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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

    Subdivision 1. Grounds listed. The board may refuse to grant registration or may impose
disciplinary action as described in this subdivision against any physician assistant. The following
conduct is prohibited and is grounds for disciplinary action:
(1) failure to demonstrate the qualifications or satisfy the requirements for registration
contained in this chapter or rules of the board. The burden of proof shall be upon the applicant to
demonstrate such qualifications or satisfaction of such requirements;
(2) obtaining registration by fraud or cheating, or attempting to subvert the examination
process. Conduct which subverts or attempts to subvert the examination process includes, but is
not limited to:
(i) conduct which violates the security of the examination materials, such as removing
examination materials from the examination room or having unauthorized possession of any
portion of a future, current, or previously administered licensing examination;
(ii) conduct which violates the standard of test administration, such as communicating with
another examinee during administration of the examination, copying another examinee's answers,
permitting another examinee to copy one's answers, or possessing unauthorized materials; and
(iii) impersonating an examinee or permitting an impersonator to take the examination
on one's own behalf;
(3) conviction, during the previous five years, of a felony reasonably related to the practice
of physician assistant. Conviction as used in this subdivision includes a conviction of an offense
which if committed in this state would be deemed a felony without regard to its designation
elsewhere, or a criminal proceeding where a finding or verdict of guilt is made or returned but the
adjudication of guilt is either withheld or not entered;
(4) revocation, suspension, restriction, limitation, or other disciplinary action against the
person's physician assistant credentials in another state or jurisdiction, failure to report to the
board that charges regarding the person's credentials have been brought in another state or
jurisdiction, or having been refused registration by any other state or jurisdiction;
(5) advertising which is false or misleading, violates any rule of the board, or claims without
substantiation the positive cure of any disease or professional superiority to or greater skill than
that possessed by another physician assistant;
(6) violating a rule adopted by the board or an order of the board, a state, or federal law
which relates to the practice of a physician assistant, or in part regulates the practice of a physician
assistant, including without limitation sections 148A.02, 609.344, and 609.345, or a state or
federal narcotics or controlled substance law;
(7) engaging in any unethical conduct; conduct likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public,
or demonstrating a willful or careless disregard for the health, welfare, or safety of a patient; or
practice which is professionally incompetent, in that it may create unnecessary danger to any
patient's life, health, or safety, in any of which cases, proof of actual injury need not be established;
(8) failure to adhere to the provisions of the physician-physician assistant agreement;
(9) engaging in the practice of medicine beyond that allowed by the physician-physician
assistant agreement, including the delegation form or the addendum to the delegation form, or
aiding or abetting an unlicensed person in the practice of medicine;
(10) adjudication as mentally incompetent, mentally ill or developmentally disabled, or as
a chemically dependent person, a person dangerous to the public, a sexually dangerous person,
or a person who has a sexual psychopathic personality by a court of competent jurisdiction,
within or without this state. Such adjudication shall automatically suspend a registration for its
duration unless the board orders otherwise;
(11) engaging in unprofessional conduct. Unprofessional conduct includes any departure
from or the failure to conform to the minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing practice in
which proceeding actual injury to a patient need not be established;
(12) inability to practice with reasonable skill and safety to patients by reason of illness,
drunkenness, use of drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material, or as a result
of any mental or physical condition, including deterioration through the aging process or loss
of motor skills;
(13) revealing a privileged communication from or relating to a patient except when
otherwise required or permitted by law;
(14) any use of the title "Physician," "Doctor," or "Dr.";
(15) improper management of medical records, including failure to maintain adequate
medical records, to comply with a patient's request made pursuant to sections 144.291 to 144.298,
or to furnish a medical record or report required by law;
(16) engaging in abusive or fraudulent billing practices, including violations of the federal
Medicare and Medicaid laws or state medical assistance laws;
(17) becoming addicted or habituated to a drug or intoxicant;
(18) prescribing a drug or device for other than medically accepted therapeutic, experimental,
or investigative purposes authorized by a state or federal agency or referring a patient to any
health care provider as defined in sections 144.291 to 144.298 for services or tests not medically
indicated at the time of referral;
(19) engaging in conduct with a patient which is sexual or may reasonably be interpreted
by the patient as sexual, or in any verbal behavior which is seductive or sexually demeaning to
a patient;
(20) failure to make reports as required by section 147A.14 or to cooperate with an
investigation of the board as required by section 147A.15, subdivision 3;
(21) knowingly providing false or misleading information that is directly related to the care
of that patient unless done for an accepted therapeutic purpose such as the administration of
a placebo;
(22) aiding suicide or aiding attempted suicide in violation of section 609.215 as established
by any of the following:
(i) a copy of the record of criminal conviction or plea of guilty for a felony in violation of
section 609.215, subdivision 1 or 2;
(ii) a copy of the record of a judgment of contempt of court for violating an injunction
issued under section 609.215, subdivision 4;
(iii) a copy of the record of a judgment assessing damages under section 609.215, subdivision
; or
(iv) a finding by the board that the person violated section 609.215, subdivision 1 or 2. The
board shall investigate any complaint of a violation of section 609.215, subdivision 1 or 2; or
(23) failure to maintain annually reviewed and updated physician-physician assistant
agreements, internal protocols, or prescribing delegation forms for each physician-physician
assistant practice relationship, or failure to provide copies of such documents upon request by
the board.
    Subd. 2. Effective dates, automatic suspension. A suspension, revocation, condition,
limitation, qualification, or restriction of a registration shall be in effect pending determination of
an appeal unless the court, upon petition and for good cause shown, orders otherwise.
