At A Glance:
Video Conference Assists Bomex Meeting
The Office of Administrative Hearings
Executive Director's Role Expands
Effective Dates for Board Orders
Board Process: Multiple Recommendations
Highlights from the July 22, 1999 Videoconference Meeting
On Thursday, July 22, 1999 BOMEX took another step into the next century when it held a Medical Board session via videoconferencing. The system used a two-way video link between the centers and fax equipment to handle the transfer of documentation from site to site. The conference attendees were in Tucson at the University Medical Center and in Phoenix at ASU.
The purpose of the meeting was to address those cases where no violation of the law had occured. As a result of a review of the case files, public input and Board discussion 155 cases were dismissed. The remote locations or equipment did not affect the Board’s ability to discuss and reach consensus on cases.
Public attendees from Tucson commented that they appreciated the chance to address the Board without the need to travel to Phoenix to do so.
Congratulations to the new Board officers, and thanks to the departing Vice-Chair, William J. Waldo, M.D.
The new Board Officers are:
Ram R. Krishna, M.D., Chairman
Cliff Vanell, The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH)
During the July Board meeting, Mr. Cliff Vanell, Founding Director of OAH, addressed the Board to explain the mission, role and responsibilities of OAH.
OAH conducts Administrative Hearings on matters referred it by various
state agencies such as BOMEX. OAH’s mandate is to provide equal access
and participation, to the parties. The process has been designed to make
it more understandable, and provide effective participation. The agency
gives the participants a “safe space” in which to change a situation from
conflict to one of understanding. OAH hears cases including licensing
and discipline and has Administrative Law Judges specializing in particular
Executive Director Role Expands
The duties and responsibilities of the Executive Director increased as the Board agreed to adopt the Executive Director Delegation Committee’s recommendations based on HB 2487 and make them Substantive Policy Statements. Before now, these eight responsibilities were handled by the Board. This change will shorten the time for processing cases and increase communication with the complainant and the licensee. The full text of HB 2487 is available at the ALIS Website: http://www.azleg.state.az.us/
The Board reviewed research suggesting that the volume of drugs prescribed to patients online will increase dramatically in the coming three years.Some online prescribing is done without the physician ever seeing the patient face to face, while other prescribing is merely a convenient purchase mechanism for a patient who has an established relationship with a physician. Many national and state organizations have expressed concern about prescribing outside of an established relationship.
To protect the Arizona patient, the Board endorsed the following legislative principles for the coming January session:
"No Arizona patient should be prescribed, dispensed, or furnished a Schedule II-IV prescription drug unless the prescriber has conducted a prior physical examination and diagnosis. Permitted exceptions to the prior physical examination and diagnosis would include prescribers who are providing coverage for colleagues and emergency situations."
Board Members Connell and Powers agreed to work with staff to oversee
the drafting of specific language on this issue.
Funding received for first two Website projects.
The Board was presented an overview of a four-phase website development plan, which will usher in an age of the Internet-based office for BOMEX. The first two phases, Website Readiness and On-line Form Compatibility, have received funding and will enable more and more of the agency’s core business services to become available on-line, including physician profiles, licensing applications, and complaint submission and tracking. Phases Three and Four will provide an Intranet (an internal network of shared programs, files and communication) to integrate the workflow and the technology for document imaging.
Board Assessment Guide
The Board was presented a self-assessment tool, created by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), to be used by Boards in evaluating their performance. The tool is designed to assist Boards in developing a model to which they can aspire.
The tool is broken down into six sections dealing with various functions of the Medical Board. The Board voted to begin this self-assessment following its September meeting.
Board Counsel explained how each Board Order has a period of time before it becomes effective. A Board Order does not take effect until 35 days following its issue if it is mailed, and 30 days after receipt, if served personally. A Board Order may be appealed. A Consent to a Board Order, however, is effective upon signing and the licensee waives the right to appeal. The 30 or 35 day time frame affects the release of disciplinary information to the general public.
Complex Actions Optimized: Multiple Recommendations
Starting in May, Board members began voting in a different way for cases in which complainants named multiple doctors or made multiple allegations. Investigative materials supplied to the Board now include both medical expert and Board Member recommendations on each allegation, and the Board may then explicitly render different decisions on each allegation.
This new Board process enhances the disciplinary
options the Board has in the most complex complaints, and allows for easy
to understand decisions on each allegation made against each doctor named
in the complaint.
Board Actions: A Summary
Board Actions during this session:
The following are the dates for the 2000 meetings:
Full Board Meeting
The next Full Board meeting will take place
22-24, 1999, at the Board of Medical Examiners' Offices: 1651 E. Morten,
Suite 210, Phoenix, Arizona 85020.