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Substitute House Bill No. 5018

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-47

AN ACT CONCERNING INVESTIGATIONS AND APPEALS OF DECISIONS BY STATE MEDICAL BOARDS AND AGENCIES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subdivision (6) of subsection (a) of section 19a-14 of the general statutes, as amended by sections 12 and 21 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: (6) Determine the eligibility of all applicants for permits, licensure, certification or registration, based upon compliance with the general statutes and administrative regulations. The department may deny the eligibility of an applicant for a permit or for licensure by examination, endorsement, reciprocity or for reinstatement of a license voided pursuant to subsection (f) of section 19a-88, AS AMENDED, OR MAY ISSUE A LICENSE PURSUANT TO A CONSENT ORDER CONTAINING CONDITIONS THAT MUST BE MET BY THE APPLICANT if the department determines that the applicant: (A) Has failed to comply with the general statutes and administrative regulations governing his profession; (B) Has been found guilty or convicted as a result of an act which constitutes a felony under (i) the laws of this state, (ii) federal law or (iii) the laws of another jurisdiction and which, if committed within this state, would have constituted a felony under the laws of this state; (C) Is subject to a pending disciplinary action or unresolved complaint before the duly authorized professional disciplinary agency of any state, the District of Columbia, a United States possession or territory, or a foreign jurisdiction; (D) Has been subject to disciplinary action similar to an action specified in subsection (a) of section 19a-17 AS AMENDED by a duly authorized professional disciplinary agency of any state, the District of Columbia, a United States possession or territory, or a foreign jurisdiction; (E) Has committed an act which, if the applicant were licensed, would not conform to the accepted standards of practice of the profession, including but not limited to, incompetence, negligence, fraud or deceit; illegal conduct; procuring or attempting to procure a license, certificate or registration by fraud or deceit; or engaging in, aiding or abetting unlicensed practice of a regulated profession, provided the commissioner, or his designee, gives notice and holds a hearing, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, prior to denying an application for a permit or a license based on this subparagraph; or (F) Has a condition which would interfere with the practice of his profession, including, but not limited to, physical illness or loss of skill or deterioration due to the aging process, emotional disorder or mental illness, abuse or excessive use of drugs or alcohol, provided the commissioner, or his designee, gives notice and holds a hearing in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, prior to denying an application for a permit or a license based on this subparagraph.

Sec. 2. Section 19a-22 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: Any practitioner aggrieved by any FINAL decision [or order] of a board or commission or the department may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183 AS AMENDED.

Sec. 3. Section 20-73a of the general statutes, as amended by sections 4 and 5 of public act 95-220 and sections 12 and 21 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Board of Examiners for Physical Therapists shall have jurisdiction to hear all charges of conduct which fails to conform to the accepted standards of the practice of physical therapy brought against any person licensed as a physical therapist and, after holding a hearing, written notice of which shall be given the person complained of, said board, if it finds such person to be guilty, may revoke or suspend his license or take any of the actions set forth in section 19a-17 [4m, [0m AS AMENDED. Any proceedings relative to such action may be begun by the filing of written charges with the Commissioner of Public Health. The causes for which such action may be taken are as follows: Conviction in a court of competent jurisdiction, either within or without this state, of any crime in the practice of his profession; illegal, incompetent or negligent conduct in the practice of physical therapy or in the supervision of a physical therapist assistant; aiding or abetting the unlawful practice of physical therapy; treating human ailments by physical therapy without the oral or written referral by a person licensed in this state or in a bordering state having licensing requirements meeting the approval of the appropriate examining board in this state to practice medicine and surgery, osteopathy, podiatry, natureopathy, chiropractic or dentistry; failure to register with the Department of Public Health as required by law; fraud or deception in obtaining a license; engaging in fraud or material deception in the course of professional services or activities; or violation of any provision of this chapter, or any regulation adopted hereunder. The clerk of any court in this state in which a person practicing physical therapy has been convicted of any crime as described in this section shall, immediately after such conviction, transmit a certified copy, in duplicate, of the information and judgment, without charge, to the Department of Public Health, containing the name and address of the physical therapist, the crime of which he has been convicted and the date of conviction. The hearing on such charges shall be conducted in accordance with the regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Public Health. Any person aggrieved by [any] A FINAL decision of said board may appeal therefrom as provided in section 4-183 AS AMENDED. Such appeal shall have precedence over nonprivileged cases in respect to order of trial. The Attorney General shall act as attorney in the public interest in defending against such an appeal. The board may petition the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford-New Britain to enforce any action taken pursuant to section 19a-17 AS AMENDED.

