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Table of Sections

2013 Minnesota Statutes

Chapter 146A. Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practices

Chapter Sections
Section Headnote
146A.001MS 2006 Renumbered 15.001
146A.01Definitions
146A.02Office of Unlicensed Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practice
146A.025Maltreatment of Minors
146A.03Reporting Obligations
146A.04Immunity
146A.05Disciplinary Record on Judicial Review
146A.06Professional Cooperation; Unlicensed Practitioner
146A.07Professional Accountability
146A.08Prohibited Conduct
146A.09Disciplinary Actions
146A.10Additional Remedies
146A.11Complementary and Alternative Health Care Client Bill of Rights
146A.001 MS 2006 [Renumbered 15.001]

146A.01 DEFINITIONS.

Subdivision 1.Terms.

As used in this chapter, the following terms have the meanings given them.

Subd. 2.Commissioner.

"Commissioner" means the commissioner of health or the commissioner's designee.

Subd. 3.Complementary and alternative health care client.

"Complementary and alternative health care client" means an individual who receives services from an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner.

Subd. 4.Complementary and alternative health care practices.

(a) "Complementary and alternative health care practices" means the broad domain of complementary and alternative healing methods and treatments, including but not limited to: (1) acupressure; (2) anthroposophy; (3) aroma therapy; (4) ayurveda; (5) cranial sacral therapy; (6) culturally traditional healing practices; (7) detoxification practices and therapies; (8) energetic healing; (9) polarity therapy; (10) folk practices; (11) healing practices utilizing food, food supplements, nutrients, and the physical forces of heat, cold, water, touch, and light; (12) Gerson therapy and colostrum therapy; (13) healing touch; (14) herbology or herbalism; (15) homeopathy; (16) nondiagnostic iridology; (17) body work, massage, and massage therapy; (18) meditation; (19) mind-body healing practices; (20) naturopathy; (21) noninvasive instrumentalities; and (22) traditional Oriental practices, such as Qi Gong energy healing.

(b) Complementary and alternative health care practices do not include surgery, x-ray radiation, administering or dispensing legend drugs and controlled substances, practices that invade the human body by puncture of the skin, setting fractures, the use of medical devices as defined in section 147A.01, any practice included in the practice of dentistry as defined in section 150A.05, subdivision 1, or the manipulation or adjustment of articulations of joints or the spine as described in section 146.23 or 148.01.

(c) Complementary and alternative health care practices do not include practices that are permitted under section 147.09, clause (11), or 148.271, clause (5).

(d) This chapter does not apply to, control, prevent, or restrict the practice, service, or activity of lawfully marketing or distributing food products, including dietary supplements as defined in the federal Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, educating customers about such products, or explaining the uses of such products. Under Minnesota law, an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner may not provide a medical diagnosis or recommend discontinuance of medically prescribed treatments.

Subd. 5.Office of Unlicensed Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practice or office.

"Office of Unlicensed Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practice" or "office" means the Office of Unlicensed Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practice established in section 146A.02.

Subd. 6.Unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner.

(a) "Unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner" means a person who:

(1) either:

(i) is not licensed or registered by a health-related licensing board or the commissioner of health; or

(ii) is licensed or registered by the commissioner of health or a health-related licensing board other than the Board of Medical Practice, the Board of Dentistry, the Board of Chiropractic Examiners, or the Board of Podiatric Medicine, but does not hold oneself out to the public as being licensed or registered by the commissioner or a health-related licensing board when engaging in complementary and alternative health care;

(2) has not had a license or registration issued by a health-related licensing board or the commissioner of health revoked or has not been disciplined in any manner at any time in the past, unless the right to engage in complementary and alternative health care practices has been established by order of the commissioner of health;

(3) is engaging in complementary and alternative health care practices; and

(4) is providing complementary and alternative health care services for remuneration or is holding oneself out to the public as a practitioner of complementary and alternative health care practices.

(b) A health care practitioner licensed or registered by the commissioner or a health-related licensing board, who engages in complementary and alternative health care while practicing under the practitioner's license or registration, shall be regulated by and be under the jurisdiction of the applicable health-related licensing board with regard to the complementary and alternative health care practices.

History:

2000 c 460 s 9

146A.02 OFFICE OF UNLICENSED COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE HEALTH CARE PRACTICE.

Subdivision 1.Creation.

The Office of Unlicensed Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practice is created in the Department of Health to investigate complaints and take and enforce disciplinary actions against all unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioners for violations of prohibited conduct, as defined in section 146A.08. The office shall also serve as a clearinghouse on complementary and alternative health care practices and unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioners through the dissemination of objective information to consumers and through the development and performance of public education activities, including outreach, regarding the provision of complementary and alternative health care practices and unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioners who provide these services.

