SB539 SUB1 Senate Bill 539 History

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SB539 SUB1



Senate Bill No. 539

(By Senators Foster and Jenkins)


[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;

reported March 24, 2005.]


A BILL to amend and reenact §30-4-20 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the licensing of dentists generally; providing for the immediate suspension or revocation of a license as necessary to protect the health and safety of the public; hearing by the Board; and decision.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §30-4-20 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
§30-4-20. Refusal to issue or renew, suspension or revocation of license; disciplinary action.

(a) The Board may refuse to issue, refuse to renew, suspend, revoke or limit any license or practice privilege of a licensee and may take disciplinary action against a licensee who, after hearing, has been adjudged by the Board as unqualified for any of the following reasons:
(1) The presentation to the Board of any diploma, license or certificate illegally or fraudulently obtained, or one obtained from an institution which is not reputable, or one obtained from an unrecognized or irregular institution or State Board;
(2) Suspension or revocation of a license issued by another state or territory on grounds which would be the basis of discipline in this state;
(3) Incompetent, negligent or willful misconduct in the practice of dentistry or dental hygiene, which shall include the departure from, or the failure to conform to, the minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing dental or dental hygiene practice in their area of expertise as shall be determined by the Board. The Board need not establish actual injury to the patient in order to adjudge a licensee guilty of this conduct;
(4) Engaging in conduct that indicates a lack of knowledge of, an inability to apply or the negligent application of principles or skills of dentistry or dental hygiene;
(5) Being guilty of gross ignorance or gross inefficiency in his or her profession;
(6) Being convicted of a felony; and a certified copy of the record of the court of conviction shall be sufficient proof of conviction;
(7) Announcing or otherwise holding himself or herself out to the public as a specialist or as being specially qualified in any particular branch of dentistry or as giving special attention to any branch of dentistry or as limiting his or her practice to any branch of dentistry without first complying with the requirements established by the Board for the specialty and having been issued a certificate of qualification in the specialty by the Board; or
(8) Being guilty of unprofessional conduct as contained in the American Dental Association principles of ethics and code of professional conduct. The following acts or any of them are conclusively presumed to be unprofessional conduct:
(A) Being guilty of any fraud or deception;
(B) Committing a criminal operation or being convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;
(C) Abusing alcohol or drugs;
(D) Violating any professional confidence or disclosing any professional secret;
(E) Being grossly immoral;
(F) Employing what are known as "cappers" or "steerers" to obtain business;
(G) Obtaining any fee by fraud or misrepresentation;
(H) Employing directly or indirectly, or directing or permitting any suspended or unlicenced person so employed, to perform operations of any kind or to treat lesions of the human teeth or jaws or correct malimposed formations thereof;
(I) Practicing, or offering, or undertaking to practice dentistry under any firm name or trade name not approved by the Board;
(J) Having a professional connection or association with, or lending his or her name to another, for the illegal practice of dentistry, or professional connection or association with any person, firm or corporation holding himself, themselves or itself out in any manner contrary to this article;
(K) Making use of any advertising relating to the use of any drug or medicine of unknown formula;
(L) Advertising to practice dentistry or perform any operation thereunder without causing pain;
(M) Advertising professional superiority or the performance of professional services in a superior manner;
(N) Advertising to guarantee any dental service;
(O) Advertising in any manner that is false or misleading in any material respect;
(P) Soliciting subscriptions from individuals within or without the state for, or advertising or offering to individuals within or without the state, a course or instruction or course materials in any phase, part or branch of dentistry or dental hygiene in any journal, newspaper, magazine or dental publication, or by means of radio, television or United States mail, or in or by any other means of contacting individuals: Provided, That the provisions of this paragraph may not be construed so as to prohibit: (i) An individual dentist or dental hygienist from presenting articles pertaining to procedures or technique to state or national journals or accepted dental publications; or (ii) educational institutions approved by the Board from offering courses or instruction or course materials to individual dentists and dental hygienists from within or without the state; or
(Q) Engaging in any action or conduct which would have warranted the denial of the license.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section eight, article one of this chapter, if the Board determines that the evidence in its possession indicates that a dentist's continuation in practice or unrestricted practice constitutes an immediate danger to the public, the Board may, on a temporary basis and without a hearing, take any of the actions provided in this section if proceedings for a hearing before the Board are initiated simultaneously with the temporary action and begin within fifteen days of the action. The Board shall render its decision within five days of the conclusion of a hearing conducted pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(b) (c) The term advertising, as used in this section, shall be construed to include any type of public media.
(c) (d) Disciplinary action includes, but is not limited to, a reprimand, censure, probation, administrative fine not to exceed one thousand dollars per day per violation and mandatory attendance at continuing professional education seminars.
(d) (e) This entire section is passed in the interest of the public health, safety and welfare and its provisions must be liberally construed to carry out its object and purpose.

(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to enable the Board of Dental Examiners to immediately suspend or revoke the license of a dentist if the board determines it is necessary in order to protect the public from an immediate danger.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.)
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