this section and any other law or rule which requires the reporting of such information. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, licensees shall promptly report and the department shall collect the following information to create individual profiles on all health care professionals licensed, certified, or registered by the department, pursuant to the provisions of this title, in a format created that shall be available for dissemination to the public:

(1) A description of any criminal convictions for felonies and serious misdemeanors, as determined by the commissioner of health, within the most recent 10 years. For the purposes of this subdivision, a person shall be deemed to be convicted of a crime if he or she pleaded guilty or was found or adjudged guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(2) A description of any charges to which a health care professional pleads nolo contendere or where sufficient facts of guilt were found and the matter was continued without a finding by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(3) A description of any formal charges served, findings, conclusions, and orders of the licensing authority, and final disposition of matters by the courts within the most recent 10 years.

(4) A description of any formal charges served by licensing authorities, findings, conclusions, and orders of such licensing authorities, and final disposition of matters by the courts in other states within the most recent 10 years.

(5) A description of revocation or involuntary restriction of hospital privileges for reasons related to competence or character that has been issued by the hospital's governing body or any other official of the hospital after procedural due process has been afforded, or the resignation from, or nonrenewal of, medical staff membership or the restriction of privileges at a hospital taken in lieu of, or in settlement of, a pending disciplinary case related to competence or character in that hospital. Only cases which have occurred within the most recent 10 years shall be disclosed by the board to the public.

(6)(A) All medical malpractice court judgments and all medical malpractice arbitration awards in which a payment is awarded to a complaining party during the last 10 years, and all settlements of medical malpractice claims in which a payment is made to a complaining party within the last 10 years. Dispositions of paid claims shall be reported in a minimum of three graduated categories, indicating the level of significance of the award or settlement, if valid comparison data are available for the profession or specialty. Information concerning paid medical malpractice claims shall be put in context by comparing an individual health care professional's medical malpractice judgment awards and settlements to the experience of other health care professionals within the same specialty within the New England region or nationally. The commissioner may, in consultation with the Vermont medical society, report comparisons of individual health care professionals covered under this section to all similar health care professionals within the New England region or nationally.

(B) Comparisons of malpractice payment data shall be accompanied by:

(i) an explanation of the fact that professionals treating certain patients and performing certain procedures are more likely to be the subject of litigation than others;

(ii) a statement that the report reflects data for the last 10 years, and the recipient should take into account the number of years the professional has been in practice when considering the data;

(iii) an explanation that an incident giving rise to a malpractice claim may have occurred years before any payment was made, due to the time lawsuits take to move through the legal system;

(iv) an explanation of the possible effect of treating high-risk patients on a professional's malpractice history; and

(v) an explanation that malpractice cases may be settled for reasons other than liability.

(C) Information concerning all settlements shall be accompanied by the following statement: "Settlement of a claim may occur for a variety of reasons which do not necessarily reflect negatively on the professional competence or conduct of the health care professional. A payment in settlement of a medical malpractice action or claim should not be construed as creating a presumption that medical malpractice has occurred." Nothing herein shall be construed to limit or prevent the licensing authority from providing further explanatory information regarding the significance of categories in which settlements are reported. Pending malpractice claims and actual amounts paid by or on behalf of a professional in connection with a malpractice judgment, award, or settlement shall not be disclosed by the commissioner of health or by the licensing authority to the public. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the licensing authority from investigating and disciplining a health care professional on the basis of medical malpractice claims that are pending.

(7) The names of medical professional schools and dates of graduation.

(8) Graduate medical education.

(9) Specialty board certification.

(10) The number of years in practice.

(11) The names of the hospitals where the health care professional has privileges.

(12) Appointments to medical school or professional school faculties, and indication as to whether the health care professional has had a responsibility for teaching graduate medical education within the last 10 years.

(13) Information regarding publications in peer-reviewed medical literature within the last 10 years.

(14) Information regarding professional or community service activities and awards.

(15) The location of the health care professional's primary practice setting.

(16) The identification of any translating services that may be available at the health care professional's primary practice location.

(17) An indication of whether the health care professional participates in the Medicaid program, and is currently accepting new patients.

