Ohio Board of Pharmacy Takes Additional COVID-19 Response Efforts

On March 24, 2020, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy (“OBP”) took additional COVID-19 response efforts to protect the health and safety of Ohioans during the COVID-19 outbreak. These efforts include, but are not limited to:

  • Authorized expedited licensure of drug distributors; and
  • Authorized sale and shipment of non-reportable dangerous drugs that are in shortage by unlicensed, out-of-state facilities.

The OBP also reminded its licensees that pharmacies and terminal distributors of dangerous drugs are not required to submit a notification to the OBP for any temporary closures or reduction in operating hours. If modifying operating hours, a pharmacy must update signage to reflect the change in store hours.

Read more HERE and HERE.

As a reminder, the OBP also implemented required infection control procedures effective March 19, 2020.

Read more HERE.

If you are seeking guidance concerning obtaining expedited licensure as a drug distributor or have questions concerning OBP requirements during COVID-19, contact Todd Collis.

Failing to request a hearing can be a very costly mistake.

Today, I attended the monthly meeting of the State Medical Board of Ohio.  I was surprised to see that in all six cases handled by the Board, the licensees had failed to request a hearing.  Despite the fact that the Board may impose any sanction, ranging from dismissal to permanent revocation of a license, in each case where the licensee failed to request a hearing, the Board either revoked or permanently revoked their licenses.

The Board Members expressed concern that if these licensees had not requested a hearing or attended the Board meeting, these licensees were not interested in maintaining an Ohio license.  Therefore, the Board revoked their licenses.  By failing to request a hearing, the Board is often left with unanswered questions.

Often, professionals will tell me that do not want to request a hearing or appear before the Board because they have already submitted documentation in support of their case and they believe they have, “no other information to provide to the Board”.

Failing to request a hearing can be a very costly mistake.  There is no more powerful information than the personal testimony of a license holder.  Boards typically like to see that an individual understands the gravity of charges against them, that the individual accepts responsibility for their conduct, that the individual expresses remorse for their conducts, and how the individual will handle a similar situation in the future.

Often, I find that cases appear to be far more serious on paper and that once testimony is provided from the licensee and by those who support the licensee, the Board is able to have their questions answered and view the case in a much less serious light.  In some instances, I have also seen that the sanction the Board imposes after a hearing is less harsh than the Board was contemplating prior to the hearing.

Failing to request a hearing can be a very costly mistake.  It is recommended that a licensee request a hearing and to present testimony in your defense.  If you want to retain your medical license, you need to fight for it.

As always, if you have any questions about this post or about the State Medical Board of Ohio in general, please feel free to contact me at beth@collislaw.com or at 614-486-3909.

Are you resilient enough to be a physician?

As most physicians will tell you, it takes a lot more than understanding chemistry or being a good test taker to be a good physician. It takes being willing to work hard, being able to face adversity, and staying calm in a crisis situation. It takes being resilient.  I often wonder if medical students and medical residents are being challenged and taught the appropriate skills to be an accomplished physician.

In my practice, I represent physicians who are being investigated by the State Medical Board.  I also regularly represent residents who face discipline in their residency program or who are seeking licensure for the first time.  For most of my clients, an investigation in their practice by the State Medical Board may be the first time they have ever been questioned by a person in authority or “called on the carpet” for their actions.   Based on this new experience, it is interesting how they react.

A Board investigation is an incredibly stressful time for the physician. Their entire professional livelihood is on the line and any discipline that is imposed by the Board will have significant ramifications to their job, hospital credentialing status, third-party payor status, board certifications and may affect other state licenses.

Investigations by the State Medical Board do not have a statute of limitations and, once the Board starts an investigation, it is not limited to just the scope of the complaint.  The Board may review all aspects of the physician’s practice. In addition, while conducting an investigation, the Board can order the physician to undergo a chemical dependency evaluation or a mental or medical evaluation to determine if they have a condition that may affect their ability to practice medicine.

In order to get through a Medical Board investigation, the physician needs to be patient, cooperative and still maintain the same level of professionalism in their practice while seeing patients. This calls for resiliency on the part of the physician.

Physicians hold patients’ lives in their hands. They need the intelligence, executive function skills, and downright grit to maintain their composure in an ever-changing medical field. So, before entering medicine or if you are a practicing physician, I think it is important to consider .. are you resilient enough to be a physician?

As always, if you have any questions about this post or the State Medical Board of Ohio, please feel free to contact me at (614) 486-3909 or email me at beth@collislaw.com.

Time to renew your Ohio Medical license – not something that should be delegated!

Depending on the first initial of your last name, it might be time to renew your Ohio medical license. This can be done on-line by going to the Medical Board’s website http://www.med.ohio.gov/.  If it is your renewal time, you should have been sent instructions from the Medical Board with your login information to complete your renewal application on-line. Or, you may request that the Board send you a paper renewal form to complete and return to the Board. Whether you choose to renew online or to complete the paper renewal form it is important that you take a few quiet minutes to yourself to complete the form on your own!

Often, physicians think they are too busy to take the time to personally complete the renewal form. I am often told by physicians that they allow the “girl” (their assistant) to complete the renewal forms for them. This is a mistake.  Does your assistant know that you were arrested in college for disorderly conduct or an open container violation?  Does your assistant know of the reckless operation of a vehicle charge that you plead guilty to on the way home from your sister’s wedding? Probably not.

However, by signing the renewal application you are certifying to the Medical Board that all information contained in the application is correct and complete. The Medical Board reviews all original applications for licensure and renewal applications very seriously and will take a disciplinary action against a licensee who fails to provide the Board with correct and complete information.

It is important to read all the questions on the renewal application carefully and to provide the Medical Board with clear, complete, honest and correct answers to their questions. If you do not understand a question, you may call the Medical Board staff and ask  – however, the staff is unable to give legal advice.

If you provide the Medical Board with an incorrect or incomplete answer or if you omit information called for in a question, the Board may take a disciplinary action against you based on a violation of Ohio Revised Code 4731.22(B)(5), “for providing false, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading statement … to obtain certification of registration from the Board.”

The Medical Board’s disciplinary guidelines permit the Board to impose a minimum sanction of an indefinite suspension (minimum one year) to a maximum penalty of permanent license revocation if a licensee provides, false information to obtain anything of value.  http://med.ohio.gov/pdf/meddis.pdf

When completing an initial application or submitting your renewal application to the Medical Board, complete the form yourself and take the time to answer all the questions with complete, clear, concise and correct answers.

As always, if you have any questions about this post or another question involving the State Medical Board of Ohio, feel free to email me at Beth@collislaw.com or call me at 614-486-3909.