State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_90 > GS_90-270_15

§ 90‑270.15. Denial, suspension, or revocation of licenses and health services providercertification, and other disciplinary and remedial actions for violations ofthe Code of Conduct; relinquishing of license.

(a)        Any applicant for licensure or health services providercertification and any person licensed or certified under this Article shallhave behaved in conformity with the ethical and professional standardsspecified in this Code of Conduct and in the rules of the Board. The Board maydeny, suspend, or revoke licensure and certification, and may discipline, placeon probation, limit practice, and require examination, remediation, andrehabilitation, or any combination thereof, all as provided for in subsection(b) below. The Board shall act upon proof that the applicant or licenseeengaged in illegal, immoral, dishonorable, unprofessional, or unethical conductby violating any of the provisions of the Code of Conduct as follows:

(1)        Has been convicted of a felony or entered a plea of guiltyor nolo contendere to any felony charge;

(2)        Has been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty or nolocontendere to any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, misrepresentation orfraud in dealing with the public, or conduct otherwise relevant to fitness topractice psychology, or a misdemeanor charge reflecting the inability topractice psychology with due regard to the health and safety of clients orpatients;

(3)        Has engaged in fraud or deceit in securing or attempting tosecure or renew a license or in securing or attempting to secure healthservices provider certification under this Article or has willfully concealedfrom the Board material information in connection with application for alicense or health services provider certification, or for renewal of a licenseunder this Article;

(4)        Has practiced any fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation uponthe public, the Board, or any individual in connection with the practice ofpsychology, the offer of psychological services, the filing of Medicare,Medicaid, or other claims to any third party payor, or in any manner otherwiserelevant to fitness for the practice of psychology;

(5)        Has made fraudulent, misleading, or intentionally ormaterially false statements pertaining to education, licensure, licenserenewal, certification as a health services provider, supervision, continuingeducation, any disciplinary actions or sanctions pending or occurring in anyother jurisdiction, professional credentials, or qualifications or fitness forthe practice of psychology to the public, any individual, the Board, or anyother organization;

(6)        Has had a license or certification for the practice ofpsychology in any other jurisdiction suspended or revoked, or has beendisciplined by the licensing or certification board in any other jurisdictionfor conduct which would subject him or her to discipline under this Article;

(7)        Has violated any provision of this Article or of the dulyadopted rules of the Board;

(8)        Has aided or abetted the unlawful practice of psychology byany person not licensed by the Board;

(9)        For a licensed psychologist, has provided health serviceswithout health services provider certification;

(10)      Has been guilty of immoral, dishonorable, unprofessional, orunethical conduct as defined in this subsection, or in the then‑currentcode of ethics of the American Psychological Association, except as theprovisions of such code of ethics may be inconsistent and in conflict with theprovisions of this Article, in which case, the provisions of this Articlecontrol;

(11)      Has practiced psychology in such a manner as to endanger thewelfare of clients or patients;

(12)      Has demonstrated an inability to practice psychology withreasonable skill and safety by reason of illness, inebriation, misuse of drugs,narcotics, alcohol, chemicals, or any other substance affecting mental orphysical functioning, or as a result of any mental or physical condition;

(13)      Has practiced psychology or conducted research outside theboundaries of demonstrated competence or the limitations of education,training, or supervised experience;

(14)      Has failed to use, administer, score, or interpretpsychological assessment techniques, including interviewing and observation, ina competent manner, or has provided findings or recommendations which do not accuratelyreflect the assessment data, or exceed what can reasonably be inferred,predicted, or determined from test, interview, or observational data;

(15)      Has failed to provide competent diagnosis, counseling,treatment, consultation, or supervision, in keeping with standards of usual andcustomary practice in this State;

(16)      In the absence of established standards, has failed to takeall reasonable steps to ensure the competence of services;

(17)      Has failed to maintain a clear and accurate case record whichdocuments the following for each patient or client:

a.         Presenting problems, diagnosis, or purpose of theevaluation, counseling, treatment, or other services provided;

b.         Fees, dates of services, and itemized charges;

c.         Summary content of each session of evaluation, counseling,treatment, or other services, except that summary content need not includespecific information that may cause significant harm to any person if theinformation were released;

d.         Test results or other findings, including basic test data;and

e.         Copies of all reports prepared;

