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11/28/2020 06:11 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=29880
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 21, 2019 10:26 AM
From: Representative Curtis G. Sonney
To: All House members
Subject: Disclosure of disingenuous physician complaints
 
When physician complaints are made, the Department of State, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, initiates and investigation through its Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation (BEI). While physicians are notified that a complaint has been filed against them, they are prohibited from receiving any information about the complaint, which is kept on file indefinitely.

When complaints are filed, BEI initially determines if the complaint, at face value, could possibly reflect a violation (if proven true). For these cases, BEI will initiate an investigation. However, when BEI determines that a particular complaint lacks merit, the case is closed, and the physician receives a letter informing them accordingly, with the caveat that BEI retains the option to re-open the case, should further information be obtained.

Unfortunately, when complaints against physicians are found by BEI to be either frivolous or meritless, physicians must continue to disclose them when asked if their license has ever been subject to an investigation or complaint. Because the details of BEI investigations are confidential, a physician lacks the ability to explain the nature of the “closed complaint” thereby tarnishing their reputation in perpetuity.

My legislation would no longer require physicians to acknowledge the existence of a complaint filed against their medical license if the case was closed without any formal action by BEI and no board action was taken.
CS:dt:cmc

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Introduced as HB1743