S.C. Code Regs. 36-20 - Treatment of Complaints Pertaining to Impaired Practitioners

Current through Register Vol. 46, No. 3, March 25, 2022

(A) An individual who accepts the privilege of practicing under Title 40, Chapter 75 of the South Carolina Code of Laws in this State is subject to oversight by the Board. By filing an application or being licensed by the Board, the individual shall be deemed to give 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 of reports that constitute privileged communications. Failure of the individual to submit to a mental or physical examination order by the Board constitutes an admission of the allegations against the individual licensee unless the failure is due to circumstances beyond the individual's control.
(B) When the Board receives information by the filing of a complaint, or upon its own information, that a licensee's ability to practice has fallen below the acceptable and prevailing standards of care because of habitual or excessive use or abuse of drugs, alcohol, or other substances and other physical or mental impairments that affect the ability to practice, the Board may order the licensee to submit to a mental or physical examination conducted by a designee of the Board for the purpose of determining if there is an impairment that poses a threat to the licensee's well-being or the treatment of a client whom the licensee serves.
(C) If the Board determines that the individual's ability to practice is impaired, the Board shall suspend or place restrictions on the individual's license to practice, or deny the individual's application, and require the individual to submit to treatment, as a condition for initial, continued, reinstated, or renewed licensure to practice.
(D) In cases where the Board has not initiated disciplinary action, the following general pattern of action shall be followed:
(1) upon identification by the Board of reason to believe that a licensee or applicant is impaired it may compel an examination or examinations; and
(2) if the examination or examinations fail to disclose impairment, no action shall be initiated unless other investigation produces reliable, substantial, and probative evidence demonstrating impairment; and
(3) if the examination discloses impairment, or if the Board has other reliable, substantial, and probative evidence demonstrating impairment, including, but not limited to, evidence of relapse after the completion of inpatient or outpatient treatment, the Board shall initiate proceedings to suspend the license or deny licensure of the applicant; and
(4) before being eligible to apply for reinstatement of a license suspended under this section, the practitioner must demonstrate to the Board that a resumption of practice may be made in compliance with acceptable and prevailing standards of care under the provisions of an unrestricted license. Such demonstrations shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(a) certification from a treatment provider approved by the Board that the practitioner has successfully completed any required inpatient treatment; and
(b) evidence of continuing full compliance with an aftercare contract or consent agreement; and
(c) two (2) written reports indicating that the individual's ability to practice has been assessed and that he 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 such assessments and shall describe the basis for this determination; and
(5) when the impaired practitioner resumes practice after reinstatement of his license, the Board shall require continued monitoring of the practitioner. This monitoring shall include, but not be limited to, compliance with any written consent agreement entered into before reinstatement or compliance with conditions imposed by the Board order after a hearing, and, upon termination of the consent agreement, submission by the practitioner to the Board, for at least two (2) years, of annual written progress reports made under penalty of perjury stating whether the license holder has maintained sobriety.
(E) In cases where the Board has initiated a disciplinary action, the general pattern of action described above shall be followed, except that:
(1) if the Board imposes a period of ineligibility for licensure, the individual shall not be eligible for a license reinstatement until the period has lapsed; or
(2) if the Board imposes an indefinite period of ineligibility, licensure, or license reinstatement shall depend upon successful completion of the requirements and determination by the Board that the period of suspension or ineligibility served is commensurate with the violations found.

Notes

S.C. Code Regs. 36-20
Added by State Register Volume 25, Issue No. 5, Part 2, eff May 25, 2001; State Register Volume 42, Issue No. 05, eff. 5/25/2018; State Register Volume 43, Issue No. 05, eff. 5/24/2019.

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