A physician assistant registration is automatically suspended if:
(1) a guardian of a registrant is appointed by order of a court pursuant to sections 524.5-101
to 524.5-502, for reasons other than the minority of the registrant; or
(2) the registrant is committed by order of a court pursuant to chapter 253B. The registration
remains suspended until the registrant is restored to capacity by a court and, upon petition by the
registrant, the suspension is terminated by the board after a hearing.
    Subd. 3. Conditions on reissued registration. In its discretion, the board may restore and
reissue a physician assistant registration, but may impose as a condition any disciplinary or
corrective measure which it might originally have imposed.
    Subd. 4. Temporary suspension of registration. In addition to any other remedy provided
by law, the board may, without a hearing, temporarily suspend the registration of a physician
assistant if the board finds that the physician assistant has violated a statute or rule which the
board is empowered to enforce and continued practice by the physician assistant would create
a serious risk of harm to the public. The suspension shall take effect upon written notice to
the physician assistant, specifying the statute or rule violated. The suspension shall remain in
effect until the board issues a final order in the matter after a hearing. At the time it issues the
suspension notice, the board shall schedule a disciplinary hearing to be held pursuant to the
Administrative Procedure Act.
The physician assistant shall be provided with at least 20 days' notice of any hearing held
pursuant to this subdivision. The hearing shall be scheduled to begin no later than 30 days after
the issuance of the suspension order.
    Subd. 5. Evidence. In disciplinary actions alleging a violation of subdivision 1, clause
(3) or (4), a copy of the judgment or proceeding under the seal of the court administrator or of
the administrative agency which entered it shall be admissible into evidence without further
authentication and shall constitute prima facie evidence of the contents thereof.
    Subd. 6. Mental examination; access to medical data. (a) If the board has probable
cause to believe that a physician assistant comes under subdivision 1, clause (1), it may direct
the physician assistant to submit to a mental or physical examination. For the purpose of this
subdivision, every physician assistant registered under this chapter is deemed to have consented
to submit to a mental or physical examination when directed in writing by the board and further
to have waived all objections to the admissibility of the examining physicians' testimony or
examination reports on the ground that the same constitute a privileged communication. Failure
of a physician assistant to submit to an examination when directed constitutes an admission
of the allegations against the physician assistant, unless the failure was due to circumstance
beyond the physician assistant's control, in which case a default and final order may be entered
without the taking of testimony or presentation of evidence. A physician assistant affected under
this subdivision shall at reasonable intervals be given an opportunity to demonstrate that the
physician assistant can resume competent practice with reasonable skill and safety to patients. In
any proceeding under this subdivision, neither the record of proceedings nor the orders entered by
the board shall be used against a physician assistant in any other proceeding.
(b) In addition to ordering a physical or mental examination, the board may, notwithstanding
sections 13.384, 144.651, or any other law limiting access to medical or other health data, obtain
medical data and health records relating to a registrant or applicant without the registrant's or
applicant's consent if the board has probable cause to believe that a physician assistant comes
under subdivision 1, clause (1).
The medical data may be requested from a provider, as defined in section 144.291,
subdivision 2
, paragraph (h), an insurance company, or a government agency, including the
Department of Human Services. A provider, insurance company, or government agency shall
comply with any written request of the board under this subdivision and is not liable in any action
for damages for releasing the data requested by the board if the data are released pursuant to a
written request under this subdivision, unless the information is false and the provider giving the
information knew, or had reason to believe, the information was false. Information obtained under
this subdivision is classified as private under chapter 13.
    Subd. 7. Tax clearance certificate. (a) In addition to the provisions of subdivision 1, the
board may not issue or renew a registration if the commissioner of revenue notifies the board and
the registrant or applicant for registration that the registrant or applicant owes the state delinquent
taxes in the amount of $500 or more. The board may issue or renew the registration only if:
(1) the commissioner of revenue issues a tax clearance certificate; and
(2) the commissioner of revenue, the registrant, or the applicant forwards a copy of the
clearance to the board.
The commissioner of revenue may issue a clearance certificate only if the registrant or applicant
does not owe the state any uncontested delinquent taxes.
(b) For purposes of this subdivision, the following terms have the meanings given:
(1) "Taxes" are all taxes payable to the commissioner of revenue, including penalties and
interest due on those taxes, and
(2) "Delinquent taxes" do not include a tax liability if:
(i) an administrative or court action that contests the amount or validity of the liability has
been filed or served;
(ii) the appeal period to contest the tax liability has not expired; or
(iii) the licensee or applicant has entered into a payment agreement to pay the liability
and is current with the payments.
(c) When a registrant or applicant is required to obtain a clearance certificate under this
subdivision, a contested case hearing must be held if the registrant or applicant requests a hearing
in writing to the commissioner of revenue within 30 days of the date of the notice provided in
paragraph (a). The hearing must be held within 45 days of the date the commissioner of revenue
refers the case to the Office of Administrative Hearings. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary,
the licensee or applicant must be served with 20 days' notice in writing specifying the time and
place of the hearing and the allegations against the registrant or applicant. The notice may be
served personally or by mail.
(d) The board shall require all registrants or applicants to provide their Social Security
number and Minnesota business identification number on all registration applications. Upon
request of the commissioner of revenue, the board must provide to the commissioner of revenue
a list of all registrants and applicants, including their names and addresses, Social Security
numbers, and business identification numbers. The commissioner of revenue may request a list of
the registrants and applicants no more than once each calendar year.
History: 1995 c 205 art 1 s 12; 1997 c 7 art 1 s 76; 1999 c 227 s 22; 2004 c 146 art 3 s 7;
2005 c 56 s 1; 2007 c 147 art 10 s 15