Kansas Amends The Healing Arts Statute

The Kansas legislature amended the Healing Arts Statute in 2015. The statutory amendments are designed to address certain failings of the previous statutory provisions. Furthermore, the amended sections align statutory regulations with the reality of the practice of medicine today.  The amendments impose more severe criminal punishments for practicing medicine without a license as well as augments the rules governing unprofessional conduct exposing a practitioner to potential licensing discipline.  Kansas professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger counsels practitioners of the healing arts in Kansas to become well versed in the changes in the law and to be wary of conduct potentially subjecting oneself to discipline.

The statutory amendments cover a wide range of conduct. At the outset, the definition of healing arts was expanded to include medical treatment with the purpose of “alteration or enhancement of a condition or appearance.”  Additionally, the criminal penalty for practicing a healing art without a license—be it suspended, revoked, or otherwise—was increased from a Class B misdemeanor to a Level 10, non-person felony. This crime carries the potential for imprisonment of up to 6 months and probation for at least 12 months. The statute also authorized a more severe civil penalty of $1,000 per day for practicing without a license. The costs of prosecution may be included in addition to the daily fine. The Board of Healing Arts is permitted to seek an injunction against any person found to be practicing medicine without a license as well.

Significantly, the statutory amendments introduced new grounds for disciplinary action. The amendments added two criminal dispositions to the list of criminal dispositions presumptively mandating discipline. A conviction by either a special or a general court martial irrespective of a conviction of a Class A misdemeanor or felony or a similar crime in another jurisdiction will now warrant discipline. The amendment created the presumption of revocation following the conviction of a felony or like offense in another jurisdiction and for a conviction at a general court martial. The Board may decline to revoke if the Board determines by 2/3 vote that the practitioner is not a danger to anyone and that the person has been rehabilitated so as to not violate the public trust.

The statutory amendments also reflect the growing need to monitor health care professionals who are suffering an inability to competently practice a healing art. The amendments alter the language of the previous statute. Ostensibly in an effort to maintain the public trust, the previous safeguards afforded to the professions have been omitted. The statute now reads the “licensee’s ability … is impaired” by illness or drugs.  The previous statutory language referred to the licensee’s inability to practice. All documents obtained through an investigation shall remain confidential and will not be released to anyone for any purpose other than by use for the Board.

The amendments expanded upon the definition of professional incompetence. Interfering with a Board investigation is now included within that definition. Acts considered obstructing or interfering are

  1. falsifying or concealing a material fact;
  2. knowingly making or causing to be made any false or misleading statement or writing; or
  3. other acts or conduct likely to deceive or defraud the Board.

Furthermore, the newly passed statute has revised certain aspects of disciplinary procedure for licensees. The amendment expands the professional designations subject to discipline from merely licensees to include registrants, certificate holders, and permit holders. These additional professional designations may receive the benefit of a professional development plan in lieu of discipline. All of these professions are also subject to the Board of Healing Art’s subpoena power. This power was expanded to have the authority to compel production of evidence if the person previously failed to comply with a subpoena. The person subpoenaed may contest the subpoena but must first rely on the administrative remedy of appealing to the Board prior to appealing the ruling to the district court. Importantly, every person practicing a healing art is now obligated to report a violation of the law related to practicing the healing arts to the Board of which they have knowledge.

Consult An Experienced Professional Licensing Attorney For More Information

 Kansas Professional License Defense Lawyer Danielle Sanger is a dedicated advocate for all practitioners of the healing arts. She will vigorously and zealously fight to protect your livelihood. Call Attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 for your free consultation.