Kansas Professional Licensing Attorney Discusses Ophthalmic Discipline in Kansas

The Kansas State Board of Examiners in Optometry (“State Board”) is the sole disciplinary authority of the ophthalmic profession in the state. As such, the State Board bears a tremendous burden to ensure that ophthalmologists in Kansas are competent, ethical, and scrupulous practitioners. The safety of the public demands that optometrists provide the highest level of care possible and the State Board strives to guarantee that no one will be a victim to an optometrist unwilling to live up to the professional standards the State Board established.

There are, however, at least two sides to every story. Experience dictates that the filing of a complaint against an optometrist for wrongdoing or unethical behavior is not the equivalent of a conclusive finding. Every professional in Kansas facing licensing discipline deserves to have the counsel of their choosing fight for their rights, to protect his or her livelihood, and to protect the optometrist’s way of life. Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger has the experience to represent you aggressively to deliver the best result for you and those closest to you.

The State Board derives its authority to discipline optometrists who have committed a violation of the professional licensing act. The act, found at Kansas Statutes 65-1517, affords the State Board discretion to impose discipline upon an optometrist when the State Board finds that the licensee’s conduct runs contrary to the standards elucidated in the 65-1517. The section does not set out the precise quantum of proof upon which the State Board must decide the case. Instead, the statute merely indicates that the “existence” of a listed “ground(s)” is sufficient to impose discipline.

The statute grants the State Board wide discretion when imposing discipline. The State Board may revoke, suspend, or limit the optometrist’s license. The State Board may also censure the licensee privately or publicly. None of the grounds for discipline require a mandatory penalty. Therefore, the State Board enjoys great flexibility when producing sentence and should consider the history of the licensee, and the severity of the infraction, among other factors, when deliberating upon punishment for the licensee.

Section 65-1517 lists 25 independent grounds, which, if proven, may serve as the basis for discipline. Committing fraud, malpractice, professional incompetence, felony convictions, violating drug statutes, violating orders issued by the State Board, violating the laws governing optometry in Kansas, not paying a renewal fee, not completing continuing educational requirements, practicing with a false name, or impersonation of another optometrist.

Other grounds include suspension or revocation of a license to practice optometry disciplined in another state, violating rules, regulations, or directives announced by the State Board, cheating to get a license, refusing to provide information to the State Board when requested, receiving discipline or adverse action from a peer review group, professional society, or agency, failing to keep liability insurance, fraudulent billing practices, and not providing a prescription for glasses.

The act also requires disciplinary action if an optometrist’s illness, infirmity, alcohol, or drug use inhibits his or her ability to practice optometry with reasonable skill and care. Section 65-1517(j) requires the licensee to undergo physical and mental examinations if requested by the State Board. This section indicates that every optometrist practicing in Kansas consents impliedly to the demands of the State Board under subsection (j).

Furthermore, 65-1517 allows the State Board to discipline an optometrist if the licensee settled or was found liability for committing malpractice. Additionally, failing to report an adverse ruling of malpractice is another ground for imposing discipline.

Protect Your License to Practice Optometry in Kansas

Kansas Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger has the expertise, track record of success, and vast experience you need when facing a disciplinary hearing before the Kansas State Board of Examiners in Optometry. Schedule a consultation with Attorney Danielle Sanger by calling 785-979-4353 today.