(b) The department shall provide individual health care professionals with a copy of their profiles prior to the initial release to the public and each time a physician's profile is modified or amended. A health care professional shall be provided a reasonable time to correct factual inaccuracies that appear in such profile, and may elect to have his or her profile omit the information required under subdivisions (a)(12) through (14) of this section. In collecting information for such profiles and in disseminating the same, the department shall inform health care professionals that they may choose not to provide such information required under subdivisions (a)(12) through (14).

(c) The profile shall include the following conspicuous statement: "This profile contains information which may be used as a starting point in evaluating the professional. This profile should not, however, be your sole basis for selecting a professional."  (Added 2001, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. June 13, 2002; amended 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1369. Repealed. 2013, No. 42, § 3.

 

Sub-Chapter 3: Licenses

§ 1391. Qualifications for medical licensure

(a) Upon payment of an examination fee, a person who has attained the age of majority, and is of good moral character, who is a graduate of a legally chartered college or university authorized to confer degrees in medicine and surgery, which is recognized by the board, shall be entitled to examination. Evidence of good moral character and competence in being able to communicate in reading, writing, and speaking the English language, shall be presented from the chief of service and two other active physician staff members at the hospital where the person was last affiliated. In the discretion of the board, evidence from different sources may be presented.

(b) If a person successfully completes the examination, he or she may then apply for licensure to practice medicine in the state of Vermont. In addition, each applicant may be interviewed by a board member.

(c) Students who have completed the studies of anatomy, physiology, chemistry and histology may be examined after presenting a certificate from the secretary of the college or university in which they are pursuing their studies that they have completed the work of the second year. The fee which shall accompany such certificate shall be half of that for the final examination and shall be credited to the student as a part of the whole fee when he or she takes his or her final examination, which examination shall not include the subjects in which such student was found qualified by such previous examination.

(d) In its discretion, the board may refuse applicants who are graduates of foreign universities or medical schools unless their credentials have first been passed upon and approved by the educational council for foreign medical graduates.

(e) An applicant for limited temporary license, who shall furnish the board with satisfactory proof that he or she has attained the age of majority, is of good moral character, is a graduate of a legally chartered medical school of this country or of a foreign country that is recognized by the board and which has power to grant degrees in medicine, that all other eligibility requirements for house officer status have been met, and that he or she has been appointed an intern, resident, fellow, or medical officer in a licensed hospital or in a clinic which is affiliated with a licensed hospital, or in any hospital or institution maintained by the state, or in any clinic or outpatient clinic affiliated with or maintained by the state, may upon the payment of the required fee, be granted a limited temporary license by the board as a hospital medical officer for a period of up to 54 weeks and such license may be renewed or reissued, upon payment of the fee, for the period of the applicant's postgraduate training, internship, or fellowship program. Such limited temporary license shall entitle the said applicant to practice medicine only in the hospital or other institution designated on his or her certificate of limited temporary license and in clinics or outpatient clinics operated by or affiliated with such designated hospital or institution and only if such applicant is under the direct supervision and control of a licensed physician. Such licensed physician shall be legally responsible and liable for all negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of the limited temporary licensee and shall file with the board the name and address both of himself or herself and the limited temporary licensee and the name of such hospital or other institution. Such limited temporary license shall be revoked upon the death or legal incompetency of the licensed physician or, upon ten days written notice, by withdrawal of his or her filing by such licensed physician. The limited temporary licensee shall at all times exercise the same standard of care and skill as a licensed physician, practicing in the same specialty, in the state of Vermont. Termination of appointment as intern, resident, fellow, or medical officer of such designated hospital or institution shall operate as a revocation of such limited temporary license. An application for limited temporary license shall not be subject to subsection 1391(d) of this title. (Amended 1961, No. 256; 1967, No. 307 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 22, 1968; 1969, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1971, No. 14, § 15, eff. March 11, 1971; 1971, No. 184 (Adj. Sess.), § 19, eff. March 29, 1972; 1977, No. 91, § 2; 1977, No. 259 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1989, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 39, 40; 2003, No. 34, § 9, eff. May 23, 2003; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1392. Repealed. 1987, No. 50, § 2, eff. May 15, 1987.

