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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 26 : Professions and Occupations

Chapter 023 : MEDICINE

Subchapter 001 : General Provisions

(Cite as: 26 V.S.A. § 1317)
  • § 1317. Unprofessional conduct to be reported to Board

    (a) Required reporters. Any hospital, clinic, community mental health center, or other health care institution in which a licensee performs professional services shall report to the Board, along with supporting information and evidence, any reportable disciplinary action taken by it or its staff.

    (b) Definition of reportable disciplinary action. A reportable disciplinary action is an action based on one or more of the following:

    (1) Acts or omissions of a licensee that relate to the licensee's fitness or competence to practice medicine under the license held.

    (2) Acts or omissions of the licensee that constitute a violation of a law or rule that relates in any way to the practice of medicine.

    (3) Acts or omissions of the licensee that occur in the course of practice and result in one or more of the following:

    (A) Resignation, leave of absence, termination, or nonrenewal of an employment relationship or contract. This includes a licensee's own initiation of such action following notification to the licensee by the reporter that the reporter or an affiliated entity is conducting an investigation or inquiry regarding an event that, assuming the accuracy of the information or allegation, is likely to result in reportable disciplinary action. The reporter or affiliated entity shall complete the investigation or inquiry even if the licensee initiates a resignation, leave of absence, termination, or nonrenewal, and shall make a report to the Board if the investigation results in a finding of a reportable disciplinary action. Resignations and leaves of absence that are entirely voluntary by the licensee, and terminations and nonrenewals of employment or contract by a required reporter that are not related to acts or omissions of the licensee, are not reportable disciplinary actions.

    (B) Revocation, suspension, restriction, relinquishment, or nonrenewal of a right or privilege. This includes a licensee's own initiation of such action following notification to the licensee by the reporter that the reporter or an affiliated entity is conducting an investigation or inquiry regarding an event that, assuming the accuracy of the information or allegation, is likely to result in reportable disciplinary action. The reporter or affiliated entity shall complete the investigation or inquiry even if the licensee initiates a resignation, leave of absence, termination, or nonrenewal, and shall make a report to the Board if the investigation results in a finding of a reportable disciplinary action. Relinquishments of privileges that are entirely voluntary by the licensee, and revocations, nonrenewals, or other limitations on privileges by a required reporter that are not related to acts or omissions of the licensee, are not reportable disciplinary actions.

    (C) Written discipline that constitutes a censure, reprimand, or admonition, if it is the second or subsequent censure, reprimand, or admonition within a 12-month period for the same or related acts or omissions that previously resulted in written censure, reprimand, or admonition. The same or related acts or omissions includes similar behavior or behavior involving the same parties, or both. Oral censure, oral reprimand, and oral admonition are not considered reportable disciplinary actions, and notation of an oral censure, oral reprimand, or oral admonition in a personnel or supervisor's file does not transform the action from oral to written.

    (D) Fine or any other form of monetary penalty imposed as a form of discipline.

    (E) Required education, remedial counseling, or monitoring that is imposed as a result of a completed, contested disciplinary process. This includes recommendation or referral for services from the Vermont Practitioner Recovery Network established pursuant to section 1401a of this chapter, or from an employer wellness program or similar program, as a result of a completed, contested disciplinary process.

    (c) Timing of reports. A required report of reportable disciplinary action under subsection (b) of this section shall be made within 30 days following the date on which the disciplinary action was taken or upon completion of an investigation or inquiry pursuant to subdivision (b)(3)(A) or (B) of this section.

    (d) Mental health services. If reportable disciplinary action is reported to the Board based on a licensee's provision of mental health services, the Commissioner of Health shall forward the report to the Commissioners of Mental Health and of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living. Except as provided in section 1368 of this title, information provided to the Department of Health, the Department of Mental Health, or the Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living under this section shall be confidential unless the Department of Health decides to treat the report as a complaint; in which case, the provisions of section 1318 of this title shall apply.

    (e) Limitation on liability. A person who acts in good faith in accordance with the provisions of this section shall not be liable for damages in any civil action based on the fact that a report was made.

    (f) Violations. A reporter who violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.00, provided that a reporter who employs or grants privileges to five or more Board licensees and who violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000.00. (Added 2001, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. June 13, 2002; amended 2007, No. 15, § 20; 2007, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § 7a; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011; 2015, No. 23, § 13; 2019, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)