130th Ohio General Assembly
The online versions of legislation provided on this website are not official. Enrolled bills are the final version passed by the Ohio General Assembly and presented to the Governor for signature. The official version of acts signed by the Governor are available from the Secretary of State's Office in the Continental Plaza, 180 East Broad St., Columbus.

(127th General Assembly)
(Amended House Bill Number 314)



AN ACT
To amend sections 2151.421 and 4731.22 and to enact section 2317.561 of the Revised Code to require that a woman who is to have an abortion be given the opportunity to view any available obstetric ultrasound image and to make corrections in the laws pertaining to child abuse and neglect reports.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That sections 2151.421 and 4731.22 be amended and section 2317.561 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 2151.421.  (A)(1)(a) No person described in division (A)(1)(b) of this section who is acting in an official or professional capacity and knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect based on facts that would cause a reasonable person in a similar position to suspect, that a child under eighteen years of age or a mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired child under twenty-one years of age has suffered or faces a threat of suffering any physical or mental wound, injury, disability, or condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of the child shall fail to immediately report that knowledge or reasonable cause to suspect to the entity or persons specified in this division. Except as provided in section 5120.173 of the Revised Code, the person making the report shall make it to the public children services agency or a municipal or county peace officer in the county in which the child resides or in which the abuse or neglect is occurring or has occurred. In the circumstances described in section 5120.173 of the Revised Code, the person making the report shall make it to the entity specified in that section.

(b) Division (A)(1)(a) of this section applies to any person who is an attorney; physician, including a hospital intern or resident; dentist; podiatrist; practitioner of a limited branch of medicine as specified in section 4731.15 of the Revised Code; registered nurse; licensed practical nurse; visiting nurse; other health care professional; licensed psychologist; licensed school psychologist; independent marriage and family therapist or marriage and family therapist; speech pathologist or audiologist; coroner; administrator or employee of a child day-care center; administrator or employee of a residential camp or child day camp; administrator or employee of a certified child care agency or other public or private children services agency; school teacher; school employee; school authority; person engaged in social work or the practice of professional counseling; agent of a county humane society; person, other than a cleric, rendering spiritual treatment through prayer in accordance with the tenets of a well-recognized religion; superintendent, board member, or employee of a county board of mental retardation; investigative agent contracted with by a county board of mental retardation; employee of the department of mental retardation and developmental disabilities; employee of a facility or home that provides respite care in accordance with section 5123.171 of the Revised Code; employee of a home health agency; employee of an entity that provides homemaker services; a person performing the duties of an assessor pursuant to Chapter 3107. or 5103. of the Revised Code; or third party employed by a public children services agency to assist in providing child or family related services.

(2) Except as provided in division (A)(3) of this section, an attorney or a physician is not required to make a report pursuant to division (A)(1) of this section concerning any communication the attorney or physician receives from a client or patient in an attorney-client or physician-patient relationship, if, in accordance with division (A) or (B) of section 2317.02 of the Revised Code, the attorney or physician could not testify with respect to that communication in a civil or criminal proceeding.

(3) The client or patient in an attorney-client or physician-patient relationship described in division (A)(2) of this section is deemed to have waived any testimonial privilege under division (A) or (B) of section 2317.02 of the Revised Code with respect to any communication the attorney or physician receives from the client or patient in that attorney-client or physician-patient relationship, and the attorney or physician shall make a report pursuant to division (A)(1) of this section with respect to that communication, if all of the following apply:

(a) The client or patient, at the time of the communication, is either a child under eighteen years of age or a mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired person under twenty-one years of age.

(b) The attorney or physician knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect based on facts that would cause a reasonable person in similar position to suspect, as a result of the communication or any observations made during that communication, that the client or patient has suffered or faces a threat of suffering any physical or mental wound, injury, disability, or condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of the client or patient.

(c) The abuse or neglect does not arise out of the client's or patient's attempt to have an abortion without the notification of her parents, guardian, or custodian in accordance with section 2151.85 of the Revised Code.

(4)(a) No cleric and no person, other than a volunteer, designated by any church, religious society, or faith acting as a leader, official, or delegate on behalf of the church, religious society, or faith who is acting in an official or professional capacity, who knows, or has reasonable cause to believe based on facts that would cause a reasonable person in a similar position to believe, that a child under eighteen years of age or a mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired child under twenty-one years of age has suffered or faces a threat of suffering any physical or mental wound, injury, disability, or condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of the child, and who knows, or has reasonable cause to believe based on facts that would cause a reasonable person in a similar position to believe, that another cleric or another person, other than a volunteer, designated by a church, religious society, or faith acting as a leader, official, or delegate on behalf of the church, religious society, or faith caused, or poses the threat of causing, the wound, injury, disability, or condition that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect shall fail to immediately report that knowledge or reasonable cause to believe to the entity or persons specified in this division. Except as provided in section 5120.173 of the Revised Code, the person making the report shall make it to the public children services agency or a municipal or county peace officer in the county in which the child resides or in which the abuse or neglect is occurring or has occurred. In the circumstances described in section 5120.173 of the Revised Code, the person making the report shall make it to the entity specified in that section.

(b) Except as provided in division (A)(4)(c) of this section, a cleric is not required to make a report pursuant to division (A)(4)(a) of this section concerning any communication the cleric receives from a penitent in a cleric-penitent relationship, if, in accordance with division (C) of section 2317.02 of the Revised Code, the cleric could not testify with respect to that communication in a civil or criminal proceeding.

(c) The penitent in a cleric-penitent relationship described in division (A)(4)(b) of this section is deemed to have waived any testimonial privilege under division (C) of section 2317.02 of the Revised Code with respect to any communication the cleric receives from the penitent in that cleric-penitent relationship, and the cleric shall make a report pursuant to division (A)(4)(a) of this section with respect to that communication, if all of the following apply:

(i) The penitent, at the time of the communication, is either a child under eighteen years of age or a mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired person under twenty-one years of age.