§ 1393. Examinations

The examinations shall be wholly or partly in writing, in the English language, and shall be of a practical character, sufficiently strict to test the qualifications of the applicant. In its discretion the board may use multiple choice style examinations provided by the National Board of Medical Examiners or by the Federation of State Medical Boards, or as determined by rule. The examination shall embrace the general subjects of anatomy, physiology, chemistry, pathology, bacteriology, hygiene, practice of medicine, surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, materia medica, therapeutics, and legal medicine. The subjects covered by the National Board of Medical Examiners examination shall be considered to have met the requirements of this section. If the applicant passes the examination approved by the board and meets the other standards for licensure, he or she will qualify for licensure. (Amended 1969, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 1977, No. 259 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1979, No. 64; 1983, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.); 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1394. Reexaminations

A person failing an examination may be reexamined. The limitation on the number of reexaminations shall be determined by the board, by rule. The fee for reexamination shall be as required by subsection 1391(a) of this title. (Amended 1969, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1977, No. 259 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2001, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 21a, eff. June 13, 2002.)

§ 1395. License without examination

(a) Without examination the board may, upon payment of the required fee, issue a license to a reputable physician who personally appears and presents a certified copy of a certificate of registration or a license issued to him or her in a jurisdiction whose requirements for registration are deemed by the board as equivalent to those of this state, providing that such jurisdiction grants the same reciprocity to a Vermont physician or by the National Board of Medical Examiners.

(b) Without examination the board may issue a license to a reputable physician who is a resident of a foreign country and who shall furnish the board with satisfactory proof that he or she has been appointed to the faculty of a medical college accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and located within the state of Vermont. An applicant for a license under this subsection shall furnish the board with satisfactory proof that he or she has attained the age of majority, is of good moral character, is licensed to practice medicine in his or her country of residence, and that he or she has been appointed to the faculty of an LCME accredited medical college located within the state of Vermont. The information submitted to the board concerning the applicant's faculty appointment shall include detailed information concerning the nature and term of the appointment and the method by which the performance of the applicant will be monitored and evaluated. A license issued under this subsection shall be for a period no longer than the term of the applicant's faculty appointment and may, in the discretion of the board, be for a shorter period. A license issued under this subsection shall expire automatically upon termination for any reason of the licensee's faculty appointment.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section and any other provision of law, a physician who holds an unrestricted license in all jurisdictions where the physician is currently licensed, and who certifies to the Vermont board of medical practice that he or she will limit his or her practice in Vermont to providing pro bono services at a free or reduced fee health care clinic in Vermont and who meets the criteria of the board, shall be licensed by the board within 60 days of the licensee's certification without further examination, interview, fee, or any other requirement for board licensure. The physician shall file with the board, on forms provided by the board and based on criteria developed by the board, information on medical qualifications, professional discipline, criminal record, malpractice claims, or any other such information as the board may require. A license granted under this subsection shall authorize the licensee to practice medicine on a voluntary basis in Vermont. (Amended 1967, No. 307 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. March 22, 1968; 1977, No. 91, § 3, eff. May 5, 1977; 1977, No. 259 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 1989, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), § 41; 2001, No. 151 (Adj. Sess.), § 19b, eff. June 13, 2002; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1396. Requirements for admission to practice

(a) The standard of requirements for admission to practice in this state, under section 1395 of this title, shall be as follows:

(1) Academic: Preliminary requirements to be a high school education or its equivalent, such as would admit the student to a recognized university, and a two years' course of study in a college of arts and sciences.

(2) Medical: Be a graduate of a medical college approved by the board or approved by an accrediting body satisfactory to the board.

(3) Postgraduate training: Have completed at least a one-year hospital program of postgraduate training approved by the board or approved by an accrediting body satisfactory to the board.

(4) Moral: Shall present letters of reference as to moral character and professional competence from the chief of service and two other active physician staff members at the hospital where he or she was last affiliated. In the discretion of the board, letters from different sources may be presented.

(5) Language: Shall demonstrate competence in reading, writing, and speaking the English language.

(6) Examination: The examination in writing shall have embraced 13 subjects of 90 questions, viz.: anatomy, physiology, chemistry, pathology, bacteriology, hygiene, practice of medicine, surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, materia medica, therapeutic and legal medicine. The grade achieved in each subject must have been at least 75 percent, and a license shall not be recognized when a lower rating was obtained.

