§ 43-35-16. Suspension, revocation, cancellation, or denial of license; other discipline; judicial review; reinstatement; immunity; failure of licensee to appear; voluntary surrender of license.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 43. PROFESSIONS AND BUSINESSES

Chapter 35. PODIATRY PRACTICE

Current through 2019 Chapter 321

§ 43-35-16. Suspension, revocation, cancellation, or denial of license; other discipline; judicial review; reinstatement; immunity; failure of licensee to appear; voluntary surrender of license

(a) The board shall, after notice and opportunity for hearing, have the power to suspend, revoke, or cancel the license of, or refuse to grant, renew, or restore a license to, any licensee or applicant for a license upon proof of any one of the following grounds:
(1) Employment of fraud or deception or cheating in applying for a license or in taking an examination for a license;
(2) Failing to demonstrate the qualifications or standards for a license as provided by this chapter;
(3) Knowingly making a misleading, deceptive, false, or fraudulent representation concerning the practice of podiatry or in any document connected therewith, or practicing fraud or deceit or cheating or intentionally making any false statement in taking an examination or in obtaining a license to practice podiatry or intentionally making any false statement in any document submitted to the board;
(4) Conviction of a felony in this state or any other state, territory, or country which, if committed in this state, would be deemed a felony without regard to its designation elsewhere. For this purpose, a conviction shall include a finding or verdict of guilt, a plea of guilty, or a plea of nolo contendere in a criminal proceeding, regardless of whether an adjudication of guilt or sentence is entered thereon;
(5) Commission of a crime involving moral turpitude within this state or within any other state, territory, or country which, if committed in this state, would be deemed a crime involving moral turpitude without regard to its designation elsewhere where:
(A) A plea of nolo contendere was entered to the charge;
(B) First offender treatment was granted pursuant to the charge, without adjudication of guilt; or
(C) An adjudication or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on the charge;
(6) Revocation, suspension, or annulment of a license to practice podiatric medicine by any lawful licensing authority in any state, territory, or country, or any other disciplinary action taken against a licensee by any lawful licensing authority, or having been denied a license by any other licensing authority;
(7) Advertising for or soliciting patients by any means other than as provided by the rules and regulations of the board;
(8) The displaying of an inability to practice podiatric medicine with reasonable skill and safety to patients or having become unable to practice podiatric medicine with reasonable skill and safety to patients by reason of illness, the use of alcohol or drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other substance or as a result of any mental or physical condition. In enforcing this paragraph, the board may, upon reasonable grounds, require a licensee or applicant to submit to a mental or physical examination by physicians designated by the board. The results of such examination shall be admissible in any hearing before the board, notwithstanding any claim of privilege under a contrary rule of law or statute. Every person who shall accept the privilege of practicing podiatric medicine in this state or who shall file an application for a license to practice podiatric medicine in this state shall be deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to such mental or physical examination and to have waived all objections to the admissibility of the results in any hearing before the board upon the grounds that the same constitutes a privileged communication. If the licensee or applicant fails to submit to such an examination when properly directed to do so by the board, unless such failure was due to circumstances beyond his or her control, the board may enter a final order upon proper notice, hearing, and proof of such refusal;
(9) Flagrant immorality;
(10) Practicing under a false name or the impersonation of another person except as may be permitted by the laws of this state and rules and regulations of the board concerning professional corporations or associations;
(11) In light of the condition of the patient at the time of prescription, knowingly prescribing controlled substances or any other medication without a legitimate medical purpose or knowingly overprescribing controlled substances or other medications or chemicals;
(12) Division of fees for professional services with any person, firm, association, or corporation for bringing or referring a patient;
(13) Engaging in any unprofessional, unethical, deceptive, or deleterious conduct or practice harmful to the public, which need not have resulted in actual injury to any person, and shall also include departure from, or the failure to conform to, the minimum prevailing standards for the practice of podiatric medicine in this state; or
(14) Violating any other standard of professional conduct as may be prescribed by the board.
(b) Upon a finding of the board that the public health, safety, or welfare imperatively requires emergency action and incorporating a finding to that effect in an order, summary suspension of a license may be ordered pending proceedings for revocation or other action, which proceedings shall be promptly instituted and determined.
(c) Upon a finding by the board that a license should be denied or sanctioned pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section, the board may take any one or more of the following actions:
(1) Deny a license to an applicant or refuse to renew a license;
(2) Administer a public reprimand;
(3) Suspend any license for a definite period or for an indefinite period in connection with any condition which may be attached to the restoration of said license;
(4) Limit or restrict any license as the board deems necessary for the protection of the public;
(5) Revoke any license;
(6) Condition the penalty or withhold formal disposition upon applicant's or licensee's submission to such care, counseling, or treatment as the board may direct; or
(7) In addition to and in conjunction with the actions provided for in this subsection, may make a finding adverse to the licensee or applicant but withhold imposition of judgment and penalty or may impose the judgment and penalty but suspend the enforcement thereof and place a licensee on probation, which probation may be vacated upon noncompliance with such reasonable terms as the board may impose.
(d) Initial judicial review of a final decision of the board shall be had solely in the superior court of the county of domicile of the board.
(e) In its discretion, the board may reinstate a license which has been revoked or issue a license which has been denied or refused, following such procedures as the board may adopt by rule; and, as a condition thereof, the board may impose any disciplinary or corrective measure authorized by this chapter.
(f) The board shall have the authority to exclude all persons during its deliberations on disciplinary proceedings and to discuss any disciplinary matter in private with a licensee or applicant.
(g) A person, partnership, firm, corporation, association, authority, or other entity shall be immune from civil or criminal liability for reporting or investigating the acts or omissions of a licensee or applicant or for initiating or conducting proceedings against such licensee or applicant pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or any other provision of law relating to the licensee's or applicant's fitness to practice podiatric medicine, if such action is taken in good faith, without fraud or malice. Any person who testifies in good faith or who makes a recommendation to the board in the nature of peer review, in good faith, without fraud or malice, before the board in any proceeding concerning a violation of this chapter or any other law relating to the licensee's or applicant's fitness to practice podiatric medicine shall be immune from civil and criminal liability for so testifying, participating, or recommending.
(h) Neither a denial of a license on grounds other than those enumerated in subsection (a) of this Code section nor the issuance of a private reprimand nor the denial of a license by reciprocity nor the denial of a request for reinstatement of a revoked license shall be considered a contested case within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act." Notice and hearing within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50 shall not be required, but the licensee or applicant shall be allowed to appear before the board if he or she so requests.
(i) If any licensee fails to appear at any hearing after reasonable notice, the board may proceed to hear evidence against such licensee and take action as if such licensee had been present. A notice of hearing, initial or recommended decision, or final decision of the board in a disciplinary proceeding shall be served upon the licensee or applicant by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, to the last known address of record with the board. If such material is returned marked "unclaimed" or "refused" or is otherwise undeliverable and if the licensee or applicant cannot, after diligent effort, be located, the division director shall be deemed to be the agent for such service for such licensee or applicant for the purposes of this Code section; and service upon the division director shall be deemed to be service upon the licensee or applicant.
(j) The voluntary surrender of license shall have the same effect as a revocation of said license, subject to reinstatement in the discretion of the board.

Cite as OCGA § 43-35-16