What is a Medicaid Exclusion and Is There a Way to Appeal These Decisions?

The Department of Health and Human Services has the authority to exclude certain individuals from participating in Medicare, Medicaid, and all Federal health care programs as defined by 1128B(f) of the Social Security Act.

Exclusion from participation can materially affect a professional’s scope of practice because exclusion prohibits the professional from submitting or causing claims to be submitted to any Federal health care program (such as Medicare, Medicaid, VA, TRICARE, the Military Direct Care System, etc.) for any items or services the professional provides and prevents the professional for working in any capacity for an organization that accepts Federal funding. (However, exclusion does not prevent the professional or their family members from receiving benefits to which they are entitled under a Federal program.)

There are two types of exclusion: Mandatory Exclusion is required for certain offenses (42 USC §1320a-7(a)) and Permissive Exclusion is discretionary and may be imposed for certain other offenses (42 USC §1320a-7(b)).

Generally, mandatory exclusion is required for a (i) conviction of health care program-related crimes, (ii) conviction related to patient abuse, (iii) felony conviction related to health care fraud, and (iv) felony conviction related to controlled substances.

Generally, permissive exclusion may be imposed for a number of different offenses including but not limited to (i) a misdemeanor conviction related to controlled substances, (ii) a health care license revocation or suspension, and (iii) excessive charges or unnecessary services.

In my practice, I have seen physicians and other licensed professionals (including nurses) receive a letter from the OIG proposing an exclusion from participation in Federal health care programs following a suspension of their professional license or after a misdemeanor or felony conviction or after being convicted of a drug crime.

In cases where exclusion is permissive, it is recommended to provide the OIG with a clear and detailed response as to why the exclusion should not be imposed.  Under certain circumstances, the OIG may choose not to impose exclusion.  In other instances, the OIG will impose exclusion for a specific time period, for example, during the time period that the professional’s license is suspended.

If you receive a notification from the OIG proposing an exclusion, experienced legal counsel can assist you to formulate and file a timely response.

As always, if you have any questions about this post, the State Medical Board of Ohio or the unintended consequences of a Medical Board disciplinary action, feel free to contact the attorneys at the Collis Law Group at 614-486-3909 or send me an email at beth@collislaw.com

Happy New Year! Don’t drink and Drive tonight

Happy New Year.

A quick public service announcement to all physicians licensed in Ohio. As you go out to celebrate the New Year tonight, do not drink and drive! It’s unsafe for you and others and may also have devastating consequences on your professional license.

If you are charged with an alcohol related offense, OVI, disorderly conduct, reckless operation (just to name a few), the Medical Board has the authority to take a disciplinary action against your professional license.

Yes. Keep in mind. The Medical Board is concerned about your behavior and conduct 24/7. Even if you are not scheduled to work tomorrow, or this weekend, if you are charged and convicted with an alcohol related offense, the Medical Board can take a disciplinary action against you.

Depending on the facts and circumstances, the Medical Board has the authority to order you to a 72 hour chemical dependency evaluation at a Board approved treatment center. Then, depending on the results of the assessment, you could be ordered to complete 28 days of RESIDENTIAL treatment. Your license would be suspended for an indefinite period of time (at least 30 days) and you would be required to enter into a five year monitoring agreement with the Medical Board once your license is reinstated.  If licensed in other states  you would need to disclose the Medical Board action.  This would be considered a public disciplinary action and would be noted on the Medical Board website indefinitely.

In the past, I have always encouraged physicians to appoint a designated driver if they plan to consume alcohol. But, too often, the “designated driver” leaves the party early or consumes alcohol themselves!  Before you go out tonight, schedule a taxi to pick you up or download the Uber app on your phone. I recently used the Uber app and caught a ride to the airport at 7am. I couldn’t believe the ease of using this app.

Even if you are just going to a low key party at a friend’s house “down the street”, don’t risk your professional livelihood. Order a driver, taxi or Uber BEFORE you leave the house tonight.

Have fun. Be safe and Happy New Year.

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

 

Being Investigated by the Medical Board? When to hire an attorney

I am often asked by physicians when is the best time to hire an attorney if they are being investigated by the State Medical Board of Ohio. The short answer is, the sooner the better.