Subdivision (a)(7) effective 60 days after the adoption of the maintenance of licensure rule for physicians; see note set out below.

(7) Practice: Shall have practiced medicine within the last three years as defined in section 1311 of this title or shall comply with the requirements for updating knowledge and skills as defined by board rules.

(b) In cases it deems appropriate, the board may waive the requirements of subdivisions (a)(1) and (2) of this section for an applicant who is a graduate of a medical college that is neither approved by the board nor by an accrediting body satisfactory to the board. As a condition of granting a waiver, the board may require that the applicant complete up to three years of postgraduate training satisfactory to the board. A waiver granted under this section shall be in writing and shall include a statement of the board's reasons for granting the waiver. (Amended 1971, No. 221 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1977, No. 259 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1987, No. 50, § 1, eff. May 15, 1987; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1397. Repealed. 2011, No. 61, § 9(3), eff. June 2, 2011.

§ 1398. Refusal or revocation of licenses

The board may refuse to issue the licenses provided for in section 1391 of this title to persons who, by false or fraudulent representations, have obtained or sought to obtain practice in their profession, or by false or fraudulent representations of their profession, have obtained or sought to obtain money or any other thing of value, or who assume names other than their own, or for any other immoral, unprofessional, or dishonorable conduct. However, a certificate shall not be suspended, revoked, or refused until the holder or applicant is given a hearing before the board. In the event of revocation, the holder of any certificate so revoked shall forthwith relinquish the same to the secretary of the board. (Amended 1967, No. 307 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 22, 1968; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1399. Repealed. 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 5.

§ 1400. Renewal of license; continuing medical education

(a) Every person licensed to practice medicine by the board shall apply biennially for the renewal of his or her license. At least one month prior to the date on which renewal is required, the board shall send to each licensee a license renewal application form and notice of the date on which the existing license will expire. On or before the renewal date, the licensee shall file an application for license renewal and pay the required fee. The board shall register the applicant and issue the renewal license. Within one month following the date renewal is required, the board shall pay the license renewal fees into the medical practice board special fund.

(b) A licensee for renewal of an active license to practice medicine shall have completed continuing medical education which shall meet minimum criteria as established by rule, by the board, by August 31, 2012 and which shall be in effect for the renewal of licenses to practice medicine expiring after August 31, 2014. The board shall require a minimum of 10 hours of continuing medical education by rule. The training provided by the continuing medical education shall be designed to assure that the licensee has updated his or her knowledge and skills in his or her own specialties and also has kept abreast of advances in other fields for which patient referrals may be appropriate. The board shall require evidence of current professional competence in recognizing the need for timely appropriate consultations and referrals to assure fully informed patient choice of treatment options, including treatments such as those offered by hospice, palliative care, and pain management services.

Subsection (c) effective 60 days after the adoption of the maintenance of licensure rule for physicians; see note set out below.

(c) A licensee for renewal of an active license to practice medicine shall have practiced medicine within the last three years as defined in section 1311 of this title or have complied with the requirements for updating knowledge and skills as defined by board rules.

(d) All licensees shall demonstrate that the requirements for licensure are met.

(e) A licensee shall promptly provide the board with new or changed information pertinent to the information in his or her license and license renewal applications at the time he or she becomes aware of the new or changed information.

(f) A person who practices medicine and who fails to renew his or her license in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be deemed an illegal practitioner and shall forfeit the right to so practice or to hold himself or herself out as a person licensed to practice medicine in the state until reinstated by the board, but nevertheless a physician while on extended active duty in the uniformed services of the United States or as a member of the national guard, state guard, or reserve component who is licensed as a physician at the time of an activation or deployment shall receive an extension of licensure up to 90 days following the physician's return from activation or deployment, provided the physician notifies the board of his or her activation or deployment prior to the expiration of the current license and certifies that the circumstances of the activation or deployment impede good faith efforts to make timely application for renewal of the license.

(g) Any person who allows a license to lapse by failing to renew the same in accordance with the provisions of this section may be reinstated by the board by payment of the renewal fee, the late renewal penalty, and if applicable, by completion of the required continuing medical education requirement as established in subsection (b) of this section and any other requirements for licensure as required by this section and board rule. (Amended 1967, No. 307 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. March 22, 1968; 1975, No. 118, § 80; 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1977, No. 91, § 4, eff. May 5, 1977; 1989, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), § 42; 1995, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 81; 2001, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. June 13, 2002; 2011, No. 60, § 7, eff. June 1, 2011; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1401. Expired.

