2005 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services
By: Representative Brown
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 73-25-29, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROHIBIT A PHYSICIAN FROM CHARGING A PATIENT FOR ANY CLINICAL LABORATORY SERVICES THAT ARE NOT RENDERED BY THE LICENSEE; TO PROVIDE CERTAIN DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR THOSE CHARGES; TO PROHIBIT A PHYSICIAN FROM CHARGING AN AMOUNT FOR A CLINICAL LABORATORY SERVICE GREATER THAN THE AMOUNT CHARGED BY THE PROVIDER; TO PROVIDE THAT THOSE PROHIBITED ACTIONS BY A PHYSICIAN ARE GROUNDS FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION BY THE BOARD OF MEDICAL LICENSURE; TO AMEND SECTION 73-25-30, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PRESCRIBE THE PENALTIES THAT THE BOARD SHALL IMPOSE FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 73-25-29, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-25-29. The grounds for the nonissuance, suspension, revocation or restriction of a license or the denial of reinstatement or renewal of a license are:
(a) Habitual personal use of narcotic drugs, or any other drug having addiction-forming or addiction-sustaining liability.
(b) Habitual use of intoxicating liquors, or any beverage, to an extent that affects professional competency.
(c) Administering, dispensing or prescribing any narcotic drug, or any other drug having addiction-forming or addiction-sustaining liability otherwise than in the course of legitimate professional practice.
(d) Conviction of violation of any federal or state law regulating the possession, distribution or use of any narcotic drug or any drug considered a controlled substance under state or federal law, a certified copy of the conviction order or judgment rendered by the trial court being prima facie evidence thereof, notwithstanding the pendency of any appeal.
(e) Procuring, or attempting to procure, or aiding in, an abortion that is not medically indicated.
(f) Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, a certified copy of the conviction order or judgment rendered by the trial court being prima facie evidence thereof, notwithstanding the pendency of any appeal.
(g) Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license by fraud or deception.
(h) Unprofessional conduct, which includes, but is not limited to:
(i) Practicing medicine under a false or assumed name or impersonating another practitioner, living or dead.
(ii) Knowingly performing any act that in any way assists an unlicensed person to practice medicine.
(iii) Making or willfully causing to be made any flamboyant claims concerning the licensee's professional excellence.
(iv) Being guilty of any dishonorable or unethical conduct likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public.
(v) Obtaining a fee as personal compensation or gain from a person on fraudulent representation a disease or injury condition generally considered incurable by competent medical authority in the light of current scientific knowledge and practice can be cured or offering, undertaking, attempting or agreeing to cure or treat the same by a secret method, which he refuses to divulge to the board upon request.
(vi) Use of any false, fraudulent or forged statement or document, or the use of any fraudulent, deceitful, dishonest or immoral practice in connection with any of the licensing requirements, including the signing in his professional capacity any certificate that is known to be false at the time he makes or signs the certificate.
(vii) Failing to identify a physician's school of practice in all professional uses of his name by use of his earned degree or a description of his school of practice.
(viii) Charging any patient for any clinical laboratory service not actually rendered by the licensee to the patient unless the service is itemized in the charge, bill or other solicitation of payment by identifying the name and address of the provider of the clinical laboratory service and the amount charged by the provider for the clinical laboratory service. The physician shall not charge a fee for referral to a clinical laboratory. This subparagraph shall be satisfied if the required disclosures are made to the third-party payor of the patient.
(ix) Charging any patient or third-party payor an amount for a clinical laboratory service not actually rendered by the licensee to the patient that is greater than the amount charged by the provider of the clinical laboratory service to the licensee.
(i) The refusal of a licensing authority of another state or jurisdiction to issue or renew a license, permit or certificate to practice medicine in that jurisdiction or the revocation, suspension or other restriction imposed on a license, permit or certificate issued by the licensing authority that prevents or restricts practice in that jurisdiction, a certified copy of the disciplinary order or action taken by the other state or jurisdiction being prima facie evidence thereof, notwithstanding the pendency of any appeal.
(j) Surrender of a license or authorization to practice medicine in another state or jurisdiction or surrender of membership on any medical staff or in any medical or professional association or society while under disciplinary investigation by any of those authorities or bodies for acts or conduct similar to acts or conduct that would constitute grounds for action as defined in this section.
(k) Final sanctions imposed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General or any successor federal agency or office, based upon a finding of incompetency, gross misconduct or failure to meet professionally recognized standards of health care; a certified copy of the notice of final sanction being prima facie evidence thereof. As used in this paragraph, the term "final sanction" means the written notice to a physician from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Officer of Inspector General or any successor federal agency or office, that implements the exclusion.
(l) Failure to furnish the board, its investigators or representatives information legally requested by the board.
(m) Violation of any provision(s) of the Medical Practice Act or the rules and regulations of the board or of any order, stipulation or agreement with the board.
In addition to the grounds specified above, the board shall be authorized to suspend the license of any licensee for being out of compliance with an order for support, as defined in Section 93-11-153. The procedure for suspension of a license for being out of compliance with an order for support, and the procedure for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, and the payment of any fees for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, shall be governed by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be. If there is any conflict between any provision of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 and any provision of this chapter, the provisions of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be, shall control.
SECTION 2. Section 73-25-30, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-25-30. (1) The Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure, in exercising its authority under the provisions of Section 73-25-29, shall have the power to discipline the holder of a license who has been found by the board in violation of any provision of that section after notice and a hearing as provided by law, and the licensee shall be disciplined as follows:
(a) By placing him upon probation, the terms of which may be set by the board, or
(b) By suspending his right to practice for a time deemed proper by the board, or
(c) By revoking his license, or
(d) By taking any other action in relation to his license as the board may deem proper under the circumstances, or
(e) In cases of violations of paragraph (h)(viii) or (ix) of Section 73-25-29, by imposition of the following penalties:
(i) For the first violation, a monetary penalty of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00). Charges made by a licensee to more than one (1) patient or third-party payor in violation of paragraph (h)(viii) or (ix) of Section 73-25-29 shall be considered as one (1) violation for the purpose of imposing a penalty for the first violation;
(ii) For the second violation, a monetary penalty of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00); and
(iii) For the third violation, by revocation of the physician's license.
(2) Upon the execution of a disciplinary order by the board, either following a hearing or in lieu of a hearing, the board, in addition to the disciplinary powers specified in subsection (1) of this section, may assess the licensee for those reasonable costs that are expended by the board in the investigation and conduct of a proceeding for licensure disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, the cost of process service, court reporters, witness fees, expert witnesses, investigators, and other related expenses. Money collected by the board under this section shall be deposited to the credit of the special fund of the board to reimburse the existing current year appropriated budget.
(3) An assessment of costs under this section shall be paid to the board by the licensee, upon the expiration of the period allowed for appeals under Section 73-25-27, or may be paid sooner if the licensee elects. Costs assessed under this section shall not exceed Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00).
(4) When an assessment of costs by the board against a licensee in accordance with this section is not paid by the licensee when due under this section, the licensee shall be prohibited from practicing medicine until the full amount is paid. In addition, the board may institute and maintain proceedings in its name for enforcement of payment in the Chancery Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County. When those proceedings are instituted, the board shall certify the record of its proceedings, together with all documents and evidence, to the chancery court. The matter shall be heard in due course by the court, which shall review the record and make its determination thereon. The hearing on the matter, in the discretion of the chancellor, may be tried in vacation.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.