The Medical Board is a governmental body that is established to regulate the practice of medicine in Ohio. As a regulatory agency, the Medical Board is required to investigate all complaints that are received related to physicians.

The Medical Board will assign an investigator to collect initial information related to the complaint. The investigator may request to meet with the physician to ask questions about the complaint. The Medical Board has the authority to subpoena medical records, to send the physician Interrogatory questions (questions the physician must respond to under oath), and may order the physician to a Deposition at the Medical Board office.

Any and all information submitted to the Medical Board or to the Medical Board’s investigator may be used as evidence to sanction a physician. Occasionally, physicians will speak with investigators, respond to Interrogatory questions, and even attend a Deposition without legal counsel. Many physicians believe that if they have “nothing to hide” they see no reason to retain an attorney. This is often a mistake.

The value of hiring experience legal counsel BEFORE you provide any information to the Medical Board is to help guide the physician through the investigative process, to help the physician understand all questions that are asked, and to assist the physician to provide information only as to what is being asked (and not irrelevant information and/or emotional or argumentative commentary).

Even if the physician believes the investigation is meritless, they still have a duty to cooperate in the investigation. The Board is required to investigate all complaints and has the authority and ability to close meritless complaints. However, by failing to provide clear, accurate, and timely responses to the Medical Board, the physician can exacerbate and/or extend the investigation. By arguing with investigators or providing non-responsive or argumentative replies to the Medical Board, the physician runs the risk of the investigator continuing the investigation or including in their investigation information which could have a negative impact for the physician.

The Board has no time limit to complete an investigation and often investigations can drag out for years.

In addition, once the physician responds to questions from the Medical Board, it is nearly impossible to “change your story”. Therefore, prior to responding to a Medical Board investigation, the physician should know and understand the law as it relates to the questions they are being asked. If the physician is not in compliance with the law, they should have a plan in place as to HOW they will come into compliance. Therefore, the sooner the physician retains experienced legal counsel, the more assistance legal counsel can provide.

Generally speaking, if the physician chooses to meet with the Medical Board investigator, respond to Interrogatory questions, and/or attend a Deposition without legal counsel, there is far less that legal counsel can do to assist the physician if the Medical Board institutes a disciplinary action.

I have also been asked if retaining legal counsel makes the physician look “defensive”. In my experience, the Medical Board respects the assistance of experienced legal counsel and understands that the entire investigative process is smoother when the physician is represented and informed.

As always, if you have any questions about the State Medical Board of Ohio in general or this blog post, please contact me at Beth@collislaw.com, check our firm website at http://www.collislaw.com or call to speak with one of the attorneys at the Collis Law Group, LLC at 614-486-3909.

State Medical Board of Ohio Monthly Disciplinary Meeting: No Holds Barred!

On the second Wednesday of each month, the State Medical Board of Ohio holds its monthly Board meeting. At these public meetings, the Medical Board reviews and determines all matters related to scope of practice, licensure and discipline.  Yesterday, I attended the Board’s October Board meeting.

In many respects, the October meeting was no different from other meetings. The Board members reviewed the scope of practice for Physician’s Assistants, ruled on licensure applications, and most importantly for the clients that our firm represent, the Medical Board made final determinations in disciplinary matters.

I was struck by the level of detail and care that each Board member took in reviewing the disciplinary matters. I am always appreciative to learn that the Board Members have read the Report and Recommendation of the disciplinary hearings, reviewed all the exhibits, and carefully consider each case.

It is also refreshing to see Board Members challenge each other and actively deliberate before issuing a discipline. The Board Members do not hold back in their questions, concerns or comments while deliberating the sanction that should be imposed in a given case. They also do not simply “rubber stamp” the recommendation of the hearing examiner in a disciplinary case.

Many believe that all deliberations of Board Members should be behind closed doors. I disagree. If a licensee is subject to discipline by the Medical Board, the licensee should be provided with the opportunity to present their defense and listen to the questions and concerns of the Board Members before a sanction, if any, is imposed.