(ii) The cleric knows, or has reasonable cause to believe based on facts that would cause a reasonable person in a similar position to believe, as a result of the communication or any observations made during that communication, the penitent has suffered or faces a threat of suffering any physical or mental wound, injury, disability, or condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of the penitent.

(iii) The abuse or neglect does not arise out of the penitent's attempt to have an abortion performed upon a child under eighteen years of age or upon a mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired person under twenty-one years of age without the notification of her parents, guardian, or custodian in accordance with section 2151.85 of the Revised Code.

(d) Divisions (A)(4)(a) and (c) of this section do not apply in a cleric-penitent relationship when the disclosure of any communication the cleric receives from the penitent is in violation of the sacred trust.

(e) As used in divisions (A)(1) and (4) of this section, "cleric" and "sacred trust" have the same meanings as in section 2317.02 of the Revised Code.

(B) Anyone who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect based on facts that would cause a reasonable person in similar circumstances to suspect, that a child under eighteen years of age or a mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired person under twenty-one years of age has suffered or faces a threat of suffering any physical or mental wound, injury, disability, or other condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of the child may report or cause reports to be made of that knowledge or reasonable cause to suspect to the entity or persons specified in this division. Except as provided in section 5120.173 of the Revised Code, a person making a report or causing a report to be made under this division shall make it or cause it to be made to the public children services agency or to a municipal or county peace officer. In the circumstances described in section 5120.173 of the Revised Code, a person making a report or causing a report to be made under this division shall make it or cause it to be made to the entity specified in that section.

(C) Any report made pursuant to division (A) or (B) of this section shall be made forthwith either by telephone or in person and shall be followed by a written report, if requested by the receiving agency or officer. The written report shall contain:

(1) The names and addresses of the child and the child's parents or the person or persons having custody of the child, if known;

(2) The child's age and the nature and extent of the child's injuries, abuse, or neglect that is known or reasonably suspected or believed, as applicable, to have occurred or of the threat of injury, abuse, or neglect that is known or reasonably suspected or believed, as applicable, to exist, including any evidence of previous injuries, abuse, or neglect;

(3) Any other information that might be helpful in establishing the cause of the injury, abuse, or neglect that is known or reasonably suspected or believed, as applicable, to have occurred or of the threat of injury, abuse, or neglect that is known or reasonably suspected or believed, as applicable, to exist.

Any person, who is required by division (A) of this section to report child abuse or child neglect that is known or reasonably suspected or believed to have occurred, may take or cause to be taken color photographs of areas of trauma visible on a child and, if medically indicated, cause to be performed radiological examinations of the child.

(D) As used in this division, "children's advocacy center" and "sexual abuse of a child" have the same meanings as in section 2151.425 of the Revised Code.

(1) When a municipal or county peace officer receives a report concerning the possible abuse or neglect of a child or the possible threat of abuse or neglect of a child, upon receipt of the report, the municipal or county peace officer who receives the report shall refer the report to the appropriate public children services agency.

(2) When a public children services agency receives a report pursuant to this division or division (A) or (B) of this section, upon receipt of the report, the public children services agency shall do both of the following:

(a) Comply with section 2151.422 of the Revised Code;

(b) If the county served by the agency is also served by a children's advocacy center and the report alleges sexual abuse of a child or another type of abuse of a child that is specified in the memorandum of understanding that creates the center as being within the center's jurisdiction, comply regarding the report with the protocol and procedures for referrals and investigations, with the coordinating activities, and with the authority or responsibility for performing or providing functions, activities, and services stipulated in the interagency agreement entered into under section 2151.428 of the Revised Code relative to that center.

(E) No township, municipal, or county peace officer shall remove a child about whom a report is made pursuant to this section from the child's parents, stepparents, or guardian or any other persons having custody of the child without consultation with the public children services agency, unless, in the judgment of the officer, and, if the report was made by physician, the physician, immediate removal is considered essential to protect the child from further abuse or neglect. The agency that must be consulted shall be the agency conducting the investigation of the report as determined pursuant to section 2151.422 of the Revised Code.

(F)(1) Except as provided in section 2151.422 of the Revised Code or in an interagency agreement entered into under section 2151.428 of the Revised Code that applies to the particular report, the public children services agency shall investigate, within twenty-four hours, each report of child abuse or child neglect that is known or reasonably suspected or believed to have occurred and of a threat of child abuse or child neglect that is known or reasonably suspected or believed to exist that is referred to it under this section to determine the circumstances surrounding the injuries, abuse, or neglect or the threat of injury, abuse, or neglect, the cause of the injuries, abuse, neglect, or threat, and the person or persons responsible. The investigation shall be made in cooperation with the law enforcement agency and in accordance with the memorandum of understanding prepared under division (J) of this section. A representative of the public children services agency shall, at the time of initial contact with the person subject to the investigation, inform the person of the specific complaints or allegations made against the person. The information shall be given in a manner that is consistent with division (H)(1) of this section and protects the rights of the person making the report under this section.

A failure to make the investigation in accordance with the memorandum is not grounds for, and shall not result in, the dismissal of any charges or complaint arising from the report or the suppression of any evidence obtained as a result of the report and does not give, and shall not be construed as giving, any rights or any grounds for appeal or post-conviction relief to any person. The public children services agency shall report each case to the uniform statewide automated child welfare information system that the department of job and family services shall maintain in accordance with section 5101.13 of the Revised Code. The public children services agency shall submit a report of its investigation, in writing, to the law enforcement agency.

(2) The public children services agency shall make any recommendations to the county prosecuting attorney or city director of law that it considers necessary to protect any children that are brought to its attention.

(G)(1)(a) Except as provided in division (H)(3) of this section, anyone or any hospital, institution, school, health department, or agency participating in the making of reports under division (A) of this section, anyone or any hospital, institution, school, health department, or agency participating in good faith in the making of reports under division (B) of this section, and anyone participating in good faith in a judicial proceeding resulting from the reports, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability for injury, death, or loss to person or property that otherwise might be incurred or imposed as a result of the making of the reports or the participation in the judicial proceeding.

