Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 63: Professions of the Healing Arts

Chapter 9: Osteopathic Physicians

TCA 63-9-111: Denial, suspension and revocation of licenses or certificates -- Enjoining violations -- Enforcement -- Investigations.

(a) The board has the power to:

(1) Deny an application for a license to any applicant who applies for the same through reciprocity or otherwise;

(2) Permanently or temporarily withhold issuance of a license;

(3) Suspend or limit or restrict a previously issued license for such time and in such manner as the board may determine;

(4) Reprimand or take such action in relation to disciplining an applicant or licensee as the board in its discretion may deem proper; or

(5) Permanently revoke a license.

(b) The grounds upon which the board shall exercise the powers set forth in subsection (a) include, but are not limited to:

(1) Unprofessional, dishonorable or unethical conduct;

(2) Violation or attempted violation, directly or indirectly, or assisting in or abetting the violation of, or conspiring to violate, any provisions of this chapter or any lawful order of the board issued pursuant thereto or any criminal statute of the state of Tennessee;

(3) Making false statements or representations, being guilty of fraud or deceit in obtaining admission to practice or in being guilty of fraud or deceit in the practice of medicine;

(4) Gross health care liability or a pattern of continued or repeated health care liability, ignorance, negligence or incompetence in the course of medical practice;

(5) Habitual intoxication or personal misuse of any drugs or the use of intoxicating liquors, narcotics, controlled substances, controlled substance analogues or other drugs or stimulants in such manner as to adversely affect the person's ability to practice medicine;

(6) Violation of the laws governing abortion;

(7) The willful violation without legal justification of a privileged communication;

(8) Obtaining a fee as personal compensation or causing financial gain or benefit for an employer, person, partnership, corporation or any other legal entity by a fraudulent representation or by the use of a fraudulent diagnosis, therapy or treatment;

(9) Conviction of a felony, conviction of any offense under state or federal drug laws or conviction of any offense involving moral turpitude;

(10) The use of any false or fraudulent statement in any document connected with practice under this chapter;

(11) Dispensing, prescribing or otherwise distributing any controlled substance or any other drug not in the course of professional practice, or not in good faith to relieve pain and suffering or not to cure an ailment, physical infirmity or disease;

(12) Dispensing, prescribing or otherwise distributing to any person a controlled substance or other drug if such person is addicted to the habit of using controlled substances without making a bona fide effort to cure the habit of such patient;

(13) Dispensing, prescribing or otherwise distributing any controlled substance, controlled substance analogue or any other drug to any person in violation of any law of the state or the United States;

(14) Engaging in the practice of medicine under a false or assumed name, or the impersonation of another practitioner, or a like, similar or different name;

(15) Knowingly performing any act that in any way assists an unlicensed person to unlawfully practice as provided under this chapter;

(16) Violating or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly, or assisting in or abetting the violation of or conspiring to violate any provisions of this chapter;

(17) The failure of the licensee to designate the licensee's professional degree in accordance with SC 63-1-109;

(18) Should any person holding a license to practice hereunder be adjudged mentally incompetent or insane by any final order or adjudication of any court of competent jurisdiction, the license of such person shall forthwith be automatically suspended upon the entry of the order, and such suspension shall be effective and continue until the licensee is found or adjudged by such court to be mentally competent or until such person is duly discharged as restored to mental competence in any other manner provided by law;

(19) The advertising of medical business in which untrue or misleading statements are made or causing the publication or circulation of fraudulent advertising relative to any disease, human ailment or condition;

(20) Engaging in the practice of medicine when mentally or physically unable to safely do so;

(21) Disciplinary action against the licensee to practice medicine by another state or territory of the United States for any acts or omissions that would constitute grounds for discipline of a licensee licensed in this state. A certified copy of the initial or final order or other equivalent document memorializing the disciplinary action from the disciplining state or territory shall constitute prima facie evidence of a violation of this section and shall be sufficient grounds upon which to deny, restrict or condition licensure or renewal and/or discipline a licensee licensed in this state;

(22) No person licensed in this state to practice osteopathy shall agree or contract with any clinical, bioanalytical or hospital laboratory, wherever located, to pay such laboratory for anatomic pathology services or cytology services and thereafter include such costs in the bill or statement submitted to the patient or any entity or person for payment, unless the practitioner is in compliance with the requirements of SC 56-7-1015(g) and discloses on the bill or statement, or in writing by a separate disclosure statement in a minimum print size of ten (10) font, the name and address of the laboratory and the net amount or amounts paid or to be paid to the laboratory for the anatomic pathology services or cytology services. The provisions of this subdivision (b)(22) shall not apply to the state or any local government; and

