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Maryland Medical Board Actions

Disciplinary actions against licensed health care professionals in Maryland are an anxiety inducing experience all wish to avoid. The process often seems unfair to the medical professional considering the system, as currently designed, allows Boards to act as the investigator, prosecutor, judge and jury. See, e.g., Rosov v. State Board of Dental Examiners, 163 Md. App. 98, 877 A.2d 1111 (2005) (finding no constitutional due process violations). While this sounds surprising, Maryland Courts have explained that any reform to the system must come through the legislature, not the courts. See, State Board of Physicians v. Bernstein, 167 Md. App. 714, 894 A.2d 621 (2006).

In 2010, the Maryland State Legislature attempted to create some uniformity and begin the reform process. See, Md. Code, Health Occupations Art., §1-601, et seq. (titled “General Clarifications of the Disciplinary Process). For example, this legislative reform requires all disciplinary boards to have their own websites with access to sanctioning decisions, in addition to developing their own sanctioning guidelines. Md. Code, H.O., §§ 1-606 and 1-607. There is also a requirement that, subject to certain exceptions, a Board must bring charges within six (6) years of the conduct in question. Md. Code, H.O., § 1-603. Finally, perhaps the most important change was the requirement that those Boards using a peer review process, such as the Maryland Board of Physicians, must now disclose the final peer review report to the health care provider and allow him/her an opportunity to respond and, if need be, supplement the record. Md. Code, H.O., §1-604.

Three years after this reform, while some progress has been made, licensing actions among the various Maryland disciplinary Boards remains a daunting challenge for health care providers. It is essential that anyone who receives a letter from their licensing Board subpoenaing records and/or notifying them of an investigation seek immediate legal advice. For more information on how the attorneys at Walker, Murphy & Nelson, LLP can help guide you through the disciplinary process, contact us today.

Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein constitutes legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. All persons reviewing this should consult counsel for advice regarding any specific legal questions and any unauthorized use of this information is expressly prohibited.