(b) Notwithstanding section 4731.22 of the Revised Code, the physician-patient privilege shall not be a ground for excluding evidence regarding a child's injuries, abuse, or neglect, or the cause of the injuries, abuse, or neglect in any judicial proceeding resulting from a report submitted pursuant to this section.

(2) In any civil or criminal action or proceeding in which it is alleged and proved that participation in the making of a report under this section was not in good faith or participation in a judicial proceeding resulting from a report made under this section was not in good faith, the court shall award the prevailing party reasonable attorney's fees and costs and, if a civil action or proceeding is voluntarily dismissed, may award reasonable attorney's fees and costs to the party against whom the civil action or proceeding is brought.

(H)(1) Except as provided in divisions (H)(4) and (M) of this section, a report made under this section is confidential. The information provided in a report made pursuant to this section and the name of the person who made the report shall not be released for use, and shall not be used, as evidence in any civil action or proceeding brought against the person who made the report. In a criminal proceeding, the report is admissible in evidence in accordance with the Rules of Evidence and is subject to discovery in accordance with the Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(2) No person shall permit or encourage the unauthorized dissemination of the contents of any report made under this section.

(3) A person who knowingly makes or causes another person to make a false report under division (B) of this section that alleges that any person has committed an act or omission that resulted in a child being an abused child or a neglected child is guilty of a violation of section 2921.14 of the Revised Code.

(4) If a report is made pursuant to division (A) or (B) of this section and the child who is the subject of the report dies for any reason at any time after the report is made, but before the child attains eighteen years of age, the public children services agency or municipal or county peace officer to which the report was made or referred, on the request of the child fatality review board, shall submit a summary sheet of information providing a summary of the report to the review board of the county in which the deceased child resided at the time of death. On the request of the review board, the agency or peace officer may, at its discretion, make the report available to the review board. If the county served by the public children services agency is also served by a children's advocacy center and the report of alleged sexual abuse of a child or another type of abuse of a child is specified in the memorandum of understanding that creates the center as being within the center's jurisdiction, the agency or center shall perform the duties and functions specified in this division in accordance with the interagency agreement entered into under section 2151.428 of the Revised Code relative to that advocacy center.

(5) A public children services agency shall advise a person alleged to have inflicted abuse or neglect on a child who is the subject of a report made pursuant to this section, including a report alleging sexual abuse of a child or another type of abuse of a child referred to a children's advocacy center pursuant to an interagency agreement entered into under section 2151.428 of the Revised Code, in writing of the disposition of the investigation. The agency shall not provide to the person any information that identifies the person who made the report, statements of witnesses, or police or other investigative reports.

(I) Any report that is required by this section, other than a report that is made to the state highway patrol as described in section 5120.173 of the Revised Code, shall result in protective services and emergency supportive services being made available by the public children services agency on behalf of the children about whom the report is made, in an effort to prevent further neglect or abuse, to enhance their welfare, and, whenever possible, to preserve the family unit intact. The agency required to provide the services shall be the agency conducting the investigation of the report pursuant to section 2151.422 of the Revised Code.

(J)(1) Each public children services agency shall prepare a memorandum of understanding that is signed by all of the following:

(a) If there is only one juvenile judge in the county, the juvenile judge of the county or the juvenile judge's representative;

(b) If there is more than one juvenile judge in the county, a juvenile judge or the juvenile judges' representative selected by the juvenile judges or, if they are unable to do so for any reason, the juvenile judge who is senior in point of service or the senior juvenile judge's representative;

(c) The county peace officer;

(d) All chief municipal peace officers within the county;

(e) Other law enforcement officers handling child abuse and neglect cases in the county;

(f) The prosecuting attorney of the county;

(g) If the public children services agency is not the county department of job and family services, the county department of job and family services;

(h) The county humane society;

(i) If the public children services agency participated in the execution of a memorandum of understanding under section 2151.426 of the Revised Code establishing a children's advocacy center, each participating member of the children's advocacy center established by the memorandum.

(2) A memorandum of understanding shall set forth the normal operating procedure to be employed by all concerned officials in the execution of their respective responsibilities under this section and division (C) of section 2919.21, division (B)(1) of section 2919.22, division (B) of section 2919.23, and section 2919.24 of the Revised Code and shall have as two of its primary goals the elimination of all unnecessary interviews of children who are the subject of reports made pursuant to division (A) or (B) of this section and, when feasible, providing for only one interview of a child who is the subject of any report made pursuant to division (A) or (B) of this section. A failure to follow the procedure set forth in the memorandum by the concerned officials is not grounds for, and shall not result in, the dismissal of any charges or complaint arising from any reported case of abuse or neglect or the suppression of any evidence obtained as a result of any reported child abuse or child neglect and does not give, and shall not be construed as giving, any rights or any grounds for appeal or post-conviction relief to any person.

(3) A memorandum of understanding shall include all of the following:

(a) The roles and responsibilities for handling emergency and nonemergency cases of abuse and neglect;

(b) Standards and procedures to be used in handling and coordinating investigations of reported cases of child abuse and reported cases of child neglect, methods to be used in interviewing the child who is the subject of the report and who allegedly was abused or neglected, and standards and procedures addressing the categories of persons who may interview the child who is the subject of the report and who allegedly was abused or neglected.

(4) If a public children services agency participated in the execution of a memorandum of understanding under section 2151.426 of the Revised Code establishing a children's advocacy center, the agency shall incorporate the contents of that memorandum in the memorandum prepared pursuant to this section.

(K)(1) Except as provided in division (K)(4) of this section, a person who is required to make a report pursuant to division (A) of this section may make a reasonable number of requests of the public children services agency that receives or is referred the report, or of the children's advocacy center that is referred the report if the report is referred to a children's advocacy center pursuant to an interagency agreement entered into under section 2151.428 of the Revised Code, to be provided with the following information:

(a) Whether the agency or center has initiated an investigation of the report;

(b) Whether the agency or center is continuing to investigate the report;

(c) Whether the agency or center is otherwise involved with the child who is the subject of the report;

(d) The general status of the health and safety of the child who is the subject of the report;

(e) Whether the report has resulted in the filing of a complaint in juvenile court or of criminal charges in another court.

