The trust and care of patients to health care providers has been on the decline for several decades (David A. Thom, 2004) Crimes committed by health care professionals, occur at all levels. Patients are more involved with their care, due to more accessible resources on the internet. Patients can research their physician criminal charges. The internet allows the patients to obtain health care information. In addition, the burden is on the health care providers. Although health care providers are aware they can review the criminal history, negligence still occurs. Despite the awareness of patient and health care providers, health care crimes, such as narcotics, are ongoing. This paper will discuss health care professional regulation and criminal liability.
Health Care Professional Neurologist
A Neurologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of the nervous systems, the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves (Educational Requirements for being a Neurologist, 2014). Dr. Lambry, a neurologist from Kaiser Permanente, stated “It takes approximately 12 years to complete your education, pre-med and internship.” The first step for potential neurologist is get a science degree, which averages three to four years (Educational Requirements for being a Neurologist, 2014). In their junior year, neurologist must take and pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which is a standardized exam required for admission by all medical schools (Educational Requirements for being a Neurologist, 2014). Once they pass the MCAT, neurologist must submit an application to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) (Educational Requirements for being a Neurologist, 2014).
AAMC operates the American Medical College Application Service and the Electronic Residency Application Service and AACOM provides services to its members, collects data and operates the online application for students (Educational Requirements for being a Neurologist, 2014). Next is medical school, on the average medical school takes four years. The school must be accredited by Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). LCME is an accrediting body for educational programs at the schools of medicine (Educational Requirements for being a Neurologist, 2014). The first two years focus on coursework and the last two is rotation through medical specialties. Once complete they will be prepared to become board certified neurologist. This will earn them, their M.D. degree.
According to Chron neurologist must complete part of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). USMLE is a multi-part examination and physicians must pass this examination before they can practice medicine. The final step is the internship with other senior neurologist. At the end of the internship, neurologist will have to take another part of the USMLE, so they can practice un-supervised. Neurologist must complete additional training on the area they are going specialize in. Areas include brain injury, sleep disorders, pain disorders, vascular neurology, epilepsy, hospice and palliative medicine, neurodevelopment disorders (Educational Requirements for being a Neurologist, 2014). Another certification needs to be completed by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). ABPN promotes excellence in practice, certification and maintenance of certification process (American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, 2014).
Each state has its own medical board that controls licensing of physicians, so they can practice medicine (Medical Law and Ethics, 2012). The Florida Board of Medicine will license, discipline and rehabilitate physicians, so that they are fit and competent for the public. Practicing medicine in Florida, is a privilege (Florida Board of Medicine, 2014)).” Identify the civil complaint process for patients of suspected professional incompetence The medical board receives and reviews complaints on physicians from patients, staff and other physicians. The first step is to file a complaint in writing to the medical board. The next step is to identify the alleged misconduct or incompetence. Some examples are refusing service because of age, sex or race. Misconduct and incompetence allegations are kept confidential, due to the seriousness. These allegations are serious and must have strong evidence of a violation, before a hearing can be held (Florida Board of Medicine, 2014).
The regulatory agencies investigating allegations, determining, applying disciplinary action The medical board will investigate complaints about the physician. If founded, it will take any disciplinary action needed. The following are types of complaints that a physician can be discipline for: substandard care, prescribing issues, sexual misconduct, impairment, unlicensed practice, unprofessional conduct and office practice issues. The board will not provide any legal advice to either the physician or his/her legal representative (Florida Board of Medicine, 2014). Identify criminal liabilities for the health care professional Complaints that involve a patient death or serious bodily injury caused by the physician are given the highest priority and forwarded to the law enforcement agency in that jurisdiction. These complaints are given the highest priority, due to criminal charges. The board will provide the physician with sufficient notice of any charges and then perform a thorough investigation of the charges (Medical Law and Ethics, 2012). Criminal cases for a physician begin when they are accused of breaking the law.
A physician found guilty of criminal charges will have their licensed suspended or revoked, with possible fines and possible prison time. Risk management strategies and quality assurance program to reduce the risk negligence Risk management strategies are monitored by the Agency for Health Care Administration for the State of Florida. It provides reports, tracks, trending and problem resolution for health care providers and facilities. This regulatory agencies, also provides education and training for doctors and their staff. This is to make sure they are in state compliance with rules and regulations (Office of Risk Management and Patient Safety, 2014). Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has such policies that must be followed by doctors and staff for patient right to privacy and confidentiality. Health care professionals must comply and follow rules and regulations (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, 2014).
The federal, state and local agencies are the oversight of all health care providers and health care clinics, hospitals and outpatient care. When the agencies receives a complaint, it is forwarded to the proper licensed board for an investigation into the claim. If there is a violation, the board will take all disciplinary actions, to include; reprimands, fines, training and education or loss of licensed to practice. The quality assurance program for the state of Florida is maintained by the Florida Health Department. It provides quality and variety activities that control the entry and ongoing performance of health facilities and physicians. There is continuous improvement activities to measure and improve patient care (Florida Health, 2014) The process for criminal charges for the described criminal behavior A physician can have their license taken or suspended for professional criminal charges.
A case of criminal charges start when a physician is accused of breaking the law. One of the major problems is the unauthorized prescribing of narcotics. A Florida physician criminal charge was of professional, it included falsifying three applications for Drug Enforcement and Administration (DEA) and unauthorized prescriptions for controlled substance, in which it lead to a drug overdose of a patient. Diversion Control a department within DEA, is to prevent, detect and investigate controlled drugs, while ensuring legitimate medical needs. His licensed were revoked immediately and denied for reinstatement, as recently as November 2014 (United States Department of Justice, 2014).
Heath care professionals, are expected to have professional manner at all times. Physicians diagnose, treat illnesses, disease, injuries and save lives. Patients file malpractice or negligence suits against physicians. Although health care providers are aware they can review the criminal history, negligence still occurs. This brings to a conclusion on how professional regulation and criminal liability is addressed by the Florida Board of Medicine. The medical board receives and reviews complaints on physicians from patients, staff and other physicians. The medical board will investigate complaints about the physician. Criminal cases for a physician begin when they are accused of breaking the law. A physician can have their license taken or suspended for professional criminal charges. The regulatory agencies, also provides education and training for doctors and their staff.
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. (2014). Retrieved from American
Board of Psychiatry and Neurology: http://www.abpn.com/ Bonnie F. Fremgen, P. (2012). Medical Law and Ethics. Prentice Hall. Complaint Information. (2012). Retrieved from The Medical Board of California: http://www.mbc.ca.gov/ David A. Thom, M. A. (2004, July). Measuring Patients’ Trust In Physicians When Assessing Quality of Care. Retrieved from Health Affairs: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/23/4/124.full.pdf+html Educational Requirements for being a Neurologist. (2014). Retrieved from Educational Portal: http://education-portal.com/articles/Become_a_Neurologist_Step-by-Step_Career_Guide.html Florida Board of Medicine. (2014, October 15). Retrieved from Florida Board of Medicine: http://flboardofmedicine.gov/ Florida Health. (2014). Retrieved from Florida Health Department: http://www.floridahealth.gov/index.html Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. (2014). Retrieved from United States Department of Health and Human Services: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/ Office of Diversion Control. (2014). Retrieved from United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/actions/2014/fr1118.htm Office of Risk Management and Patient Safety. (2014). Retrieved from Agency for Health Care Administration: http://ahca.myflorida.com/SCHS/RiskMgtPubSaftey/RiskManagement.shtml