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§30-16-16. Initiation of suspension or revocation proceedings allowed and required; reporting of information to board pertaining to professional malpractice and professional incompetence required; penalties.

(a) The board may independently initiate suspension or revocation proceedings as well as initiate suspension or revocation proceedings based on information received from any person. The board shall initiate investigations as to professional incompetence or other reasons for which a licensed chiropractor may be adjudged unqualified if the board receives notice that five or more judgments or settlements arising from professional liability have been rendered or made against the chiropractor.

(b) Upon request of the board, any peer review committee in this state shall report any information that may relate to the practice or performance of any chiropractor known to that peer review committee. Copies of the requests for information from a peer review committee may be provided to the subject chiropractor if, in the discretion of the board, the provision of the copies does not jeopardize the board's investigation. In the event that copies are provided, the subject chiropractor is allowed fifteen days to comment on the requested information and the comments shall be considered by the board.

(c) After the completion of a hospital's formal disciplinary procedure and after any resulting legal action, the chief executive officer of the hospital shall report in writing to the board within sixty days the name of any chiropractor who is a member of the staff or any other chiropractor practicing in the hospital whose hospital privileges have been revoked, restricted, reduced or terminated for any cause, including resignation, together with all pertinent information relating to the action. The chief executive officer shall also report any other formal disciplinary action taken against any chiropractor by the hospital upon the recommendation of its professional staff relating to professional ethics, medical incompetence, medical malpractice, moral turpitude or drug or alcohol abuse. Temporary suspension for failure to maintain records on a timely basis or failure to attend staff or section meetings need not be reported.

(d) Any professional society in this state comprised primarily of chiropractors which takes any form of disciplinary action against a member relating to professional ethics, professional incompetence, professional malpractice, moral turpitude or drug or alcohol abuse, shall report in writing to the board within sixty days of a final decision the name of the member, together with all pertinent information relating to the action.

(e) Every person, partnership, corporation, association, insurance company, professional society or other organization providing professional liability insurance to a chiropractor in this state shall submit to the board the following information within thirty days from any judgment, dismissal or settlement of a civil action or of any claim involving the insured:

(1) The date of any judgment, dismissal or settlement;

(2) Whether any appeal has been taken on the judgment, and if so, by which party;

(3) The amount of any settlement or judgment against the insured; and

(4) Other information the board requires.

(f) Within thirty days after a person known to be a chiropractor licensed or otherwise lawfully practicing chiropractic in this state or applying to be so licensed is convicted of a felony under the laws of this state involving alcohol or drugs in any way, including any controlled substance under state or federal law, the clerk of the court of record in which the conviction was entered shall forward to the board a certified true and correct abstract of the record of the convicting court. The abstract shall include the name and address of the chiropractor or applicant, the nature of the offense committed and the final judgment and sentence of the court.

(g) Upon a determination of the board that there is probable cause to believe that any person, partnership, corporation, association, insurance company, professional society or other organization has failed or refused to make a report required by this subsection, the board shall provide written notice to the alleged violator stating the nature of the alleged violation and the time and place at which the alleged violator shall appear to show good cause why a civil penalty should not be imposed. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. After reviewing the record of the hearing, if the board determines that a violation of this subsection has occurred, the board shall assess a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 against the violator. Anyone so assessed shall be notified of the assessment in writing and the notice shall specify the reasons for the assessment. If the violator fails to pay the amount of the assessment to the board within thirty days, the Attorney General may institute a civil action in the circuit court of Kanawha County to recover the amount of the assessment. In any such civil action, the court's review of the board's action shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of section four, article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.

(h) Any person may report to the board relevant facts about the conduct of any chiropractor in this state which in the opinion of the person amounts to professional malpractice or professional incompetence.

(i) The board shall provide forms for filing reports pursuant to this section. Reports submitted in other forms including verbal report shall be accepted by the board.

(j) The filing of a report with the board pursuant to any provision of this article, any investigation by the board or any disposition of a case by the board does not preclude any action by a hospital, other health care facility or professional society comprised primarily of chiropractors to suspend, restrict or revoke the privileges or membership of the chiropractor.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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