(23) (A) Transferring of patient medical information to a person in another state who is not licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy in Tennessee using any electronic, telephonic or fiber optic means or by any other method if such information is employed to diagnose and/or treat persons physically located within Tennessee is prohibited;

(B) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (b)(23)(A), the transfer of such information shall not be prohibited if such information is:

(i) To be used for a second opinion requested by a Tennessee licensed medical doctor or osteopathic physician;

(ii) To be used by an out-of-state physician for treatment of a person who is seeking treatment out of Tennessee;

(iii) Used to determine if such patient is covered by insurance;

(iv) Used by a physician in another state to provide occasional academic consultations to a medical school located in Tennessee;

(v) Used by insurance or related companies for risk evaluation, utilization review, claims processing and/or evaluation of claimants' rehabilitation, including establishing and administering rehabilitation plans. The establishing and administering of such rehabilitation plans shall not include the diagnosis and/or treatment of persons physically located within Tennessee; or

(vi) Used in clinical trials for drugs approved by the food and drug administration;

(C) The provisions of this subdivision (b)(23) do not apply to research hospitals, as defined in SC 63-6-204(f)(7)(I);

(D) The provisions of this subdivision (b)(23) only apply to X-rays and medical imaging.

(c) In enforcing this section, the board shall, upon probable cause, have authority to compel an applicant or licensee to submit to a mental and/or physical examination by a designated committee of at least three (3) practicing physicians, including a psychiatrist where a question of mental condition is involved.

(1) Failure of an applicant or a licensee to submit to such examination when ordered shall constitute an admission of the allegations against the applicant or licensee, unless such failure was due to circumstances beyond the applicant's or licensee's control.

(2) The applicant or licensee may have an independent medical practitioner present during such examination.

(3) The committee will submit a report of its findings to the board, which will then hold a hearing as provided in this section.

(d) All proceedings for disciplinary action against a licensee under this chapter shall be conducted in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

(e) (1) In addition to the powers and duties expressly granted by this chapter in the matter of suspension or revocation of a license or certificate, the board is authorized and empowered to petition any circuit or chancery court having jurisdiction to enjoin any person who is practicing or attempting to practice osteopathy without possessing a valid license so to practice and to enjoin any unauthorized person, firm or corporation from performing any act or rendering any service in violation of the provisions of this chapter.

(2) Jurisdiction is conferred upon the circuit and chancery courts of the state to hear and determine such causes as chancery causes and to exercise full and complete jurisdiction in such injunctive proceedings.

(f) The board shall at all times have the power to call upon the district attorneys general in the various judicial districts to assist the board, and it is hereby declared to be the duty of all district attorneys general throughout the state to assist the board, upon its request, in any suit for injunction or prosecution instituted by the board without charge or additional compensation to the district attorneys general. The attorney general and reporter and the attorney general and reporter's assistants shall serve as legal advisers to the board.

(g) The board, on its own motion, may investigate any report that an osteopathic physician is or may be in violation of the provisions of subsection (b). Any osteopathic physician, any medical society or any other person who in good faith shall report to the board any information that an osteopathic physician is or may be in violation of any of the provisions of subsection (b) shall not be subject to suit for civil damage as a result thereof.

(h) The board, pursuant to duly promulgated rules, may, whenever a final order is issued after a disciplinary contested case hearing that contains findings that a licensee or other person has violated any provision of this chapter, assess the costs directly related to the prosecution of the case against the licensee or person.

History: Acts 1939, ch. 150, SC 1; mod. C. Supp. 1950, SC 7008.1; Acts 1963, ch. 211, SC 3; 1976, ch. 727, SC 9; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), SC 63-912; Acts 1982, ch. 948, SC 4; 1985, ch. 120, SC 11; 1996, ch. 1042, SCSC 4, 5; 1997, ch. 175, SC 1; 1999, ch. 340, SCSC 2-4; 2004, ch. 715, SC 2; 2010, ch. 952, SC 3; 2012, ch. 798, SC 42; 2012, ch. 848, SC 74.