(18)      Except when prevented from doing so by circumstances beyondthe psychologist's control, has failed to retain securely and confidentiallythe complete case record for at least seven years from the date of the lastprovision of psychological services; or, except when prevented from doing so bycircumstances beyond the psychologist's control, has failed to retain securelyand confidentially the complete case record for three years from the date ofthe attainment of majority age by the patient or client or for at least sevenyears from the date of the last provision of psychological services, whicheveris longer; or, except when prevented from doing so by circumstances beyond thepsychologist's control, has failed to retain securely and confidentially thecomplete case record indefinitely if there are pending legal or ethical mattersor if there is any other compelling circumstance;

(19)      Has failed to cooperate with other psychologists or otherprofessionals to the potential or actual detriment of clients, patients, orother recipients of service, or has behaved in ways which substantially impedeor impair other psychologists' or other professionals' abilities to performprofessional duties;

(20)      Has exercised undue influence in such a manner as to exploitthe client, patient, student, supervisee, or trainee for the financial or otherpersonal advantage or gratification of the psychologist or a third party;

(21)      Has harassed or abused, sexually or otherwise, a client,patient, student, supervisee, or trainee;

(22)      Has failed to cooperate with or to respond promptly,completely, and honestly to the Board, to credentials committees, or to ethicscommittees of professional psychological associations, hospitals, or otherhealth care organizations or educational institutions, when those organizationsor entities have jurisdiction; or has failed to cooperate with institutionalreview boards or professional standards review organizations, when thoseorganizations or entities have jurisdiction; or

(23)      Has refused to appear before the Board after having beenordered to do so in writing by the Chair;

(b)        Upon proof that an applicant or licensee under this Articlehas engaged in any of the prohibited actions specified in subsection (a) ofthis section, the Board may, in lieu of denial, suspension, or revocation,issue a formal reprimand or formally censure the applicant or licensee, mayplace the applicant or licensee upon probation with such appropriate conditionsupon the continued practice as the Board may deem advisable, may requireexamination, remediation, or rehabilitation for the applicant or licensee,including care, counseling, or treatment by a professional or professionalsdesignated or approved by the Board, the expense to be borne by the applicantor licensee, may require supervision for the services provided by the applicantor licensee by a licensee designated or approved by the Board, the expense tobe borne by the applicant or licensee, may limit or circumscribe the practiceof psychology provided by the applicant or licensee with respect to the extent,nature, or location of the services provided, as the Board deems advisable, ormay discipline and impose any appropriate combination of the foregoing. In addition,the Board may impose such conditions of probation or restrictions uponcontinued practice at the conclusion of a period of suspension or asrequirements for the restoration of a revoked or suspended license. In lieu ofor in connection with any disciplinary proceedings or investigation, the Boardmay enter into a consent order relative to discipline, supervision, probation,remediation, rehabilitation, or practice limitation of a licensee or applicantfor a license.

(c)        The Board may assess costs of disciplinary action against anapplicant or licensee found to be in violation of this Article.

(d)        When considering the issue of whether or not an applicant orlicensee is physically or mentally capable of practicing psychology withreasonable skill and safety with patients or clients, then, upon a showing ofprobable cause to the Board that the applicant or licensee is not capable ofpracticing psychology with reasonable skill and safety with patients orclients, the Board may petition a court of competent jurisdiction to order theapplicant or licensee in question to submit to a psychological evaluation by apsychologist to determine psychological status or a physical evaluation by aphysician to determine physical condition, or both. Such psychologist or physicianshall be designated by the court. The expenses of such evaluations shall beborne by the Board. Where the applicant or licensee raises the issue of mentalor physical competence or appeals a decision regarding mental or physicalcompetence, the applicant or licensee shall be permitted to obtain anevaluation at the applicant's or licensee's expense. If the Board suspects theobjectivity or adequacy of the evaluation, the Board may compel an evaluationby its designated practitioners at its own expense.