The monthly Board meeting minutes are online and can be reviewed by the public. http://med.ohio.gov/ForthePublic/BoardMeetingMinutes.aspx

I highly encourage all licensees to read the monthly Board minutes. The minutes show WHAT types of cases are of concern to the Board and what Discipline is typically imposed. I make it a point to attend every Board meeting and to read the monthly Board minutes.

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

Physicians should never examine a patient without a chaperone present

When examining a patient, a physician should always have a chaperone present in the room.  The policy of the Medical Board has been to require a chaperone in the room when examining a patient of the opposite gender and when examining a patient in intimate areas of their body (such as a breast or vaginal examination).

However, after representing physicians before the Medical Board for nearly twenty years, I recommend that physicians have a chaperone present in the room during any patient examination. The chaperone is there to witness the examination. The chaperone represents the physician.

Often, I have had physicians tell me that they do not have a chaperone in the room because the patient brought a parent, spouse, friend or child with them to the examination. This is a mistake. If the patient alleges inappropriate conduct on the part of the physician, the friend or family member will not defend the physician and will support the statements of the patient.

Often, physicians tell me that they do not have the staff support to have a chaperone with them at all times when examining patients. My advice to them is that they cannot afford to NOT have a chaperone present.

If a complaint is made to the Medical Board by a patient that a physician touched them in an inappropriate manner during a medical examination, the Medical Board will open an investigation. The investigation can span many months or even many years (there is no statute of limitations for a Medical Board investigation).  Without a chaperone present to testify on behalf of the physician, it is a simply a case of “he said – she said”, which is difficult for a physician to defend.

Patients have also been known to file police reports and to press criminal charges against physicians for conduct that took place during an examination, as well as filing civil law suits against physicians.

Physical examinations can be intimidating, embarrassing and occasionally uncomfortable for patients. It is always best to continue to explain to the patient what is taking place during the examination to alleviate their fears and concerns. However, it is also imperative that the physician have a chaperone present in the room to observe the conduct of the physician AND the patient.

The name of the chaperone should also be noted in the patient’s file as evidence that they were present during the examination. It is also recommended when conducting examinations of patients in a hospital setting to have a floor nurse present in the room during the examination.

As always, if you have any questions about this post or the State Medical Board of Ohio in general, please contact one of the attorneys at the Collis Law Group, LLC (formerly Collis, Smiles & Collis, LLC) at 614-486-3909 or contact me at beth@collislaw.com.

The Hippocratic Oath: A Blueprint For Certain Legal Requirements Applicable to Ohio Physicians

The Hippocratic Oath (“Oath”) is arguably the most widely known ancient Greek medical text.  The Oath governs ancient Greek physicians’ professional and ethical behavior.  Although written approximately 2,500 years ago, certain standards in the Oath are reflected in current legal requirements concerning Ohio physicians’ medical practice and behavior.

This is a literal translation of the original version of the Oath:

I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Health and Panacea and all the gods and goddesses, making them witnesses, that I will make complete this oath and this written covenant according to my ability and discernment: 

To regard my teacher of this art as equal to my parents and to share my livelihood (with him), and to make a contribution to him when he is in need of a debt, and to judge his offspring as equal to my brothers in manhood, and to teach this art – if they want to learn it – without wage and written covenant (to them), to make an imparting of the set of rules and lecture and all the rest of instruction to my sons and those of my teacher, and to those pupils who have been indentured and who have taken an oath according to the medical law, but to no one else. 

-I will use diets for the assistance of the sick according to my ability and discernment; but also to keep away injury of health and injustice. 

I will neither give any deadly drug, having been asked for it, nor will I guide the same advice. Similarly, I will not give an abortifacient pessary to a woman. In purity and in holiness I will maintain my life and my art. 

-I will not use the knife, not even on those suffering from the stone, but I will give way to those who are practitioners of this work.

And as many houses as I may go into, I will go in for the assistance of the sick, being free from all voluntary injustice and mischief and the rest, even abstaining from sexual pleasures of both female and male persons, both free and slaves. 

-That which I may see or hear during treatment, or even outside of treatment concerning the life of men, which must not in any way be divulged outside, I will not speak, regarding such things to be unutterable. 

