State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_90 > GS_90-340

§ 90‑340.  Protection ofthe public.

(a)        The Board may, inaccordance with the provisions of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes, deny,suspend, or revoke licensure, discipline, place on probation, limit practice,or require examination, remediation, or rehabilitation of any person licensedunder this Article on one or more of the following grounds:

(1)        Has been convictedof a felony or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any felony chargeunder the laws of the United States or of any state of the United States.

(2)        Has been convictedof or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any misdemeanor involvingmoral turpitude, misrepresentation, or fraud in dealing with the public, orconduct otherwise relevant to fitness to practice professional counseling, or amisdemeanor charge reflecting the inability to practice professional counselingwith due regard to the health and safety of clients or patients.

(3)        Has engaged in fraudor deceit in securing or attempting to secure or renew a license under thisArticle or has willfully concealed from the Board material information inconnection with application for a license or renewal of a license under thisArticle.

(4)        Has practiced anyfraud, deceit, or misrepresentation upon the public, the Board, or anyindividual in connection with the practice of professional counseling, theoffer of professional counseling services, the filing of Medicare, Medicaid, orother claims to any third‑party payor, or in any manner otherwiserelevant to fitness for the practice of professional counseling.

(5)        Has made fraudulent,misleading, or intentionally or materially false statements pertaining toeducation, licensure, license renewal, certification as a health servicesprovider, supervision, continuing education, any disciplinary actions orsanctions pending or occurring in any other jurisdiction, professionalcredentials, or qualifications or fitness for the practice of professionalcounseling to the public, any individual, the Board, or any other organization.

(6)        Has had a license orcertification for the practice of professional counseling in any otherjurisdiction suspended or revoked, or has been disciplined by the licensing orcertification board in any other jurisdiction for conduct which would subjecthim or her to discipline under this Article.

(7)        Has violated anyprovision of this Article or any rules adopted by the Board.

(8)        Has aided or abettedthe unlawful practice of professional counseling by any person not licensed bythe Board.

(9)        Has been guilty ofimmoral, dishonorable, unprofessional, or unethical conduct as defined in thissubsection or in the current code of ethics of the American CounselingAssociation. However, if any provision of the code of ethics is inconsistentand in conflict with the provisions of this Article, the provisions of thisArticle shall control.

(10)      Has practicedprofessional counseling in such a manner as to endanger the welfare of clients.

(11)      Has demonstrated aninability to practice professional counseling with reasonable skill and safetyby reason of illness, inebriation, misuse of drugs, narcotics, alcohol,chemicals, or any other substance affecting mental or physical functioning, oras a result of any mental or physical condition.

(12)      Has practicedprofessional counseling outside the boundaries of demonstrated competence orthe limitations of education, training, or supervised experience.

(13)      Has exercised undueinfluence in such a manner as to exploit the client, patient, student,supervisee, or trainee for the financial or other personal advantage orgratification of the licensed professional counselor associate, licensedprofessional counselor, or a third party.

(14)      Has harassed orabused, sexually or otherwise, a client, patient, student, supervisee, ortrainee.

(15)      Has failed tocooperate with or to respond promptly, completely, and honestly to the Board,to credentials committees, or to ethics committees of professionalassociations, hospitals, or other health care organizations or educationalinstitutions, when those organizations or entities have jurisdiction.

(16)      Has refused to appearbefore the Board after having been ordered to do so in writing by the chair.

(17)      Has a finding listedon the Division of Health Service Regulation of the Department of Health andHuman Services Health Care Personnel Registry.

(b)        The Board may, inlieu of denial, suspension, or revocation, take any of the followingdisciplinary actions:

(1)        Issue a formalreprimand or formally censure the applicant or licensee.

(2)        Place the applicantor licensee on probation with the appropriate conditions on the continuedpractice of professional counseling deemed advisable by the Board.

(3)        Require examination,remediation, or rehabilitation for the applicant or licensee, including care,counseling, or treatment by a professional or professionals designated orapproved by the Board, the expense to be borne by the applicant or licensee.

(4)        Require supervisionof the professional counseling services provided by the applicant or licenseeby a licensee designated or approved by the Board, the expense to be borne bythe applicant or licensee.

