Professional Regulation and Criminal Liability Paper
University of Phoenix
HCS/430 Legal issues in Health Care
August 3, 2010
There are currently over 50 different “acts and behaviors that are defined as professional misconduct for physicians” (State of New York Department of Health, 2010). The most common acts and behaviors that are reported as misconduct fall under categories such as: negligence, incompetence, impairment, sexual abuse and fraud. This paper will explore medical misconduct as it relates to physicians. The author will identify the civil complaint process for the state of Florida that will help patients to report suspected professional misconduct or incompetence, and ...view middle of the document...
Impairment is a term that encompasses substance abuse, and physical and mental disabilities. Physicians that practice medicine while impaired present a major danger to their patients because they are compromising the patient’s safety. Physicians have to be alert and focused when determining diagnosis and treatment options if they are to provide effective quality care to their patients. If a patient is injured due to a physician’s substance abuse, that physician can be removed from practice either by license suspension or revocation. On the other hand, if a patient is not injured, the physician may be allowed to return to practice after attending a rehabilitation program (State of New York Department of Health, 2010).
Sexual abuse of a patient can range from “inappropriate or suggestive remarks, improper touching and even rape” (State of New York Department of Health, 2010). Sexual misconduct by physicians is a growing concern and a problem facing medical boards across the country. “Ethical standards governing the medical profession have clear prohibitions addressed to sexual relations between a physician and patient” (State of New York Department of Health, 2010). Even if initiated by the patient, physicians “are considered to be in the more powerful position in the relationship and therefore, responsible for even "consensual" boundary violations” (Crausman, 2004).
Fraud “involves the intentional misrepresentation or concealment of a known fact within the practice of the profession” (State of New York Department of Health, 2010). Practices such falsifying medical bills or medical documents, and prescribing medications for reasons other than treatment are the most common forms of fraudulent misconducts by physicians. Such acts are not only unethical but unlawful as well and can result in the suspension or revocation of a physician’s license and can even result in imprisonment if found guilty.
The mission of the Department of Health’s Division of Medical Quality Assurance (MQA) “is to, promote, protect and improve the health of all people in Florida” (Florida Department of Health, 2010).The MQA is responsible for evaluating the licensing credentials of all applicants, it issues licenses, reviews and researches all complaints, “inspects facilities, provides support in prosecuting violations, investigates unlicensed activity and provides the public with information about licensees disciplinary actions” (Florida Department of Health, 2010). In the state of Florida patients will report misconduct complaints to the Consumer Services Unit (CSU) of the Florida Department of Health.
The CSU receives all healthcare complaints regarding misconduct in the healthcare profession including complaints alleging unlicensed activity either by a provider or health care facilities (Florida Department of Health, 2010). Patients that submit a complaint must fill out a report of contact inform that contains an Authorization for Release of...