And so may it be to me making complete my oath and not making it of no effect that I enjoy the benefits of my life and art and be honored by all men for time eternal; but may it be the opposite of this to me transgressing and swearing falsely. 

The Oath taken today has been revised from the above original text.  Although there are portions of the original Oath which are no longer applicable or sworn to by physicians, there are interesting parallels between certain standards in the original Oath and the present-day laws in the Ohio Revised Code (“ORC”), pertaining to Ohio physicians’ medical practice and behavior, the violation of which subjects a physician to disciplinary action by the State Medical Board of Ohio (“Ohio Medical Board”).

No Harm To Patients

The Oath provides: “I will use diets for the assistance of the sick according to my ability and discernment; but also to keep away injury of health and injustice.”  I interpret this provision generally to require the ancient Greek physician (i) to use dietary regimens to assist people who are sick, (ii) not to harm their patients, and (iii) not to do any injustice to their patients.

ORC §4731.22 authorizes the Ohio Medical Board to discipline a physician based acts would could result in patient harm including but not limited to:

ORC §4731.22(B)(2): Failure to maintain minimal standards applicable to the selection or administration of drugs, or failure to employ acceptable scientific methods in the selection of drugs or other modalities for treatment of disease;

ORC §4731.22(B)(3): Selling, giving away, personally furnishing, prescribing, or administering drugs for other than legal and legitimate therapeutic purposes;

ORC §4731.22(B)(6): A departure from, or the failure to conform to, minimal standards of care of similar practitioners under the same or similar circumstances (whether or not actual injury to a patient is established); and

ORC §4731.22(B)(18): Violation of any provision of a code of ethics of the American medical association; and/or

ORC §4731.22(B)(29): Failure to use universal blood and body fluid precautions established by Ohio Medical Board rule.

No Injustice To Patients

ORC §4731.22 also authorizes the Ohio Medical Board to discipline a physician based on an act which evidences an injustice to a patient including but not limited to:

ORC §4731.22(B)(1): Permitting one’s name or one’s certificate to practice or certificate of registration to be used by a person, group, or corporation when the individual concerned is not actually directing the treatment given;

ORC §4731.22(B)(5): Making a false, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading statement in the solicitation of or advertising for patients; in relation to the practice of medicine and surgery;

ORC §4731.22(B)(7): Representing, with the purpose of obtaining compensation or other advantage as personal gain or for any other person, that an incurable disease or injury, or other incurable condition, can be permanently cured; and/or

ORC §4731.22(B)(8): The obtaining of, or attempting to obtain, money or anything of value by fraudulent misrepresentations in the course of practice.

Although the requirement of the Oath to, “keep away injury of health and injustice” is phrased more broadly than the specific requirements in the ORC, a parallel between the requirements of the Oath and the ORC is apparent.  The dictates imposed by both the ancient Greek caregivers and the Ohio legislature evidence important standards that a physician do no harm to the patient and promote the just (ie, honest and truthful) relationship between the physician and the patient.

Sanctity Of Life 

The Oath provides: “I will neither give any deadly drug, having been asked for it, nor will I guide the same advice. Similarly, I will not give an abortifacient pessary to a woman. In purity and in holiness I will maintain my life and my art.”  The requirements (i) not to give or recommend any deadly drug, (ii) not to induce an abortion, and (iii) for the physician to hold his or her own life in purity and holiness, individually and collectively, support the notion that ancient Greek physicians held human life as sacred.

ORC §4731.22(B)(3) authorizes the Ohio Medical Board to discipline a physician for selling, giving away, personally furnishing, prescribing, or administering drugs for other than legal and legitimate therapeutic purposes.  Additionally, assisted suicide is against public policy in Ohio (ORC §3795.02(A) and is required to be enjoined by a Court of Common Pleas (ORC §3795.02(B)).  Consequently, ORC §4731.22(B)(37) authorizes the Ohio Medical Board to discipline a physician for assisting suicide.

Subject to certain express conditions and exceptions in Ohio law beyond the scope of this article, ORC §4731.22(B)(23) authorizes the Ohio Medical Board to discipline a physician for performing or inducing an abortion upon a pregnant woman.