Subd. 2.Rulemaking.

The commissioner shall adopt rules necessary to implement, administer, or enforce provisions of this chapter pursuant to chapter 14.

History:

2000 c 460 s 10

146A.025 MALTREATMENT OF MINORS.

Nothing in this chapter shall restrict the ability of a local welfare agency, local law enforcement agency, the commissioner of human services, or the state to take action regarding the maltreatment of minors under section 609.378 or 626.556. A parent who obtains complementary and alternative health care for the parent's minor child is not relieved of the duty to seek necessary medical care consistent with the requirements of sections 609.378 and 626.556. A complementary or alternative health care practitioner who is providing services to a child who is not receiving necessary medical care must make a report under section 626.556. A complementary or alternative health care provider is a mandated reporter under section 626.556, subdivision 3.

History:

2000 c 460 s 11

146A.03 REPORTING OBLIGATIONS.

Subdivision 1.Permission to report.

A person who has knowledge of any conduct constituting grounds for disciplinary action relating to complementary and alternative health care practices under this chapter may report the violation to the office.

Subd. 2.Institutions.

A state agency, political subdivision, agency of a local unit of government, private agency, hospital, clinic, prepaid medical plan, or other health care institution or organization located in this state shall report to the office any action taken by the agency, institution, or organization or any of its administrators or medical or other committees to revoke, suspend, restrict, or condition an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner's privilege to practice or treat complementary and alternative health care clients in the institution or, as part of the organization, any denial of privileges or any other disciplinary action for conduct that might constitute grounds for disciplinary action by the office under this chapter. The institution, organization, or governmental entity shall also report the resignation of any unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioners prior to the conclusion of any disciplinary action proceeding for conduct that might constitute grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter or prior to the commencement of formal charges but after the practitioner had knowledge that formal charges were contemplated or were being prepared.

Subd. 3.Professional societies.

A state or local professional society for unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioners shall report to the office any termination, revocation, or suspension of membership or any other disciplinary action taken against an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner. If the society has received a complaint that might be grounds for discipline under this chapter against a member on which it has not taken any disciplinary action, the society shall report the complaint and the reason why it has not taken action on it or shall direct the complainant to the office.

Subd. 4.Licensed professionals.

A licensed health professional shall report to the office personal knowledge of any conduct that the licensed health professional reasonably believes constitutes grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter by any unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner, including conduct indicating that the individual may be incompetent or may be mentally or physically unable to engage safely in the provision of services. If the information was obtained in the course of a client relationship, the client is an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner, and the treating individual successfully counsels the other practitioner to limit or withdraw from practice to the extent required by the impairment, the office may deem this limitation of or withdrawal from practice to be sufficient disciplinary action.

Subd. 5.Insurers.

Four times each year as prescribed by the commissioner, each insurer authorized to sell insurance described in section 60A.06, subdivision 1, clause (13), and providing professional liability insurance to unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioners or the medical Joint Underwriting Association under chapter 62F shall submit to the office a report concerning the unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioners against whom malpractice settlements or awards have been made. The response must contain at least the following information:

(1) the total number of malpractice settlements or awards made;

(2) the date the malpractice settlements or awards were made;

(3) the allegations contained in the claim or complaint leading to the settlements or awards made;

(4) the dollar amount of each malpractice settlement or award;

(5) the regular address of the practice of the unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner against whom an award was made or with whom a settlement was made; and

(6) the name of the unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner against whom an award was made or with whom a settlement was made.

The insurance company shall, in addition to the above information, submit to the office any information, records, and files, including clients' charts and records, it possesses that tend to substantiate a charge that an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner may have engaged in conduct violating this chapter.

Subd. 6.Courts.

The court administrator of district court or any other court of competent jurisdiction shall report to the office any judgment or other determination of the court that adjudges or includes a finding that an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner is mentally ill, mentally incompetent, guilty of a felony, guilty of a violation of federal or state narcotics laws or controlled substances act, or guilty of abuse or fraud under Medicare or Medicaid; or that appoints a guardian of the unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner under sections 524.5-101 to 524.5-502 or commits an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner under chapter 253B.

Subd. 7.Self-reporting.

An unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner shall report to the office any personal action that would require that a report be filed with the office by any person, health care facility, business, or organization pursuant to subdivisions 2 to 5. The practitioner shall also report the revocation, suspension, restriction, limitation, or other disciplinary action against the practitioner's license, certificate, registration, or right of practice in another state or jurisdiction for offenses that would be subject to disciplinary action in this state and also report the filing of charges regarding the practitioner's license, certificate, registration, or right of practice in another state or jurisdiction.

Subd. 8.Deadlines; forms.