(5)        Limit orcircumscribe the practice of professional counseling provided by the applicantor licensee with respect to the extent, nature, or location of the professionalcounseling services provided, as deemed advisable by the Board.

(6)        Discipline andimpose any appropriate combination of the types of disciplinary action listedin this section.

In addition, the Board mayimpose conditions of probation or restrictions on continued practice ofprofessional counseling at the conclusion of a period of suspension or as arequirement 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 mayassess costs of disciplinary action against an applicant or licensee found tobe in violation of this Article.

(d)        When consideringthe issue of whether an applicant or licensee is physically or mentally capableof practicing professional counseling with reasonable skill and safety withpatients or clients, upon a showing of probable cause to the Board that theapplicant or licensee is not capable of practicing professional counseling withreasonable skill and safety with patients or clients, the Board may petition acourt of competent jurisdiction to order the applicant or licensee in questionto submit to a psychological evaluation by a psychologist to determinepsychological status or a physical evaluation by a physician to determinephysical condition, or both. The psychologist or physician shall be designatedby the court. The expenses of the evaluations shall be borne by the Board.Where the applicant or licensee raises the issue of mental or physicalcompetence or appeals a decision regarding mental or physical competence, theapplicant or licensee shall be permitted to obtain an evaluation at theapplicant or licensee's expense. If the Board suspects the objectivity oradequacy of the evaluation, the Board may compel an evaluation by itsdesignated practitioners at its own expense.

(e)        Except as otherwiseprovided in this Article, the procedure for revocation, suspension, denial,limitations of the license, or other disciplinary, remedial, or rehabilitativeactions shall be in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 150B of theGeneral Statutes. The Board is required to provide the opportunity for ahearing under Chapter 150B to any applicant whose license or health servicesprovider certification is denied or to whom licensure or health servicesprovider certification is offered subject to any restrictions, probation,disciplinary action, remediation, or other conditions or limitations, or to anylicensee before revoking, suspending, or restricting a license or healthservices provider certificate or imposing any other disciplinary action orremediation. If the applicant or licensee waives the opportunity for a hearing,the Board's denial, revocation, suspension, or other proposed action becomesfinal without a hearing having been conducted. Notwithstanding the provisionsof this subsection, no applicant or licensee is entitled to a hearing forfailure to pass an examination. In any proceeding before the Board, in anyrecord of any hearing before the Board, in any complaint or notice of chargesagainst any licensee or applicant for licensure, and in any decision renderedby the Board, the Board may withhold from public disclosure the identity of anyclients who have not consented to the public disclosure of services provided bythe licensee or applicant. The Board may close a hearing to the public and receivein closed session evidence involving or concerning the treatment of or deliveryof services to a client who has not consented to the public disclosure of thetreatment or services as may be necessary for the protection and rights of theclient of the accused applicant or licensee and the full presentation ofrelevant evidence.

(f)         All records,papers, and other documents containing information collected and compiled by oron behalf of the Board as a result of investigations, inquiries, or interviewsconducted in connection with licensing or disciplinary matters shall not beconsidered public records within the meaning of Chapter 132 of the GeneralStatutes. However, 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, though the record may contain information collected andcompiled as a result of the investigation, inquiry, or hearing. Any identifyinginformation concerning the treatment of or delivery of services to a client whohas not consented to the public disclosure of the treatment or services may bedeleted. If any record, paper, or other document containing informationcollected and compiled by or on behalf of the Board, as provided in thissection, is received and admitted in evidence in any hearing before the Board,it shall 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 services to a client who has not consented to thepublic disclosure of treatment or services.

(g)        A person whoselicense has been denied or revoked may reapply to the Board for licensure afterone calendar year from the date of the denial or revocation.

(h)        A licensee mayvoluntarily relinquish his or her license at any time. Notwithstanding anyprovision to the contrary, the Board retains full jurisdiction to investigatealleged violations of this Article by any person whose license is relinquishedunder this subsection and, upon proof of any violation of this Article by theperson, the Board may take disciplinary action as authorized by this section.

(i)         The Board mayadopt rules deemed necessary to interpret and implement this section.  (1983, c. 755, s. 1; 1987,c. 827, s. 1; 1993, c. 514, s. 1; 2009‑367, s. 8.)