Kansas Professional Licensing Attorney Explains The Kansas Board Of Healing Arts Sanction Guidelines-Part Three Of Four

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts (“the Board”) in 2008 released guidelines for disciplinary sanctions. The Board broke the guidelines down into ten general categories of ethical violations.  The guidelines explain the various categories of ethical violations and the rationale for the proposed sanctions.  The Board follows the guidelines when devising a sanction for an ethical violation. However, these are not set in stone. The Board specifically retained their discretion to sanction to the extent allowed by law. Therefore, the guidelines are suggestions for sanctions. Notwithstanding, a licensee must be aware of the potential penalties they may suffer if the Board finds them in responsible for an ethical violation. If you find yourself in that situation, Kansas professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger will use the guidelines to obtain the best result for your situation.

This article discusses the sixth through tenth categories of ethical violations. A previous article discusses categories one through five. The sixth category of ethical violations is concerned with advertising.  The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the licensee’s right to free speech.  Advertising is a protected form of speech.   Freedom of speech does not extend to false, misleading, or deceptive claims. While the advertising technique of
puffing is permitted, factual misrepresentations must be sanctioned. The Board recommends that sanctions for making factual misrepresentations include remediation, deterring future errors, and a punitive sanction such as a fine.  The Board considers false advertising that is confusing to patients rather than leading to potential physical or monetary harm is “less serious.”

The seventh category of ethical violations relates to the lack of fitness to practice a healing art. Impairments affect the licensee’s ability to practice with “reasonable skill and safety.” Impairments include drug and alcohol abuse in addition to mental and physical limitations. The Board will look to the practitioner to provide insight into the condition when fashioning an appropriate sanction.  The guidelines indicate that the Board will look more favorably upon a practitioner who seeks help for their condition. Addressing the impairment is the goal of the sanction, however, accomplishing that goal may result in suspension during the licensee’s rehabilitation period.  In treating practitioners who are cooperative and seek treatment differently, the Board’s policy that referral to a treatment facility or monitoring is not disciplinary action if the sole reason is a treatment for impairment.  The Board encourages its members to seek treatment and therefore the action is not considered a sanction. Notwithstanding, the Board will consider any available sanction for a licensee who is uncooperative or when “uninterrupted practice endangers the public.”

Administrative requirements are the eighth category of ethical violations. Administrative requirements involve reporting breast examine abnormality, maintaining liability insurance, and posting requirements. The Board levies sanctions for administrative violations by examining the state of mind of the practitioner.

Inappropriate prescribing refers to prescribing medication without a legitimate medical purpose as well as failing to follow prescribing requirements.  The Board determines this category of offense as serious because of the potential health risk involved. The Board cautions practitioners that following the Board’s policies on pain management is distinct from inappropriate prescribing. Furthermore, prescribing medication in a manner that deviates from the standard of care is considered incompetence unless the behavior is criminal in nature. The Board will distinguish behavior that is merely negligent from more deviant behavior when devising sanctions.

The final ethical category is proper maintenance of patient records. Healthcare professionals have a duty to maintain patient records and release them upon patient request.  This category includes unethically releasing private information.   The Board is particularly interested in the pervasiveness of the licensee’s failure to properly maintain patient records when fashioning an appropriate sanction.

Kansas Professional Licensing Attorney Ready to Help

Kansas Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger is a zealous advocate for professional license holders. Attorney Sanger possesses the skill and expertise to protect your livelihood. Call Attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule your no obligation consultation.