(2) A person may request the information specified in division (K)(1) of this section only if, at the time the report is made, the person's name, address, and telephone number are provided to the person who receives the report.

When a municipal or county peace officer or employee of a public children services agency receives a report pursuant to division (A) or (B) of this section the recipient of the report shall inform the person of the right to request the information described in division (K)(1) of this section. The recipient of the report shall include in the initial child abuse or child neglect report that the person making the report was so informed and, if provided at the time of the making of the report, shall include the person's name, address, and telephone number in the report.

Each request is subject to verification of the identity of the person making the report. If that person's identity is verified, the agency shall provide the person with the information described in division (K)(1) of this section a reasonable number of times, except that the agency shall not disclose any confidential information regarding the child who is the subject of the report other than the information described in those divisions.

(3) A request made pursuant to division (K)(1) of this section is not a substitute for any report required to be made pursuant to division (A) of this section.

(4) If an agency other than the agency that received or was referred the report is conducting the investigation of the report pursuant to section 2151.422 of the Revised Code, the agency conducting the investigation shall comply with the requirements of division (K) of this section.

(L) The director of job and family services shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to implement this section. The department of job and family services may enter into a plan of cooperation with any other governmental entity to aid in ensuring that children are protected from abuse and neglect. The department shall make recommendations to the attorney general that the department determines are necessary to protect children from child abuse and child neglect.

(M)(1) As used in this division:

(a) "Out-of-home care" includes a nonchartered nonpublic school if the alleged child abuse or child neglect, or alleged threat of child abuse or child neglect, described in a report received by a public children services agency allegedly occurred in or involved the nonchartered nonpublic school and the alleged perpetrator named in the report holds a certificate, permit, or license issued by the state board of education under section 3301.071 or Chapter 3319. of the Revised Code.

(b) "Administrator, director, or other chief administrative officer" means the superintendent of the school district if the out-of-home care entity subject to a report made pursuant to this section is a school operated by the district.

(2) No later than the end of the day following the day on which a public children services agency receives a report of alleged child abuse or child neglect, or a report of an alleged threat of child abuse or child neglect, that allegedly occurred in or involved an out-of-home care entity, the agency shall provide written notice of the allegations contained in and the person named as the alleged perpetrator in the report to the administrator, director, or other chief administrative officer of the out-of-home care entity that is the subject of the report unless the administrator, director, or other chief administrative officer is named as an alleged perpetrator in the report. If the administrator, director, or other chief administrative officer of an out-of-home care entity is named as an alleged perpetrator in a report of alleged child abuse or child neglect, or a report of an alleged threat of child abuse or child neglect, that allegedly occurred in or involved the out-of-home care entity, the agency shall provide the written notice to the owner or governing board of the out-of-home care entity that is the subject of the report. The agency shall not provide witness statements or police or other investigative reports.

(3) No later than three days after the day on which a public children services agency that conducted the investigation as determined pursuant to section 2151.422 of the Revised Code makes a disposition of an investigation involving a report of alleged child abuse or child neglect, or a report of an alleged threat of child abuse or child neglect, that allegedly occurred in or involved an out-of-home care entity, the agency shall send written notice of the disposition of the investigation to the administrator, director, or other chief administrative officer and the owner or governing board of the out-of-home care entity. The agency shall not provide witness statements or police or other investigative reports.

Sec. 2317.561. In addition to the requirements in section 2317.56 of the Revised Code, if an obstetric ultrasound examination is performed at any time prior to the performance or inducement of an abortion or the physician performing or inducing the abortion determines that an ultrasound examination will be performed as part of the abortion procedure, the physician shall do both of the following prior to the performance or inducement of the abortion:

(A) Provide the pregnant woman receiving the abortion the opportunity to view the active ultrasound image of the embryo or fetus;

(B) Offer to provide the pregnant woman with a physical picture of the ultrasound image of the embryo or fetus.

The requirements of division (A) of this section shall be performed at no additional charge to the pregnant woman.

Sec. 4731.22.  (A) The state medical board, by an affirmative vote of not fewer than six of its members, may revoke or may refuse to grant a certificate to a person found by the board to have committed fraud during the administration of the examination for a certificate to practice or to have committed fraud, misrepresentation, or deception in applying for or securing any certificate to practice or certificate of registration issued by the board.

(B) The board, by an affirmative vote of not fewer than six members, shall, to the extent permitted by law, limit, revoke, or suspend an individual's certificate to practice, refuse to register an individual, refuse to reinstate a certificate, or reprimand or place on probation the holder of a certificate for one or more of the following reasons:

(1) Permitting one's name or one's certificate to practice or certificate of registration to be used by a person, group, or corporation when the individual concerned is not actually directing the treatment given;

(2) Failure to maintain minimal standards applicable to the selection or administration of drugs, or failure to employ acceptable scientific methods in the selection of drugs or other modalities for treatment of disease;

(3) Selling, giving away, personally furnishing, prescribing, or administering drugs for other than legal and legitimate therapeutic purposes or a plea of guilty to, a judicial finding of guilt of, or a judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction of, a violation of any federal or state law regulating the possession, distribution, or use of any drug;

(4) Willfully betraying a professional confidence.

For purposes of this division, "willfully betraying a professional confidence" does not include providing any information, documents, or reports to a child fatality review board under sections 307.621 to 307.629 of the Revised Code and does not include the making of a report of an employee's use of a drug of abuse, or a report of a condition of an employee other than one involving the use of a drug of abuse, to the employer of the employee as described in division (B) of section 2305.33 of the Revised Code. Nothing in this division affects the immunity from civil liability conferred by that section upon a physician who makes either type of report in accordance with division (B) of that section. As used in this division, "employee," "employer," and "physician" have the same meanings as in section 2305.33 of the Revised Code.

