Ohio Medical Board to Impose Monetary Fines

The State Medical Board of Ohio is authorized to impose a range of sanctions against a physician for violating the Board’s laws and rules. The sanctions range from a reprimand to suspension, limitation, revocation or permanent revocation of a medical license. R.C. 4731.22(B)(22).  http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4731.22v1.  However, for actions that arise AFTER September 29, 2015, in addition to imposing one of the sanctions listed above, the Medical Board is also authorized to impose a monetary fine against a physician for violating the Board’s laws or rules.

The chart listing the range of monetary fines can be found on the Medical Board’s website at: http://www.med.ohio.gov/Portals/0/DNN/PDF-FOLDERS/For-The-Public/FiningGuidelinesIncludingCivilPenalties.pdf.

The monetary fines imposed by the Medical Board are steep. It would be expected that the sanction for being convicted of a felony or crime involved in the practice of medicine would result in a substantial fine; however, even in cases that may appear less egregious the Medical Board is authorized to impose substantial monetary fines. For example:

  • prescribing a controlled substance to self or a family member in violation of OAC 4731-11-08, the Medical Board may impose a fine ranging from $3,000-$10,000, with the “standard fine” being $4,500.00;
  • willfully betraying a professional confidence, the Medical Board may impose a fine ranging from $5,000-$20,000, with the “standard fine” being $9,500.00;
  • supervising a physician assistant, anesthesiology assistant, or radiology assistant without a supervisory plan and approved supervisory agreement may result in a monetary fine ranging from $5,000-$20,000, with the “standard fine” being $9,000.

In addition, the Board Members have made it clear that inability to pay a monetary fine is not a defense. The Medical Board will not look at a licensee’s ability to pay prior to imposing a monetary fine.

As a licensed physician in Ohio, you should be familiar with the Medical Board’s laws and rules which can be found at the Medical Board’s website at: http://www.med.ohio.gov/.  You should also be familiar with the Board’s disciplinary authority.

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

Ohio Physicians .. Stop prescribing to self and family members!

Although I have blogged in the past about physicians prescribing medications to themselves and family members, the word is not getting out! (See my previous blog post from March 5, 2012)  Therefore, I thought it best to address the issue again.

In the past month, I have handled several cases where physicians have been investigated by the State Medical Board of Ohio for prescribing to family members.

I also recently had the opportunity to lecture to a group of medical students where the question about prescribing to family members was raised.  During my lecture, I warned the medical students to be aware that as soon as they are awarded their medical license, they will be inundated with requests from family members to refill prescriptions or, in some cases, to take over their medical care.  One student asked me if she could prescribe medications to her child.  In response, I urged the medical student to find her child a pediatrician in order to avoid compromising the physician’s professional livelihood.

The Medical Board recently updated its Position Statement to address the parameters of Ohio physicians prescribing to themselves and family members.  The Medical Board’s updated Position Statement case be found at: http://med.ohio.gov/Portals/0/DNN/PDF-FOLDERS/Laws-Rules/Position-Statements/Statement-on-Prescribing-Controlled-Substances-to-Oneself-or-a-Family-Member.pdf.

Although there are certain very limited exceptions when a physician in Ohio may prescribe to a family member, it is always BEST to seek qualified independent medical care for yourself and/or your family members.  Do not risk a Medical Board investigation into your prescribing practices to yourself or a family member.

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