No Sexual Misconduct

The Oath provides: “And as many houses as I may go into, I will go in for the assistance of the sick, being free from all voluntary injustice and mischief and the rest, even abstaining from sexual pleasures of both female and male persons, both free and slaves.

OAC §4731-26-02(A) authorizes the Ohio Medical Board to discipline a physician for engaging in sexual misconduct with a patient.

Confidentiality 

The Oath provides: “That which I may see or hear during treatment, or even outside of treatment concerning the life of men, which must not in any way be divulged outside, I will not speak, regarding such things to be unutterable.”

ORC §4731.22(B)(4) authorizes the Ohio Medical Board to discipline a physician for willfully betraying a professional confidence.

Conclusion 

The standards in the Oath applicable to ancient Greek physicians to do no patient harm, to have a just patient relationship, to take no act contrary to human life, to abstain from sexual misconduct with a patient, and to protect patient confidential information, are reflected in present-day legal requirements applicable to Ohio physicians’ medical practice and behavior.

That the Oath is recited in medical schools even today (See: http://medicine.osu.edu/news/archive/2012/08/21/reciting-the-hippocratic-oath-a-family-centered-tradition.aspx) is a testament to the enduring verities contained in the Oath.

As always, if you have any questions about this post or the Ohio Medical Board in general, please contact Collis, Smiles & Collis, LLC or Beth Collis at 614-486-3909 or Beth@collislaw.com.

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.

 

Ohio Medical Board has adopted New Rules Related to Office Based Opioid Treatment

The State Medical Board of Ohio has adopted new rules related to Office Based Opioid Treatment (“OBOT”).  The new news take effect January 31, 2015.  The new rules require specific protocols, pretreatment examinations, and ongoing physician face-to-face examinations, testing and individualized treatment plans.  A copy of the new rules can be found at: http://med.ohio.gov/pdf/rules/NewRules/4731-11-12-eff-1-31-15.pdf.

The new rules include but are not limited to:

  1. Prior to providing OBOT, the physician must conduct an assessment of the patient that meets the requirements of the rule.
  2. The physician must practice in accordance with one of the protocols listed in the rule, and the diagnosis of an opioid disorder must be made utilizing the criteria in the DSM, 4th or 5th edition.
  3. The physician must develop an individualized treatment plan for the patient, require the patient to actively participate in appropriate behavioral counseling or treatment for addiction, and provide ongoing toxicological testing.
  4. The physician’s prescribing of the medication must comply with requirements that include, but are not limited to, prescribing only drugs specifically approved by the FDA for use in maintenance and detoxification treatment, prescribing no more than 16 milligrams of medication daily for a patient unless specified requirements are met, and accessing OARRS for each patient no less frequently than every 90 days.
  5. The physician must complete Category I CME related to substance abuse and addiction every two years, which will be accepted as part of the CME requirement for license renewal.

The above summary highlights certain requirements of the new rules and is not a substitute for the new rules.  The new rules can be found at: http://med.ohio.gov/pdf/rules/NewRules/4731-11-12-eff-1-31-15.pdf.

As always, if you have any questions regarding this post or the State Medical Board of Ohio in general, please contact one of the attorneys at Collis, Smiles and Collis at 614-486-3909 or email Todd@collislaw.com.

Sanctions Against Physicians on Probation Increase in Severity

In 2012, I wrote a blog post about how the State Medical Board of Ohio was cracking down on physicians who were on probation. See “On Probation with the Medical Board? Beware, There is a New Sheriff in Town.” When writing that post two years ago, I could not have anticipated the changes that would take place and how these changes are affecting physicians who are under probation.

At any one time, the Ohio Medical Board monitors over three hundred physicians who are subjected to probationary terms. Many are on probation for substance abuse or alcohol abuse problems.  These individuals are required to call into a lab testing site daily and to submit to random OBSERVED urine screen anywhere from 2-4 times per month. They are also required to notify their doctors of their addiction, notify the Board of all medications they have been prescribed, and in many cases they are required to keep a log of all controlled substances they prescribe. They are required to attend AA or NA support meetings and personally report to the Board on a quarterly basis. All of these requirements are on top of their daily work assignments and while juggling family commitments.