Reports required by subdivisions 2 to 7 must be submitted not later than 30 days after the reporter learns of the occurrence of the reportable event or transaction. The office may provide forms for the submission of reports required by this section, may require that reports be submitted on the forms provided, and may adopt rules necessary to ensure prompt and accurate reporting.

146A.04 IMMUNITY.

Subdivision 1.Reporting.

Any person, other than the unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner who committed the violation, health care facility, business, or organization is immune from civil liability or criminal prosecution for submitting a report to the office, for otherwise reporting to the office violations or alleged violations of this chapter, or for cooperating with an investigation of a report, except as provided in this subdivision. Any person who knowingly or recklessly makes a false report is liable in a civil suit for any damages suffered by the person or persons so reported and for any punitive damages set by the court or jury. An action requires clear and convincing evidence that the defendant made the statement with knowledge of falsity or with reckless disregard for its truth or falsity. The report or statement or any statement made in cooperation with an investigation or as part of a disciplinary proceeding is privileged except in an action brought under this subdivision.

Subd. 2.Investigation.

The commissioner and employees of the Department of Health and other persons engaged in the investigation of violations and in the preparation, presentation, and management of and testimony pertaining to charges of violations of this chapter are immune from civil liability and criminal prosecution for any actions, transactions, or publications in the execution of, or relating to, their duties under this chapter.

History:

2000 c 460 s 13

146A.05 DISCIPLINARY RECORD ON JUDICIAL REVIEW.

Upon judicial review of any disciplinary action taken by the commissioner under this chapter, the reviewing court shall seal the portions of the administrative record that contain data on a complementary and alternative health care client or a complainant under section 146A.03, and shall not make those portions of the administrative record available to the public.

History:

2000 c 460 s 14

146A.06 PROFESSIONAL COOPERATION; UNLICENSED PRACTITIONER.

Subdivision 1.Cooperation.

An unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner who is the subject of an investigation, or who is questioned in connection with an investigation, by or on behalf of the office, shall cooperate fully with the investigation. Cooperation includes responding fully and promptly to any question raised by or on behalf of the office relating to the subject of the investigation, whether tape recorded or not; providing copies of client records, as reasonably requested by the office, to assist the office in its investigation; and appearing at conferences or hearings scheduled by the commissioner. If the office does not have a written consent from a client permitting access to the client's records, the unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner shall delete in the record any data that identifies the client before providing it to the office. If an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner refuses to give testimony or produce any documents, books, records, or correspondence on the basis of the fifth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the commissioner may compel the unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner to provide the testimony or information; however, the testimony or evidence may not be used against the practitioner in any criminal proceeding. Challenges to requests of the office may be brought before the appropriate agency or court.

Subd. 2.Data.

(a) Data relating to investigations of complaints and disciplinary actions involving unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioners are governed by this subdivision and section 13.41 does not apply. Except as provided in section 13.39, subdivision 2, and paragraph (b), data relating to investigations of complaints and disciplinary actions involving unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioners are public data, regardless of the outcome of any investigation, action, or proceeding.

(b) The following data are private data on individuals, as defined in section 13.02:

(1) data on a complementary and alternative health care client;

(2) data on a complainant under section 146A.03; and

(3) data on the nature or content of unsubstantiated complaints when the information is not maintained in anticipation of legal action.

Subd. 3.Exchanging information.

(a) The office shall establish internal operating procedures for:

(1) exchanging information with state boards; agencies, including the Office of Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities; health-related and law enforcement facilities; departments responsible for licensing health-related occupations, facilities, and programs; and law enforcement personnel in this and other states; and

(2) coordinating investigations involving matters within the jurisdiction of more than one regulatory agency.

(b) The procedures for exchanging information must provide for the forwarding to the entities described in paragraph (a), clause (1), of information and evidence, including the results of investigations, that are relevant to matters within the regulatory jurisdiction of the organizations in paragraph (a). The data have the same classification in the hands of the agency receiving the data as they have in the hands of the agency providing the data.

(c) The office shall establish procedures for exchanging information with other states regarding disciplinary action against unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioners.

(d) The office shall forward to another governmental agency any complaints received by the office that do not relate to the office's jurisdiction but that relate to matters within the jurisdiction of the other governmental agency. The agency to which a complaint is forwarded shall advise the office of the disposition of the complaint. A complaint or other information received by another governmental agency relating to a statute or rule that the office is empowered to enforce must be forwarded to the office to be processed in accordance with this section.

(e) The office shall furnish to a person who made a complaint a description of the actions of the office relating to the complaint.

146A.07 PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY.

The office shall maintain and keep current a file containing the reports and complaints filed against unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioners within the commissioner's jurisdiction. Each complaint filed with the office must be investigated. If the files maintained by the office show that a malpractice settlement or award has been made against an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner, as reported by insurers under section 146A.03, subdivision 5, the commissioner may authorize a review of the practitioner's practice by the staff of the office.