(5) Making a false, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading statement in the solicitation of or advertising for patients; in relation to the practice of medicine and surgery, osteopathic medicine and surgery, podiatric medicine and surgery, or a limited branch of medicine; or in securing or attempting to secure any certificate to practice or certificate of registration issued by the board.

As used in this division, "false, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading statement" means a statement that includes a misrepresentation of fact, is likely to mislead or deceive because of a failure to disclose material facts, is intended or is likely to create false or unjustified expectations of favorable results, or includes representations or implications that in reasonable probability will cause an ordinarily prudent person to misunderstand or be deceived.

(6) A departure from, or the failure to conform to, minimal standards of care of similar practitioners under the same or similar circumstances, whether or not actual injury to a patient is established;

(7) Representing, with the purpose of obtaining compensation or other advantage as personal gain or for any other person, that an incurable disease or injury, or other incurable condition, can be permanently cured;

(8) The obtaining of, or attempting to obtain, money or anything of value by fraudulent misrepresentations in the course of practice;

(9) A plea of guilty to, a judicial finding of guilt of, or a judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction for, a felony;

(10) Commission of an act that constitutes a felony in this state, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the act was committed;

(11) A plea of guilty to, a judicial finding of guilt of, or a judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction for, a misdemeanor committed in the course of practice;

(12) Commission of an act in the course of practice that constitutes a misdemeanor in this state, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the act was committed;

(13) A plea of guilty to, a judicial finding of guilt of, or a judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction for, a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;

(14) Commission of an act involving moral turpitude that constitutes a misdemeanor in this state, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the act was committed;

(15) Violation of the conditions of limitation placed by the board upon a certificate to practice;

(16) Failure to pay license renewal fees specified in this chapter;

(17) Except as authorized in section 4731.31 of the Revised Code, engaging in the division of fees for referral of patients, or the receiving of a thing of value in return for a specific referral of a patient to utilize a particular service or business;

(18) Subject to section 4731.226 of the Revised Code, violation of any provision of a code of ethics of the American medical association, the American osteopathic association, the American podiatric medical association, or any other national professional organizations that the board specifies by rule. The state medical board shall obtain and keep on file current copies of the codes of ethics of the various national professional organizations. The individual whose certificate is being suspended or revoked shall not be found to have violated any provision of a code of ethics of an organization not appropriate to the individual's profession.

For purposes of this division, a "provision of a code of ethics of a national professional organization" does not include any provision that would preclude the making of a report by a physician of an employee's use of a drug of abuse, or of a condition of an employee other than one involving the use of a drug of abuse, to the employer of the employee as described in division (B) of section 2305.33 of the Revised Code. Nothing in this division affects the immunity from civil liability conferred by that section upon a physician who makes either type of report in accordance with division (B) of that section. As used in this division, "employee," "employer," and "physician" have the same meanings as in section 2305.33 of the Revised Code.

(19) Inability to practice according to acceptable and prevailing standards of care by reason of mental illness or physical illness, including, but not limited to, physical deterioration that adversely affects cognitive, motor, or perceptive skills.

In enforcing this division, the board, upon a showing of a possible violation, may compel any individual authorized to practice by this chapter or who has submitted an application pursuant to this chapter to submit to a mental examination, physical examination, including an HIV test, or both a mental and a physical examination. The expense of the examination is the responsibility of the individual compelled to be examined. Failure to submit to a mental or physical examination or consent to an HIV test ordered by the board constitutes an admission of the allegations against the individual unless the failure is due to circumstances beyond the individual's control, and a default and final order may be entered without the taking of testimony or presentation of evidence. If the board finds an individual unable to practice because of the reasons set forth in this division, the board shall require the individual to submit to care, counseling, or treatment by physicians approved or designated by the board, as a condition for initial, continued, reinstated, or renewed authority to practice. An individual affected under this division shall be afforded an opportunity to demonstrate to the board the ability to resume practice in compliance with acceptable and prevailing standards under the provisions of the individual's certificate. For the purpose of this division, any individual who applies for or receives a certificate to practice under this chapter accepts the privilege of practicing in this state and, by so doing, shall be deemed to have given consent to submit to a mental or physical examination when directed to do so in writing by the board, and to have waived all objections to the admissibility of testimony or examination reports that constitute a privileged communication.

(20) Except when civil penalties are imposed under section 4731.225 or 4731.281 of the Revised Code, and subject to section 4731.226 of the Revised Code, 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 or any rule promulgated by the board.

This division does not apply to a violation or attempted violation of, assisting in or abetting the violation of, or a conspiracy to violate, any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted by the board that would preclude the making of a report by a physician of an employee's use of a drug of abuse, or of a condition of an employee other than one involving the use of a drug of abuse, to the employer of the employee as described in division (B) of section 2305.33 of the Revised Code. Nothing in this division affects the immunity from civil liability conferred by that section upon a physician who makes either type of report in accordance with division (B) of that section. As used in this division, "employee," "employer," and "physician" have the same meanings as in section 2305.33 of the Revised Code.

(21) The violation of section 3701.79 of the Revised Code or of any abortion rule adopted by the public health council pursuant to section 3701.341 of the Revised Code;

(22) Any of the following actions taken by the agency responsible for regulating the practice of medicine and surgery, osteopathic medicine and surgery, podiatric medicine and surgery, or the limited branches of medicine in another jurisdiction, for any reason other than the nonpayment of fees: the limitation, revocation, or suspension of an individual's license to practice; acceptance of an individual's license surrender; denial of a license; refusal to renew or reinstate a license; imposition of probation; or issuance of an order of censure or other reprimand;

(23) The violation of section 2919.12 of the Revised Code or the performance or inducement of an abortion upon a pregnant woman with actual knowledge that the conditions specified in division (B) of section 2317.56 of the Revised Code have not been satisfied or with a heedless indifference as to whether those conditions have been satisfied, unless an affirmative defense as specified in division (H)(2) of that section would apply in a civil action authorized by division (H)(1) of that section;

(24) The revocation, suspension, restriction, reduction, or termination of clinical privileges by the United States department of defense or department of veterans affairs or the termination or suspension of a certificate of registration to prescribe drugs by the drug enforcement administration of the United States department of justice;

(25) Termination or suspension from participation in the medicare or medicaid programs by the department of health and human services or other responsible agency for any act or acts that also would constitute a violation of division (B)(2), (3), (6), (8), or (19) of this section;

(26) Impairment of ability to practice according to acceptable and prevailing standards of care because of habitual or excessive use or abuse of drugs, alcohol, or other substances that impair ability to practice.

