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Nov 4 2009

NCMB implements changes to investigative and disciplinary processes

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A new law that modifies the North Carolina Medical Board's investigative and disciplinary processes took effect October 1. Many of the provisions codify existing policy or interpretation of the Medical Practice Act, while other provisions create entirely new practices.

The brief article below summarizes two significant changes that affect licensees who are under investigation by the Board or who face an imminent public charge of misconduct by the Board.

Written notice of rights, responsibilities
Historically, when the Board received a complaint against a licensee, it provided the licensee with a copy and gave oral answers to any questions about the Board's review process. For investigations initiated on or after October 1, the Board will now mail or deliver in person written notices to licensees under investigation. The notices address the licensee's duty to cooperate with the Board, how the Board will communicate with the licensee and any legal counsel, NCMB implements changes to investigative and disciplinary processes the amount of time the investigation is expected to take and the licensee's rights should the Board vote to take public disciplinary action.

Pre-charge conference for licensees pending charges
Traditionally, the Board conducted informal conferences with some licensees prior to voting to initiate a public disciplinary proceeding. The new law requires the Board to provide, upon request, the licensee with the opportunity to meet with a designated Board member. Such meetings would occur after the Board votes to charge but before charges are issued and a hearing is scheduled. If a meeting is requested, it will be scheduled soon after the decision to take public action. Prior to the meeting, which may be telephonic or in person, the Board will provide the licensee and/or his or her legal counsel, with information gathered in the investigation. The purpose of the meeting will be to inform the licensee of the basis for the Board's decision to charge and explain the process going forward.
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READ MORE ONLINE
The law covers numerous other aspects of the Board's investigative and disciplinary procedures. To read the full text of the new law, visit: www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2009/Bills/Senate/PDF/S958v6.pdf

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