The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 002 : BOARD OF MEDICAL PRACTICE(Cite as: 26 V.S.A. § 1353)
§ 1353. Powers and duties of the Board
The Board shall have the following powers and duties to:
(1) License and certify health professionals pursuant to this title.
(2) Investigate all complaints and charges of unprofessional conduct against any holder of a license or certificate, or any medical practitioner practicing pursuant to section 1313 of this title, and to hold hearings to determine whether such charges are substantiated or unsubstantiated. The Board may employ or contract with one or more hearing officers to schedule, oversee prehearing processes, preside over hearings, and assist with the preparation of reports and decisions.
(3) Issue subpoenas and administer oaths in connection with any investigations, hearings, or disciplinary proceedings held under this chapter. Any individual or entity served with a subpoena issued by the Board shall comply notwithstanding the patient's privilege established in 12 V.S.A. § 1612.
(4) Take or cause depositions to be taken as needed in any investigation, hearing, or proceeding.
(5) Undertake any such other actions and procedures specified in, or required or appropriate to carry out, the provisions of this chapter and chapters 7, 29, 31, and 52 of this title.
(6) Require a licensee or applicant to submit to a mental or physical examination, and an evaluation of medical knowledge and skill by individuals or entities designated by the Board if the Board has a reasonable basis to believe a licensee or applicant may be incompetent or unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety. The results of the examination or evaluation shall be admissible in any hearing before the Board. The results of an examination or evaluation obtained under this subsection and any information directly or indirectly derived from such examination or evaluation shall not be used for any purpose, including impeachment or cross-examination against the licensee or applicant in any criminal or civil case, except a prosecution for perjury or giving a false statement. The Board shall bear the cost of any examination or evaluation ordered and conducted pursuant to this subdivision in whole or in part if the licensee demonstrates financial hardship or other good cause. The licensee or applicant, at his or her expense, shall have the right to present the results or reports of independent examinations and evaluations for the Board's due consideration. An order by the Board that a licensee or applicant submit to an examination, test, or evaluation shall be treated as a discovery order for the purposes of enforcement under 3 V.S.A. §§ 809a and 809b. The results of an examination or evaluation obtained under this subdivision shall be confidential except as provided in this subdivision.
(7) Investigate all complaints of illegal practice of medicine and refer any substantiated illegal practice of medicine to the Office of the Attorney General or the State's Attorney in the county in which the violation occurred.
(8)(A) Inquire into the criminal history backgrounds of applicants for licensure and for biennial license renewal for all professionals licensed or certified by the Board. In obtaining these background checks, the Board may inquire directly of the Vermont Crime Information Center, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Crime Information Center, or other holders of official criminal record information, and may arrange for these inquiries to be made by a commercial service.
(B) Prior to acting on an initial or renewal application, the Board may obtain with respect to the applicant a Vermont criminal history record, an out-of-state criminal history record, and a criminal history record from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks shall be fingerprint-supported, and fingerprints so obtained may be retained on file and used to notify the Board of future triggering events. Each applicant shall consent to the release of criminal history records to the Board on forms developed by the Vermont Crime Information Center.
(C) An applicant or licensee shall bear any cost of obtaining a required criminal history background check.
(D) The Board shall comply with all laws regulating the release of criminal history records and the protection of individual privacy.
(E) No person shall confirm the existence or nonexistence of criminal history record information to any person who would not be eligible to receive the information pursuant to this chapter. As used in this subdivision, "criminal history record" has the same meaning as in 20 V.S.A. § 2056a.
(9) Inquire, at the Board's discretion, of the Vermont Department for Children and Families or of the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living to determine whether any applicant, licensee, or holder of certification who may provide care or treatment to a child or a vulnerable adult is listed on the Child Protection Registry or the vulnerable adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation registry.
(10) As part of the license application or renewal process, collect data necessary to allow for workforce strategic planning required under 18 V.S.A. chapter 222.
