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

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts (“the Board”) promulgated its sanctioning guidelines in 2008. The Board issued a sanction grid to accompany the guidelines.  The Board grouped laws and regulations under headings describing a particular type of misconduct. The grid compares the severity of the allegations to the licensee’s prior record of discipline. Then a sliding scale determines the appropriate sanction for the alleged misconduct.  The Board made it very clear: it reserves the right to order any lawful sanction it sees fit within the bounds of its discretion and is not limited by the guidelines.  Nonetheless, the guidelines assist licensees facing discipline understand the potential discipline they face and can advocate for alternatives. Kansas professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger is a tireless advocate for licensees facing discipline and will use the guidelines to your advantage.

The Board divided the guidelines into ten general categories of professional misconduct. The first through the fifth categories are discussed here; whereas categories six through ten are discussed in a subsequent article. The first category of misconduct falls under the general heading of “competence.” The Guidelines list multiple potential violations under the general category of competence. The Board’s rationale for sanctioning lack of competency is very clear. The Board follows the ruling of the Kansas Supreme Court regarding incompetence in the healing arts. The Court stated, as quoted in the guidelines, “[n]o conduct or practice could be more devastating to the health and welfare of a patient or the public than incompetency . . .” Consequently, the Board seeks to sanction incompetence for failing to adhere to the appropriate standard of care resulting in gross negligence or repeated instances of ordinary negligence. Incompetence applies to the practitioner’s actions and his or her actions about the supervision of another healing art professional.

The Board describes the second category of sanctionable offenses as general misconduct. The Board defines misconduct as conduct that is “unsafe or improper.” According to the Board, general misconduct is dishonorable conduct or unprofessional conduct as well.  The Board further defines misconduct as conduct that does not conform to the standards necessary to protect the public from harm.  The Board defines professionalism as qualities of integrity, respect, and compassion. Misconduct is the exact opposite: unethical, corrupt, and dishonest. The Guidelines state clearly that the sanction for misconduct is punitive in nature, rather than remedial.

Criminal conduct is sanctionable by the Board. The Board concerns itself with the criminal conduct of its members because criminal conduct is evidence of lack of fitness for treating patients. The Board is also concerned about the public trust deteriorating if criminal acts committed by its members went unpunished. The Board announced in the Guidelines that discipline for criminal acts must be punitive in nature. The Board considers criminal conduct as serious in nature under the sanction grid when fashioning discipline.

The fourth category of misconduct is sexual misconduct. Sexual activity between consenting adults is misconduct if one of the consenting adults is a patient. Exploiting vulnerable patients for sexual gratification is not only a crime but a very serious violation of the ethical rules. The Guidelines call for the revocation of the license if allegations such as these are proved. The Board has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct involving a minor and counsels such intolerance extend to sexual contact with an adult as well. Sexual misconduct extends to the work environment. Sexual advances made by a supervising licensee to a subordinate create an untenable situation and must be sanctioned. The Board considers sexual misconduct such as sexual harassment to be a serious offense and has enumerated many factors to consider when deciphering an appropriate sanction.

The fifth category of misconduct involves business transactions. Misconduct involving business transactions ranges from over charging, fee-splitting, and welfare fraud to business transactions involving patients. This category of misconduct falls in the middle of the sentencing grid.

Kansas Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger will fight to protect your livelihood. Attorney Sanger is a zealous advocate for her clients. Call attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule your free consultation.