PROFESSIONS, VOCATIONS, AND BUSINESSES
PHYSICIANS AND PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS
54-1806A. Medical disciplinary enforcement. The board of medicine shall create a committee on professional discipline which shall have the authority under the direct supervision and control of the board to conduct professional disciplinary enforcement investigations under this chapter and particularly under sections 54-1810 and 54-1814, Idaho Code, and to recommend appropriate action to the board with respect thereto. The committee on professional discipline shall have no authority to impose sanctions or limitations or conditions on licenses issued under this chapter and shall be authorized only to make recommendations to the board with respect thereto. The board shall provide as follows respecting the committee on professional discipline:
(1) Membership. The committee shall consist of five (5) members appointed by the board: four (4) members licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the state of Idaho, two (2) of whose terms shall expire at midnight on June 30 in each of two (2) successive years, and one (1) member who is an adult Idaho citizen of good character and reputation who shall not be licensed to practice medicine in the state of Idaho, whose term shall expire at midnight on June 30 in the year in which no physician member’s term shall expire. All terms of appointment shall be for three (3) years. No member of the committee on professional discipline may be appointed to serve more than two (2) terms.
(2) Chairman. The board of medicine shall designate one (1) member of the committee as its chairman who shall serve and function in that capacity for one (1) year or until a successor is duly appointed, whichever is later.
(3) Quorum. Three (3) members shall constitute a quorum.
(4) Compensation. Members of the committee shall be compensated as provided by section 59-509(p), Idaho Code, from the state board of medicine fund for expenses incurred in the course of serving on the committee.
(5) Conflicts and Disqualification. Members shall disqualify themselves and, on motion of any interested party may, on proper showing, be disqualified in any proceeding concerning which they have an actual conflict of interest or bias which interferes with their fair and impartial service.
(6) Powers of the Committee on Professional Discipline. The committee shall be empowered and authorized:
(a) To investigate or inquire into misconduct or unprofessional behavior and to recommend that the board take such action with respect thereto as it deems best in the interest of the public and justice, and to obtain the assistance of staff and legal counsel hired by the board of medicine to administer, process and assist in its work.
(b) To recommend that the board initiate, for good cause, proceedings under the disabled physicians act for any licensed physician or physician assistant incapacitated by illness, senility, disability, or addiction to drugs, intoxicants or other chemical or like substances.
(c) To recommend that the board provide by order for reciprocal discipline in cases involving the discipline of a licensed physician or physician assistant disciplined in any other jurisdiction, provided that such licensee or applicant shall be entitled to appear and show cause why such order should not apply in his or her case.
(7) Openness. All formal hearings under the board’s direction and control shall be open to the public. Formal dispositions or other formal actions taken by the board under sections 54-1806 and 54-1806A, Idaho Code, also shall be public. Proceedings, studies and investigations which do not result in formal hearings, formal dispositions or other formal actions by the board shall be conducted in private and shall remain confidential.
(8) Voluntary Restriction of Licensure. A physician may request in writing to the board a restriction of his license to practice medicine and the board is authorized to grant such request and, if it deems it appropriate to do so, to attach conditions to the licensure of the physician to practice medicine. The board is also authorized in such cases thereafter to waive the commencement of proceedings under this act or other provisions of the medical practice act if in the interest of justice it determines that such voluntary restrictions have rendered the same unnecessary. Removal of a voluntary restriction on or suspension of licensure to practice medicine shall be subject to the procedures for reinstatement elsewhere in this act or by rule of the board; provided also, such reinstatements may be subject to further conditions specially imposed in the individual case as a condition of the order entered therein.
(9) Adjudication of Discipline or Exoneration. The board shall make a determination of the merits of all proceedings, studies and investigations and, if grounds therefor are found to exist, may issue its order:
(a) Revoking the respondent physician’s or physician assistant’s license to practice medicine;
(b) Suspending or restricting the respondent physician’s or physician assistant’s license to practice medicine;
(c) Imposing conditions or probation upon the respondent physician or physician assistant’s license, including requiring rehabilitation or remediation;
(d) Issuing a public reprimand;
(e) Imposing an administrative fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each count or offense; and/or
(f) Assessing costs and attorney’s fees against the respondent physician for any investigation and/or administrative proceeding.
Every person subject to disciplinary proceedings shall be afforded an opportunity for hearing after reasonable notice, and all investigations, proceedings, and hearings conducted pursuant to this act shall be conducted in accordance with the administrative procedure act, chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code, and any rules adopted by the board pursuant thereto.
(10) Temporary Suspension or Restriction Pending Final Order. The board may temporarily suspend or restrict the license of any physician or physician assistant on its own motion or on verified petition of any person, pending further or final order, without prior hearing, simultaneously with or at any time after the institution of proceedings under this chapter, if it finds, that the physician or physician assistant, for reasons set forth by petition, affidavit, or other verified showing, or determined in reliance upon other reliable proof, is causing great harm to the public or to any patient or group of patients, or is imminently likely to cause such harm, for which reason he or she and his or her license to practice medicine should be immediately suspended or restricted or he or she should be specially controlled, suspended in or restricted from the practice of medicine. Thereafter the physician or physician assistant may, for good cause, request dissolution or amendment of any such temporary order by petition filed with the board, which petition shall be set for prompt hearing before a designated hearing officer, which officer shall forthwith hear said matter and report to the board his report and recommendations. The board, consistent with due process and the administrative procedure act, chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code, shall rule on such petition for dissolution or amendment with the least amount of delay reasonably possible.
(11) Judicial Review. All final decisions by the board shall be subject to judicial review pursuant to the administrative procedure act, chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code.
(12) Protected Action and Communication. There shall be no liability on the part of and no action for damages against:
(a) Any member of the board, the committee on professional discipline or the staff or officials thereof for any action undertaken or performed within the scope of the functions of the board or the committee under this chapter when acting in good faith and in the reasonable belief that such action is warranted; or
(b) Any person providing information or testimony to the board, the committee, or their staff or officials in good faith and in the reasonable belief that such information is accurate.
[54-1806A, added 1976, ch. 293, sec. 1, p. 1011; am. 1980, ch. 247, sec. 65, p. 628; am. 1982, ch. 323, sec. 1, p. 798; am. 1990, ch. 106, sec. 2, p. 214; am. 1990, ch. 213, sec. 77, p. 542; am. 1998, ch. 39, sec. 2, p. 168; am. 2000, ch. 332, sec. 1, p. 1112.; am. 2015, ch. 141, sec. 141, p. 487; am. 2019, ch. 26, sec. 7, p. 58.]