In the past, minor violations of these requirements were accepted by the Board. You might miss a call in for a drug screen or one AA meeting. However, these seemingly minor violations are now the basis for additional discipline by the Board against the physician.

I recently learned that a physician’s probation was extended for 30 days for failing to call into the testing site on ONE occasion (and they were not even selected to provide a sample on that day). In the past year, I have also handled three cases where the Board has proposed to discipline a physicians for technical violations of their Consent Agreements, a few missed calls or a few missed AA meetings (even in cases where there is no evidence of a positive drug screen).

So, beware. Minor violations will not be taken lightly. Regroup. Set your priorities in place and be 100% compliant with the terms of your Consent Agreement, or you could face further Board discipline.

As always, if you have any questions about this post or the State Medical Board of Ohio in general, please feel free to call my office at (614) 486-3909 and ask to speak with one of the attorneys or email me at beth@collislaw.com.

 

Ohio Medical Board approach to physicians with mental health issues may have a chilling effect on physicians seeking treatment

Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 4731.22(B)(19), the Medical Board in Ohio can suspend the license of a physician if it is determined that a physician has an “…inability to practice according to acceptable and prevailing standard of care by reason of mental illness . . .”.  This suggests that the Board must link a physician’s mental illness to an inability to safely practice medicine.  In fact, the Medical Board does not need to show immediate harm to the public or evidence of poor or substandard medical practice to limit or restrict a physician’s license if it is determined that he or she suffers from a mental illness.

Under the Ohio Medical Board statute, if the Board has reason to believe that a physician suffers from a mental illness that could affect their ability to practice medicine, the Board can order the physician to undergo a psychiatric evaluation with a Board approved psychiatrist (a psychiatrist selected and approved by the Medical Board). The evaluation, which generally runs between $2,500-$4,800, is at the expense of the physician. Generally, before the evaluation, the physician is required to sign a release form and submit his or her medical records, including mental health records, to the Board approved psychiatrist for review. After reviewing the physician’s medical records, the Board approved psychiatrist will evaluate the physician and make a determination. The evaluation may or may not include psychological testing and may or may not include the psychiatrist contacting family members, colleagues or co-workers to evaluate the physician’s “ability to practice.”

After the evaluation, the Board approved psychiatrist will make one of the following recommendations to the Board:

-physician may continue to practice medicine with no Board monitoring; or

-physician may continue to practice medicine as long as they enter into a monitoring agreement that requires them to maintain treatment with a psychiatrist or therapist and for the therapist to submit quarterly reports to the Board; or

-the physician is unfit to practice medicine and his or her license will be suspended until such time as s/he can provide the Medical Board with evaluations from two additional psychiatrists that s/he is fit to resume practice. These evaluations are, again, at the expense of the physician.

If the physician is required to enter into any type of monitoring agreement with the Medical Board, the agreement is a public document.  Such agreement typically includes the physican’s medical diagnosis and conditions under which he or she may continue to practice medicine. It is reported to the National Practitioner’s Data Bank and is accessible to the public on the Medical Board website.

Many physicians throughout the state have voiced strong opposition to the lack of confidentiality of the monitoring program, the onerous nature of the monitoring conditions and the chilling effect that curtails many from seeking appropriate medical care for fear that their confidential medical records would be reviewed by Medical Board Members or staff. (Confidential medical records are NOT released to the public. However, the physician’s medical diagnosis, monitoring conditions and name of their treating doctor is released to the public.)

Many individuals have been contacting the Medical Board with their concerns about the punitive way in which the Medical Board treats physicians who suffer from a mental health condition. Many individuals are also pushing for Ohio to institute a confidential program to monitor physicians. If you believe that physicians should be provided with a confidential monitoring program, I recommend that you contact the State Medical Board of Ohio and voice your concerns.

As always, if you have any questions about this post or the State Medical Board of Ohio in general, please contact one of the attorneys at Collis, Smiles & Collis, LLC at 614-486-3909, or by email to Beth@collislaw.com.