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Mass. Gen. Laws. Ann. ch. 112, §5 - Investigation of complaints; remediation program; individual profiles; hearing; disciplinary action

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“Investigation of complaints; remediation program; individual profiles; hearing; disciplinary action; immunity; confidentiality; notice; subpoenas; adjudicatory hearing decisions”
The board is responsible of investigating allcomplaints relating to the proper practice of medicine by any person holding a certificate of registration, so far as it relates to medicine and report the same to the proper prosecuting officers.
This section establishes adisciplinary unitwithin the board of registration in medicine. This unit is responsible for investigating complaints. The board is also responsible for promulgating rules and regulations for remediation programs design to improve physicians' clinical and communication skills. The board must offer these remediation programs to physicians, on a voluntary basis, as an alternative to disciplinary action in appropriate cases. 
The board is also responsible for establishing a risk management unit within the board of registration in medicine. The risk management unit is designed to provide assistance in reducing the frequency, amount and costs of claims against physicians and hospitals licensed or registered in the commonwealth. 
The data repository is responsible for the compilation of all data required under this section. This data includes a description of any criminal convictions for felonies and serious misdemeanors, a description of any charges to which a physician pleads uncontested, a description of any final board disciplinary actions within the most recent ten years, a description of any final disciplinary actions by licensing boards in other states, a description of revocation or involuntary restriction of hospital privileges for reasons related to competence or character that have been taken by the hospital's governing body, and all medical malpractice court judgments.
The board shall not disclose to the public pending malpractice claims.  The board provides individual licensees with a copy of their profiles prior to release to the public. A licensee shall be provided a reasonable time to correct factual inaccuracies that appear in such profile.The law lists under which circumstances the board may revoke, suspend, or cancel the certificate of registration, or reprimand, censure, impose a fine to a physician.  The board shall, after proper notice and hearing, adopts rules and regulations governing the practice of medicine in order to promote the public health, welfare, and safety. Persons that file a complaint of report providing information under this section are immune from any cause of action arising out of receiving such information or assistance, provided that such information is done in good faith and without malice. The board must keep confidential any complaint, report, record or other information received or kept by the board in connection with an investigation conducted under this section, including but not limited to the data repository.
Once the board has disposed of the matter under investigation by issuing an order to show cause, or dismissing a complaint or by taking other final action the information does not need to be kept confidential, except to extent that disclosures of records may be restricted by law. Failure to comply with these confidentiality provisions will result in a fine.  If a physician is found not guilty the board shall forthwith order a dismissal of the charges and the exoneration of the accused. The board at any stage of an investigation may request production of evidence. The victim or his representative is entitled to attend all meetings of the board convened for the purpose of making a decision required in an adjudicatory proceeding. Upon final consideration of a disciplinary matter before the board, and before the board's vote on final disposition, the board shall provide the victim or his representative an opportunity to be heard through an oral or written victim impact statement. This impact statement can be done in the presence of the physician.

Current as of June 2015