§ 1401a. Fees

(a) The department of health shall collect the following fees:

(1) Application for licensure, $625.00; the board shall use at least $25.00 of this fee to support the cost of maintaining the Vermont practitioner recovery network which monitors recovering chemically dependent licensees for the protection of the public.

(2) Biennial renewal, $500.00; the board shall use at least $25.00 of this fee to support the cost of maintaining the Vermont practitioner recovery network which monitors recovering chemically dependent licensees for the protection of the public.

(3) Initial limited temporary license; annual renewal $70.00.

(b) The department of health may charge the following fees:

(1) Late renewal penalty of $25.00 for a renewal submitted less than 30 days late. Thereafter, the department may increase the late renewal penalty by $5.00 for every additional month or fraction of a month, provided the total penalty for a late renewal shall not exceed $100.00.

(2) Reinstatement of revoked or suspended license, $20.00.

(3) Replacement of license, $20.00.

(4) Verification of license, $40.00 and in fiscal year 2010 and thereafter $50.00. (Added 1993, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), § 26, eff. Feb. 16, 1994; amended 1995, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 25; 1999, No. 49, § 209; 2001, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. June 13, 2002; 2003, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2003, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 4a, eff. July 1, 2006; 2007, No. 76, § 18; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

§ 1402. Health maintenance organization; medical director

A medical director who is a physician employed by a health maintenance organization in this state, which has individuals who have entered into contracts with a health maintenance organization for the provision of health care services, or on whose behalf such an arrangement has been made, shall possess a full and unrestricted license issued by the board. (Added 1999, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.), § 50; amended 2001, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 22, eff. June 13, 2002.)

§ 1403. Professional corporations; medicine

A person licensed to practice medicine under this chapter may own shares in a professional corporation created under 11 V.S.A. chapter 4 which provides professional services in the medical and nursing professions. (Added 2007, No. 14, § 1, eff. May 2, 2007; amended 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011.)

 

Sub-Chapter 4: Professional Liability

§ 1441. Definitions and purpose

As used in this subchapter, the term "peer review committee" shall mean the Vermont professional standards review organization or its subsidiary committees, the Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care, Inc. or its subsidiary committees, a peer review committee or other comparable committee established by a health maintenance organization in accordance with the provisions of 18 V.S.A. § 9414, or a committee of a state or local professional association or of a hospital or other health care provider which is formed to evaluate and improve the quality of health care rendered by providers of health services or to determine that health services rendered were professionally indicated or were performed in compliance with the applicable standard of care or that the cost of health care rendered was considered reasonable by the providers of professional health services in the area. (Added 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. April 7, 1976; amended 1989, No. 108, § 1, eff. June 22, 1989; 1993, No. 30, § 20, eff. May 21, 1993.)

§ 1442. Immunity from liability of members of committee of professional society formed to maintain standards

(a) There shall be no monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action for damages shall arise against, any member of a peer review committee, any peer review committee or its predecessor or subsidiary organization, any person acting or employed as staff for a peer review committee, any person under a contract or other formal agreement with a peer review committee, or any person who participates with or assists a peer review committee for any act or proceeding related to peer review activities undertaken or performed within the scope of the functions of the peer review committee; provided that the member, peer review committee, predecessor or subsidiary organization, or person acts without malice, has made a reasonable effort to obtain the facts of the matter acted upon, and the action is taken with the reasonable belief that the action is warranted by the facts known after a reasonable effort to obtain all the facts. For purposes of this section, liability of a committee shall be determined with reference to acts taken by a majority of the members of the committee present at a meeting at which there was a quorum.

(b) This subchapter shall not be construed to confer immunity from liability on any professional association or upon any health professional while performing services other than as a member of a peer review committee.

(c) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply in the case of a violation of section 1443 of this title or any law relating to confidentiality of medical records. (Added 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. April 7, 1976; amended 1989, No. 108, §§ 2, 2a, eff. June 22, 1989.)