For the purposes of this division, any individual authorized to practice by this chapter accepts the privilege of practicing in this state subject to supervision by the board. By filing an application for or holding a certificate to practice under this chapter, an individual shall be deemed to have given consent to submit to a mental or physical examination when ordered to do so by the board in writing, and to have waived all objections to the admissibility of testimony or examination reports that constitute privileged communications.

If it has reason to believe that any individual authorized to practice by this chapter or any applicant for certification to practice suffers such impairment, the board may compel the individual to submit to a mental or physical examination, or both. The expense of the examination is the responsibility of the individual compelled to be examined. Any mental or physical examination required under this division shall be undertaken by a treatment provider or physician who is qualified to conduct the examination and who is chosen by the board.

Failure to submit to a mental or physical examination ordered by the board constitutes an admission of the allegations against the individual unless the failure is due to circumstances beyond the individual's control, and a default and final order may be entered without the taking of testimony or presentation of evidence. If the board determines that the individual's ability to practice is impaired, the board shall suspend the individual's certificate or deny the individual's application and shall require the individual, as a condition for initial, continued, reinstated, or renewed certification to practice, to submit to treatment.

Before being eligible to apply for reinstatement of a certificate suspended under this division, the impaired practitioner shall demonstrate to the board the ability to resume practice in compliance with acceptable and prevailing standards of care under the provisions of the practitioner's certificate. The demonstration shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

(a) Certification from a treatment provider approved under section 4731.25 of the Revised Code that the individual has successfully completed any required inpatient treatment;

(b) Evidence of continuing full compliance with an aftercare contract or consent agreement;

(c) Two written reports indicating that the individual's ability to practice has been assessed and that the individual has been found capable of practicing according to acceptable and prevailing standards of care. The reports shall be made by individuals or providers approved by the board for making the assessments and shall describe the basis for their determination.

The board may reinstate a certificate suspended under this division after that demonstration and after the individual has entered into a written consent agreement.

When the impaired practitioner resumes practice, the board shall require continued monitoring of the individual. The monitoring shall include, but not be limited to, compliance with the written consent agreement entered into before reinstatement or with conditions imposed by board order after a hearing, and, upon termination of the consent agreement, submission to the board for at least two years of annual written progress reports made under penalty of perjury stating whether the individual has maintained sobriety.

(27) A second or subsequent violation of section 4731.66 or 4731.69 of the Revised Code;

(28) Except as provided in division (N) of this section:

(a) Waiving the payment of all or any part of a deductible or copayment that a patient, pursuant to a health insurance or health care policy, contract, or plan that covers the individual's services, otherwise would be required to pay if the waiver is used as an enticement to a patient or group of patients to receive health care services from that individual;

(b) Advertising that the individual will waive the payment of all or any part of a deductible or copayment that a patient, pursuant to a health insurance or health care policy, contract, or plan that covers the individual's services, otherwise would be required to pay.

(29) Failure to use universal blood and body fluid precautions established by rules adopted under section 4731.051 of the Revised Code;

(30) Failure to provide notice to, and receive acknowledgment of the notice from, a patient when required by section 4731.143 of the Revised Code prior to providing nonemergency professional services, or failure to maintain that notice in the patient's file;

(31) Failure of a physician supervising a physician assistant to maintain supervision in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 4730. of the Revised Code and the rules adopted under that chapter;

(32) Failure of a physician or podiatrist to enter into a standard care arrangement with a clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse-midwife, or certified nurse practitioner with whom the physician or podiatrist is in collaboration pursuant to section 4731.27 of the Revised Code or failure to fulfill the responsibilities of collaboration after entering into a standard care arrangement;

(33) Failure to comply with the terms of a consult agreement entered into with a pharmacist pursuant to section 4729.39 of the Revised Code;

(34) Failure to cooperate in an investigation conducted by the board under division (F) of this section, including failure to comply with a subpoena or order issued by the board or failure to answer truthfully a question presented by the board at a deposition or in written interrogatories, except that failure to cooperate with an investigation shall not constitute grounds for discipline under this section if a court of competent jurisdiction has issued an order that either quashes a subpoena or permits the individual to withhold the testimony or evidence in issue;

(35) Failure to supervise an acupuncturist in accordance with Chapter 4762. of the Revised Code and the board's rules for supervision of an acupuncturist;

(36) Failure to supervise an anesthesiologist assistant in accordance with Chapter 4760. of the Revised Code and the board's rules for supervision of an anesthesiologist assistant;

(37) Assisting suicide as defined in section 3795.01 of the Revised Code;

(38) Failure to comply with the requirements of section 2317.561 of the Revised Code.

(C) Disciplinary actions taken by the board under divisions (A) and (B) of this section shall be taken pursuant to an adjudication under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, except that in lieu of an adjudication, the board may enter into a consent agreement with an individual to resolve an allegation of a violation of this chapter or any rule adopted under it. A consent agreement, when ratified by an affirmative vote of not fewer than six members of the board, shall constitute the findings and order of the board with respect to the matter addressed in the agreement. If the board refuses to ratify a consent agreement, the admissions and findings contained in the consent agreement shall be of no force or effect.