(e)        Except as provided otherwise in this Article, the procedurefor revocation, suspension, denial, limitations of the license or healthservices provider certification, or other disciplinary, remedial, orrehabilitative actions, shall be in accordance with the provisions of Chapter150B of the General Statutes. The Board is required to provide the opportunityfor a hearing under Chapter 150B to any applicant whose license or healthservices provider certification is denied or to whom licensure or healthservices provider certification is offered subject to any restrictions,probation, disciplinary action, remediation, or other conditions orlimitations, or to any licensee before revoking, suspending, or restricting alicense or health services provider certificate or imposing any otherdisciplinary action or remediation. If the applicant or licensee waives theopportunity for a hearing, the Board's denial, revocation, suspension, or otherproposed action becomes final without a hearing's having been conducted.Notwithstanding the foregoing, no applicant or licensee is entitled to ahearing for failure to pass an examination. In any proceeding before the Board,in any record of any hearing before the Board, in any complaint or notice ofcharges against any licensee or applicant for licensure, and in any decisionrendered by the Board, the Board may withhold from public disclosure theidentity of any clients or patients who have not consented to the publicdisclosure of psychological services' having been provided by the licensee orapplicant. The Board may close a hearing to the public and receive in closedsession evidence involving or concerning the treatment of or delivery ofpsychological services to a client or a patient who has not consented to the publicdisclosure of such treatment or services as may be necessary for the protectionand rights of such patient or client of the accused applicant or licensee andthe full presentation of relevant evidence. All records, papers, and otherdocuments containing information collected and compiled by or on behalf of theBoard, as a result of investigations, inquiries, or interviews conducted inconnection with licensing or disciplinary matters will not be considered publicrecords within the meaning of Chapter 132 of the General Statutes; provided,however, that any notice or statement of charges against any licensee orapplicant, or any notice to any licensee or applicant of a hearing in anyproceeding, or any decision rendered in connection with a hearing in anyproceeding, shall be a public record within the meaning of Chapter 132 of theGeneral Statutes, notwithstanding that it may contain information collected andcompiled as a result of such investigation, inquiry, or hearing except thatidentifying information concerning the treatment of or delivery of services toa patient or client who has not consented to the public disclosure of suchtreatment or services may be deleted; and provided, further, that if any suchrecord, paper, or other document containing information theretofore collectedand compiled by or on behalf of the Board, as hereinbefore provided, isreceived and admitted in evidence in any hearing before the Board, it shallthereupon be a public record within the meaning of Chapter 132 of the GeneralStatutes, subject to any deletions of identifying information concerning thetreatment of or delivery of psychological services to a patient or client whohas not consented to the public disclosure of such treatment or services.

(f)         A license and a health services provider certificate issuedunder this Article are suspended automatically by operation of law afterfailure to renew a license for a period of more than sixty days after therenewal date. The Board may reinstate a license and a health services providercertificate suspended under this subsection upon payment of a fee as specifiedin G.S. 90‑270.18(b), and may require that the applicant file a newapplication, furnish new supervisory reports or references or otherwise updatehis or her credentials, or submit to examination for reinstatement.Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the Board retains fulljurisdiction to investigate alleged violations of this Article by any personwhose license is suspended under this subsection and, upon proof of anyviolation of this Article by any such person, the Board may take disciplinaryaction as authorized by this section.

(g)        A person whose license or health services providercertification has been denied or revoked may reapply to the Board for licensureor certification after the passage of one calendar year from the date of suchdenial or revocation.

(h)        A licensee may, with the consent of the Board, voluntarilyrelinquish his or her license or health services provider certificate at anytime. The Board may delay or refuse the granting of its consent as it may deemnecessary in order to investigate any pending complaint, allegation, or issueregarding violation of any provision of this Article by the licensee.Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the Board retains fulljurisdiction to investigate alleged violations of this Article by any personwhose license is relinquished under this subsection and, upon proof of anyviolation of this Article by any such person, the Board may take disciplinaryaction as authorized by this section.

(i)         The Board may adopt such rules as it deems reasonable andappropriate to interpret and implement the provisions of this section. (1967, c. 910, s. 15; 1973, c. 1331, s. 3; 1977, c.670, s. 9; 1979, c. 1005, s. 4; 1985, c. 734, s. 9; 1987, c. 827, s. 1; 1991,c. 239, s. 1; c. 761, ss. 14‑16; 1993, c. 375, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess.,1994), c. 570, s. 7.)