§ 5-37-5.2. Complaints.
(a) Any person, firm, corporation, or public officer may submit a written complaint to the board charging the holder of a license to practice medicine or limited registrant with unprofessional conduct, specifying the grounds for the complaint. The board shall review all complaints.
(b) If the board determines that the complaint merits consideration, or if the board, on its own initiative without a formal complaint, has reason to believe that any holder of a license or limited registration to practice medicine may be guilty of unprofessional conduct, the chairperson shall designate three (3) members of the board, at least one of whom shall be a public member, to serve as a committee to investigate the complaint. If the complaint relates to a procedure involving osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), at least one member of the investigating committee shall be an osteopathic physician member of the board.
(c) The investigating committee shall conduct its deliberations and make recommendations regarding the complaint to the board. In conducting an investigation of such complaints that require an inspection of a licensee's office:
(1) Either the investigating committee or the full board shall make a finding that an inspection is required and this finding must be evidenced by recorded minutes showing the vote to conduct an inspection;
(2) The scope and manner of conducting any such inspection shall be reasonably related to the written complaint received. Any licensee whose office is the subject of such inspection shall be provided by either the investigating committee or the full board with a copy of the complaint or a written summary of all pertinent allegations prior to or at the commencement of the inspection;
(3) At the conclusion of the inspection and prior to leaving the licensee's office premises, the board's inspectors shall provide the licensee whose office has been inspected with a copy of the completed inspection form, noting areas of deficiency or follow-up;
(4) Unless there is a real potential of imminent, unreasonable harm to patients or staff, the licensee shall have ten (10) days to remedy any deficiencies found during the inspection; and
(5) All inspections shall be carried out so as not to interfere with direct patient care.
(d) No member of the board who participated in the investigation may participate in any subsequent hearing or action taken by the remainder of the board. Investigations shall remain confidential and all initial hearings, investigatory hearings, and full hearings before the board shall remain confidential.
(e)(1) If the recommendation is no unprofessional conduct, the remaining members of the board shall review the relevant data and vote a final recommendation.
(2) If the investigating committee has probable cause to believe the alleged unprofessional conduct of the licensee is caused by an impairment that has directly affected the ability of the licensee to conduct his or her practice professionally, the committee may use its authority under § 5-37-1.3(10) to assist in further deliberations regarding the alleged misconduct of the licensee.
(3) In the event of a determination by the investigating committee of probable cause for a finding of unprofessional conduct, the accused may request a hearing (see §§ 5-37-5.3 and 5-37-5.4). A hearing committee shall be designated by the chairperson consisting of three (3) other members of the board, at least one of whom shall be a physician member and at least one of whom is a public member. If the complaint relates to a procedure involving osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), at least one member of the investigating committee shall be an osteopathic physician member of the board. The hearing shall be conducted by a hearing officer appointed by the director of the department of health. The hearing officer shall be responsible for conducting the hearing and writing a proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law along with a recommendation of a sanction, if warranted. The hearing committee shall read the transcript and review the evidence and, after deliberation, the hearing committee shall issue a final decision including conclusions of fact and of law. The board shall make public all decisions, including all conclusions against a license holder as listed in § 5-37-6.3.
(P.L. 1986, ch. 301, § 6; P.L. 1988, ch. 385, § 1; P.L. 1989, ch. 534, § 2; P.L. 1995, ch. 181, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 318, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 176, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 177, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 486, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 493, § 1.)