(11) During a declared state of emergency:
(A) The Board or the Executive Director of the Board may issue a temporary license to an individual who is currently licensed to practice as a physician, physician assistant, or podiatrist in another jurisdiction, whose license is in good standing, and who is not subject to disciplinary proceedings in any other jurisdiction. The temporary license shall authorize the holder to practice in Vermont until the termination of the declared state of emergency or 90 days, whichever occurs first, provided the licensee remains in good standing, and may be reissued by the Board if the declared state of emergency continues longer than 90 days. Fees shall be waived when a license is required to provide services under this subdivision (A).
(B) The Board or the Executive Director of the Board may waive supervision and scope of practice requirements for physician assistants, including the requirement for documentation of the relationship between a physician assistant and a physician pursuant to section 1735a of this title. The Board or Executive Director may impose limitations or conditions when granting a waiver under this subdivision (B).
(12) Provide a pre-application determination of an individual's criminal background. This determination shall not be binding on the Board in a future application if the individual violates probation or parole or is convicted of another crime following the determination.
(A) The Board shall initiate this determination upon an individual's "second chance" determination request. This request shall provide documentation related to the individual's conviction or convictions, evidence of rehabilitation, and identification of the profession or professions for which the individual seeks licensure.
(B) The individual shall submit this request online, accompanied by the fee for pre-application determinations set forth in section 1401a of this chapter. If the individual thereafter applies for licensure, this pre-application fee shall be deducted from that license application fee.
(C) The Board shall:
(i) process a request within 30 days of receiving a complete request;
(ii) assess the nature of the underlying conviction or convictions, the nexus to the profession or professions for which the individual seeks licensure, and the provided evidence of rehabilitation; and
(iii) respond to the individual's request in writing.
(13)(A) Establish uniform procedures applicable to all of the professions under its jurisdiction, providing for:
(i) appropriate recognition of education, training, or service completed by a member of the U.S. Armed Forces toward the requirements of professional licensure;
(ii) expedited issuance of a professional license to a person who is licensed in good standing in another regulatory jurisdiction:
(I) whose spouse is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and who has been subject to a military transfer to Vermont; and
(II) who left employment to accompany his or her spouse to Vermont.
(B) The Board may evaluate specific military credentials to determine equivalency to credentials within the Board's jurisdiction. The determinations shall be adopted through written policy that shall be posted on the Board's website.
(14)(A) Adopt rules that prescribe a process for the Board to assess the equivalence of an applicant's professional credentials earned outside the United States as compared to State licensing requirements for those professions within the Board's jurisdiction.
(B) Any determination of equivalence by the Board under this subdivision (14) shall be recorded in the applicant's licensing file.
(C) In administering this section, the Board may rely upon third-party credential verification services. The cost of such services shall be paid by the applicant.
(15)(A) Not less than once every five years, review the continuing education and other continuing competency requirements for each of the professions it regulates. The review results shall be in writing and address the following:
(i) the renewal requirements of the profession;
(ii) the renewal requirements in other jurisdictions, particularly in the Northeast region;
(iii) the cost of the renewal requirements for the profession's licensees;
(iv) an analysis of the utility and effectiveness of the renewal requirements with respect to public protection; and
(v) recommendations to the Commissioner of Health on whether the continuing education or other continuing competency requirements should be modified.
(B) The Commissioner of Health shall respond to the Board within 45 days of its submitted review results. The Commissioner may require the Board to reduce, modify, or otherwise change the renewal requirements, including by proposing any necessary amendments to statute or rule. (Amended 1975, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1989, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), § 38; 1991 No. 167 (Adj. Sess.), § 30; 1993, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 24, 25, eff. Feb. 16, 1994; 1995, No. 188 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 8, 9; 1999, No. 14, § 2; 2001, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. June 13, 2002; 2003, No. 34, § 8, eff. May 23, 2003; 2011, No. 61, § 2, eff. June 2, 2011; 2013, No. 79, § 43, eff. June 7, 2013; 2013, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 2019, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. March 30, 2020; 2019, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2019, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. April 1, 2021.)