Sec. 4. Section 20-74g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The commissioner may refuse to renew, suspend or revoke a license, or may impose probationary conditions, where the licensee or applicant for a license has been guilty of unprofessional conduct which has endangered or is likely to endanger the health, welfare or safety of the public. Such unprofessional conduct shall include: Obtaining a license by means of fraud, misrepresentation or concealment of material facts; being guilty of unprofessional conduct as defined by the rules established by the commissioner, or violating the code of ethics adopted and published by the commissioner; being convicted of a crime other than minor offenses defined as "infractions", "violations", or "offenses" in any court if, in accordance with the provisions of section 46a-80, the acts for which the applicant or licensee was convicted are found by the commissioner to have a direct bearing on whether he should be entrusted to serve the public in the capacity of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant. The clerk of any court in this state in which a person practicing occupational therapy has been convicted of any crime as described in this section shall, immediately after such conviction, transmit a certified copy, in duplicate, of the information and judgment, without charge, to the department containing the name and address of the occupational therapist, the crime of which he has been convicted and the date of conviction. The hearing on such charges shall be conducted in accordance with regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to section 20-74i AS AMENDED. If any registration is revoked or suspended, notification of such action shall be sent to the department. Any person aggrieved by [any] A FINAL decision of the commissioner may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183 AS AMENDED. Such appeal shall have precedence over nonprivileged cases in respect to order of trial. The Attorney General shall act as attorney in the public interest in defending against such an appeal. One year from the date of the revocation of a license, application for reinstatement may be made to the commissioner. The commissioner may accept or reject an application for reinstatement and may, but shall not be required to, hold a hearing to consider such reinstatement.

Sec. 5. Subsection (a) of section 20-99 of the general statutes, as amended by sections 4 and 5 of public act 95-220 and sections 12 and 21 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Board of Examiners for Nursing shall have jurisdiction to hear all charges of conduct which fails to conform to the accepted standards of the nursing profession brought against persons licensed to practice nursing. After holding a hearing in accordance with chapter 54 and the regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Public Health, said board, if it finds such person to be guilty, may revoke or suspend his or her license or take any of the actions set forth in section 19a-17 AS AMENDED. Witnesses and records may be summoned before such hearings by the issuance of subpoenas under the board's seal. The chairperson or presiding member may administer oaths. When any license is revoked or suspended, notification of such action shall be sent to the Department of Public Health. Any person aggrieved by [the finding] A FINAL DECISION of the board may appeal as provided in chapter 54. Such appeal shall have precedence over nonprivileged cases in respect to order of trial.

Sec. 6. Section 20-125 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any licensee aggrieved by [the action] A FINAL DECISION of the Dental Commission [in] suspending or revoking any license under the provisions of this chapter may appeal therefrom as provided in section 4-183 AS AMENDED. Appeals brought under this section shall be privileged with respect to the order of trial assignment.

Sec. 7. Section 20-126r of the general statutes, as amended by sections 12 and 21 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any licensee aggrieved by [the action] A FINAL DECISION of the Department of Public Health in suspending or revoking any license under the provisions of sections 20-126h to 20-126w, inclusive, AS AMENDED may appeal therefrom as provided in section 4-183 AS AMENDED. Appeals brought under this section shall be privileged with respect to the order of trial assignment.