If the board takes disciplinary action against an individual under division (B) of this section for a second or subsequent plea of guilty to, or judicial finding of guilt of, a violation of section 2919.123 of the Revised Code, the disciplinary action shall consist of a suspension of the individual's certificate to practice for a period of at least one year or, if determined appropriate by the board, a more serious sanction involving the individual's certificate to practice. Any consent agreement entered into under this division with an individual that pertains to a second or subsequent plea of guilty to, or judicial finding of guilt of, a violation of that section shall provide for a suspension of the individual's certificate to practice for a period of at least one year or, if determined appropriate by the board, a more serious sanction involving the individual's certificate to practice.

(D) For purposes of divisions (B)(10), (12), and (14) of this section, the commission of the act may be established by a finding by the board, pursuant to an adjudication under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, that the individual committed the act. The board does not have jurisdiction under those divisions if the trial court renders a final judgment in the individual's favor and that judgment is based upon an adjudication on the merits. The board has jurisdiction under those divisions if the trial court issues an order of dismissal upon technical or procedural grounds.

(E) The sealing of conviction records by any court shall have no effect upon a prior board order entered under this section or upon the board's jurisdiction to take action under this section if, based upon a plea of guilty, a judicial finding of guilt, or a judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction, the board issued a notice of opportunity for a hearing prior to the court's order to seal the records. The board shall not be required to seal, destroy, redact, or otherwise modify its records to reflect the court's sealing of conviction records.

(F)(1) The board shall investigate evidence that appears to show that a person has violated any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted under it. Any person may report to the board in a signed writing any information that the person may have that appears to show a violation of any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted under it. In the absence of bad faith, any person who reports information of that nature or who testifies before the board in any adjudication conducted under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code shall not be liable in damages in a civil action as a result of the report or testimony. Each complaint or allegation of a violation received by the board shall be assigned a case number and shall be recorded by the board.

(2) Investigations of alleged violations of this chapter or any rule adopted under it shall be supervised by the supervising member elected by the board in accordance with section 4731.02 of the Revised Code and by the secretary as provided in section 4731.39 of the Revised Code. The president may designate another member of the board to supervise the investigation in place of the supervising member. No member of the board who supervises the investigation of a case shall participate in further adjudication of the case.

(3) In investigating a possible violation of this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter, the board may administer oaths, order the taking of depositions, issue subpoenas, and compel the attendance of witnesses and production of books, accounts, papers, records, documents, and testimony, except that a subpoena for patient record information shall not be issued without consultation with the attorney general's office and approval of the secretary and supervising member of the board. Before issuance of a subpoena for patient record information, the secretary and supervising member shall determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the complaint filed alleges a violation of this chapter or any rule adopted under it and that the records sought are relevant to the alleged violation and material to the investigation. The subpoena may apply only to records that cover a reasonable period of time surrounding the alleged violation.

On failure to comply with any subpoena issued by the board and after reasonable notice to the person being subpoenaed, the board may move for an order compelling the production of persons or records pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure.

A subpoena issued by the board may be served by a sheriff, the sheriff's deputy, or a board employee designated by the board. Service of a subpoena issued by the board may be made by delivering a copy of the subpoena to the person named therein, reading it to the person, or leaving it at the person's usual place of residence. When the person being served is a person whose practice is authorized by this chapter, service of the subpoena may be made by certified mail, restricted delivery, return receipt requested, and the subpoena shall be deemed served on the date delivery is made or the date the person refuses to accept delivery.

A sheriff's deputy who serves a subpoena shall receive the same fees as a sheriff. Each witness who appears before the board in obedience to a subpoena shall receive the fees and mileage provided for witnesses in civil cases in the courts of common pleas.

(4) All hearings and investigations of the board shall be considered civil actions for the purposes of section 2305.252 of the Revised Code.

(5) Information received by the board pursuant to an investigation is confidential and not subject to discovery in any civil action.

The board shall conduct all investigations and proceedings in a manner that protects the confidentiality of patients and persons who file complaints with the board. The board shall not make public the names or any other identifying information about patients or complainants unless proper consent is given or, in the case of a patient, a waiver of the patient privilege exists under division (B) of section 2317.02 of the Revised Code, except that consent or a waiver of that nature is not required if the board possesses reliable and substantial evidence that no bona fide physician-patient relationship exists.

The board may share any information it receives pursuant to an investigation, including patient records and patient record information, with law enforcement agencies, other licensing boards, and other governmental agencies that are prosecuting, adjudicating, or investigating alleged violations of statutes or administrative rules. An agency or board that receives the information shall comply with the same requirements regarding confidentiality as those with which the state medical board must comply, notwithstanding any conflicting provision of the Revised Code or procedure of the agency or board that applies when it is dealing with other information in its possession. In a judicial proceeding, the information may be admitted into evidence only in accordance with the Rules of Evidence, but the court shall require that appropriate measures are taken to ensure that confidentiality is maintained with respect to any part of the information that contains names or other identifying information about patients or complainants whose confidentiality was protected by the state medical board when the information was in the board's possession. Measures to ensure confidentiality that may be taken by the court include sealing its records or deleting specific information from its records.

(6) On a quarterly basis, the board shall prepare a report that documents the disposition of all cases during the preceding three months. The report shall contain the following information for each case with which the board has completed its activities:

(a) The case number assigned to the complaint or alleged violation;

(b) The type of certificate to practice, if any, held by the individual against whom the complaint is directed;

(c) A description of the allegations contained in the complaint;

(d) The disposition of the case.

The report shall state how many cases are still pending and shall be prepared in a manner that protects the identity of each person involved in each case. The report shall be a public record under section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

(G) If the secretary and supervising member determine that there is clear and convincing evidence that an individual has violated division (B) of this section and that the individual's continued practice presents a danger of immediate and serious harm to the public, they may recommend that the board suspend the individual's certificate to practice without a prior hearing. Written allegations shall be prepared for consideration by the board.

The board, upon review of those allegations and by an affirmative vote of not fewer than six of its members, excluding the secretary and supervising member, may suspend a certificate without a prior hearing. A telephone conference call may be utilized for reviewing the allegations and taking the vote on the summary suspension.