Sec. 8. Section 20-156 of the general statutes, as amended by sections 4 and 5 of public act 95-220, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any licensee or permittee aggrieved by [the action] A FINAL DECISION of the board under section 19a-17 AS AMENDED may appeal therefrom as provided in section 4-183, AS AMENDED except such appeal shall be made returnable to the judicial district of Hartford-New Britain at Hartford.

Sec. 9. Section 20-192 of the general statutes, as amended by sections 4 and 5 of public act 95-220, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The board may take any action set forth in section 19a-17, AS AMENDED [4m, [0m if the license holder: Has been convicted of a felony; has been found by the board to have employed fraud or deceit in obtaining his license or in the course of any professional activity, to have violated any provision of this chapter or any regulation adopted hereunder; to have acted negligently, incompetently or wrongfully in the conduct of his profession; practiced in an area of psychology for which he is not qualified; is suffering from physical or mental illness, emotional disorder or loss of motor skill, including but not limited to, deterioration through the aging process or is suffering from the abuse or excessive use of drugs, including alcohol, narcotics or chemicals. The Commissioner of Public Health may order a license holder to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if his physical or mental capacity to practice safely is the subject of an investigation. Said commissioner may petition the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford-New Britain to enforce such order or any action taken pursuant to section 19a-17 AS AMENDED. Notice of any contemplated action under said section, of the cause therefor and the date of hearing thereon shall be given and an opportunity for hearing afforded as provided in the regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Public Health. The Attorney General shall, upon request, furnish legal assistance to the board. Any person aggrieved by any action of the board may appeal therefrom as provided in section 4-183, AS AMENDED except such appeal shall be made returnable to the judicial district where he resides. Such appeal shall have precedence over nonprivileged cases in respect to order of trial.

Sec. 10. Section 20-203 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any person aggrieved by [any action] A FINAL DECISION of said board taken under section 19a-17 AS AMENDED may appeal therefrom as provided in section 4-183 AS AMENDED. Such appeal shall be privileged.

Sec. 11. Section 20-247 of the general statutes, as amended by sections 4 and 5 of public act 95-220 and sections 12 and 21 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any person aggrieved by [any action] A FINAL DECISION of said board or the Department of Public Health may appeal therefrom, as provided in section 4-183, AS AMENDED except such appeal shall be made returnable to the judicial district of Hartford-New Britain at Hartford.

Sec. 12. Section 20-273 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any person aggrieved by [the finding] A FINAL DECISION of the board or the department may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183 AS AMENDED.

Sec. 13. Section 52-146o of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Except as provided in sections 52-146c to 52-146j, inclusive, AS AMENDED and subsection (b) of this section, in any civil action or any proceeding preliminary thereto or in any probate, legislative or administrative proceeding, a physician, surgeon [or other licensed health care provider] AS DEFINED IN SUBSECTION (b) OF SECTION 20-7b, shall not disclose (1) any communication made to him by, or any information obtained by him from, a patient or the conservator or guardian of a patient with respect to any actual or supposed physical or mental disease or disorder or (2) any information obtained by personal examination of a patient, unless the patient or his authorized representative explicitly consents to such disclosure.

(b) Consent of the patient or his authorized representative shall not be required for the disclosure of such communication or information (1) pursuant to any statute or regulation of any state agency or the rules of court, (2) by a physician, surgeon or other licensed health care provider against whom a claim has been made, or there is a reasonable belief will be made, in such action or proceeding, to his attorney or professional liability insurer or such insurer's agent for use in the defense of such action or proceeding, [or] (3)TO THE COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC HEALTH FOR RECORDS OF A PATIENT OF A PHYSICIAN, SURGEON OR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER IN CONNECTION WITH AN INVESTIGATION OF A COMPLAINT, IF SUCH RECORDS ARE RELATED TO THE COMPLAINT, OR (4) if child abuse, abuse of an elderly individual, abuse of an individual who is physically disabled or incompetent or abuse of an individual with mental retardation is known or in good faith suspected.

Approved May 2, 1996. Effective October 1, 1996.

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