The board shall issue a written order of suspension by certified mail or in person in accordance with section 119.07 of the Revised Code. The order shall not be subject to suspension by the court during pendency of any appeal filed under section 119.12 of the Revised Code. If the individual subject to the summary suspension requests an adjudicatory hearing by the board, the date set for the hearing shall be within fifteen days, but not earlier than seven days, after the individual requests the hearing, unless otherwise agreed to by both the board and the individual.

Any summary suspension imposed under this division shall remain in effect, unless reversed on appeal, until a final adjudicative order issued by the board pursuant to this section and Chapter 119. of the Revised Code becomes effective. The board shall issue its final adjudicative order within seventy-five days after completion of its hearing. A failure to issue the order within seventy-five days shall result in dissolution of the summary suspension order but shall not invalidate any subsequent, final adjudicative order.

(H) If the board takes action under division (B)(9), (11), or (13) of this section and the judicial finding of guilt, guilty plea, or judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction is overturned on appeal, upon exhaustion of the criminal appeal, a petition for reconsideration of the order may be filed with the board along with appropriate court documents. Upon receipt of a petition of that nature and supporting court documents, the board shall reinstate the individual's certificate to practice. The board may then hold an adjudication under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to determine whether the individual committed the act in question. Notice of an opportunity for a hearing shall be given in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. If the board finds, pursuant to an adjudication held under this division, that the individual committed the act or if no hearing is requested, the board may order any of the sanctions identified under division (B) of this section.

(I) The certificate to practice issued to an individual under this chapter and the individual's practice in this state are automatically suspended as of the date of the individual's second or subsequent plea of guilty to, or judicial finding of guilt of, a violation of section 2919.123 of the Revised Code, or the date the individual pleads guilty to, is found by a judge or jury to be guilty of, or is subject to a judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction in this state or treatment or intervention in lieu of conviction in another jurisdiction for any of the following criminal offenses in this state or a substantially equivalent criminal offense in another jurisdiction: aggravated murder, murder, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault, kidnapping, rape, sexual battery, gross sexual imposition, aggravated arson, aggravated robbery, or aggravated burglary. Continued practice after suspension shall be considered practicing without a certificate.

The board shall notify the individual subject to the suspension by certified mail or in person in accordance with section 119.07 of the Revised Code. If an individual whose certificate is automatically suspended under this division fails to make a timely request for an adjudication under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, the board shall do whichever of the following is applicable:

(1) If the automatic suspension under this division is for a second or subsequent plea of guilty to, or judicial finding of guilt of, a violation of section 2919.123 of the Revised Code, the board shall enter an order suspending the individual's certificate to practice for a period of at least one year or, if determined appropriate by the board, imposing a more serious sanction involving the individual's certificate to practice.

(2) In all circumstances in which division (I)(1) of this section does not apply, enter a final order permanently revoking the individual's certificate to practice.

(J) If the board is required by Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to give notice of an opportunity for a hearing and if the individual subject to the notice does not timely request a hearing in accordance with section 119.07 of the Revised Code, the board is not required to hold a hearing, but may adopt, by an affirmative vote of not fewer than six of its members, a final order that contains the board's findings. In that final order, the board may order any of the sanctions identified under division (A) or (B) of this section.

(K) Any action taken by the board under division (B) of this section resulting in a suspension from practice shall be accompanied by a written statement of the conditions under which the individual's certificate to practice may be reinstated. The board shall adopt rules governing conditions to be imposed for reinstatement. Reinstatement of a certificate suspended pursuant to division (B) of this section requires an affirmative vote of not fewer than six members of the board.

(L) When the board refuses to grant a certificate to an applicant, revokes an individual's certificate to practice, refuses to register an applicant, or refuses to reinstate an individual's certificate to practice, the board may specify that its action is permanent. An individual subject to a permanent action taken by the board is forever thereafter ineligible to hold a certificate to practice and the board shall not accept an application for reinstatement of the certificate or for issuance of a new certificate.

(M) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Revised Code, all of the following apply:

(1) The surrender of a certificate issued under this chapter shall not be effective unless or until accepted by the board. Reinstatement of a certificate surrendered to the board requires an affirmative vote of not fewer than six members of the board.

(2) An application for a certificate made under the provisions of this chapter may not be withdrawn without approval of the board.

(3) Failure by an individual to renew a certificate of registration in accordance with this chapter shall not remove or limit the board's jurisdiction to take any disciplinary action under this section against the individual.

(N) Sanctions shall not be imposed under division (B)(28) of this section against any person who waives deductibles and copayments as follows:

(1) In compliance with the health benefit plan that expressly allows such a practice. Waiver of the deductibles or copayments shall be made only with the full knowledge and consent of the plan purchaser, payer, and third-party administrator. Documentation of the consent shall be made available to the board upon request.

(2) For professional services rendered to any other person authorized to practice pursuant to this chapter, to the extent allowed by this chapter and rules adopted by the board.

(O) Under the board's investigative duties described in this section and subject to division (F) of this section, the board shall develop and implement a quality intervention program designed to improve through remedial education the clinical and communication skills of individuals authorized under this chapter to practice medicine and surgery, osteopathic medicine and surgery, and podiatric medicine and surgery. In developing and implementing the quality intervention program, the board may do all of the following:

(1) Offer in appropriate cases as determined by the board an educational and assessment program pursuant to an investigation the board conducts under this section;

(2) Select providers of educational and assessment services, including a quality intervention program panel of case reviewers;

(3) Make referrals to educational and assessment service providers and approve individual educational programs recommended by those providers. The board shall monitor the progress of each individual undertaking a recommended individual educational program.

(4) Determine what constitutes successful completion of an individual educational program and require further monitoring of the individual who completed the program or other action that the board determines to be appropriate;

(5) Adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to further implement the quality intervention program.

An individual who participates in an individual educational program pursuant to this division shall pay the financial obligations arising from that educational program.

SECTION 2. That existing sections 2151.421 and 4731.22 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

Please send questions and comments to the Webmaster.
© 2017 Legislative Information Systems | Disclaimer