History:

2000 c 460 s 16

146A.08 PROHIBITED CONDUCT.

Subdivision 1.Prohibited conduct.

The commissioner may impose disciplinary action as described in section 146A.09 against any unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner. The following conduct is prohibited and is grounds for disciplinary action:

(a) Conviction of a crime, including a finding or verdict of guilt, an admission of guilt, or a no-contest plea, in any court in Minnesota or any other jurisdiction in the United States, reasonably related to engaging in complementary and alternative health care practices. Conviction, as used in this subdivision, includes a conviction of an offense which, if committed in this state, would be deemed a felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor, without regard to its designation elsewhere, or a criminal proceeding where a finding or verdict of guilty is made or returned but the adjudication of guilt is either withheld or not entered.

(b) Conviction of any crime against a person. For purposes of this chapter, a crime against a person means violations of the following: sections 609.185; 609.19; 609.195; 609.20; 609.205; 609.21; 609.215; 609.221; 609.222; 609.223; 609.224; 609.2242; 609.23; 609.231; 609.2325; 609.233; 609.2335; 609.235; 609.24; 609.245; 609.25; 609.255; 609.26, subdivision 1, clause (1) or (2); 609.265; 609.342; 609.343; 609.344; 609.345; 609.365; 609.498, subdivision 1; 609.50, subdivision 1, clause (1); 609.561; 609.562; 609.595; and 609.72, subdivision 3.

(c) Failure to comply with the self-reporting requirements of section 146A.03, subdivision 7.

(d) Engaging in sexual contact with a complementary and alternative health care client, engaging in contact that may be reasonably interpreted by a client as sexual, engaging in any verbal behavior that is seductive or sexually demeaning to the client, or engaging in sexual exploitation of a client or former client.

(e) Advertising that is false, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading.

(f) Conduct likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public or demonstrating a willful or careless disregard for the health, welfare, or safety of a complementary and alternative health care client; or any other practice that may create danger to any client's life, health, or safety, in any of which cases, proof of actual injury need not be established.

(g) Adjudication as mentally incompetent or as a person who is dangerous to self or adjudication pursuant to chapter 253B as chemically dependent, mentally ill, developmentally disabled, mentally ill and dangerous to the public, or as a sexual psychopathic personality or sexually dangerous person.

(h) Inability to engage in complementary and alternative health care practices with reasonable safety to complementary and alternative health care clients.

(i) The habitual overindulgence in the use of or the dependence on intoxicating liquors.

(j) Improper or unauthorized personal or other use of any legend drugs as defined in chapter 151, any chemicals as defined in chapter 151, or any controlled substance as defined in chapter 152.

(k) Revealing a communication from, or relating to, a complementary and alternative health care client except when otherwise required or permitted by law.

(l) Failure to comply with a complementary and alternative health care client's request made under sections 144.291 to 144.298 or to furnish a complementary and alternative health care client record or report required by law.

(m) Splitting fees or promising to pay a portion of a fee to any other professional other than for services rendered by the other professional to the complementary and alternative health care client.

(n) Engaging in abusive or fraudulent billing practices, including violations of the federal Medicare and Medicaid laws or state medical assistance laws.

(o) Failure to make reports as required by section 146A.03 or cooperate with an investigation of the office.

(p) Obtaining money, property, or services from a complementary and alternative health care client, other than reasonable fees for services provided to the client, through the use of undue influence, harassment, duress, deception, or fraud.

(q) Failure to provide a complementary and alternative health care client with a copy of the client bill of rights or violation of any provision of the client bill of rights.

(r) Violating any order issued by the commissioner.

(s) Failure to comply with any provision of sections 146A.01 to 146A.11 and the rules adopted under those sections.

(t) Failure to comply with any additional disciplinary grounds established by the commissioner by rule.

(u) Revocation, suspension, restriction, limitation, or other disciplinary action against any health care license, certificate, registration, or right to practice of the unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner in this or another state or jurisdiction for offenses that would be subject to disciplinary action in this state or failure to report to the office that charges regarding the practitioner's license, certificate, registration, or right of practice have been brought in this or another state or jurisdiction.

(v) Use of the title "doctor," "Dr.," or "physician" alone or in combination with any other words, letters, or insignia to describe the complementary and alternative health care practices the practitioner provides.

(w) Failure to provide a complementary and alternative health care client with a recommendation that the client see a health care provider who is licensed or registered by a health-related licensing board or the commissioner of health, if there is a reasonable likelihood that the client needs to be seen by a licensed or registered health care provider.

Subd. 2.Less customary approach.

The fact that a complementary and alternative health care practice may be a less customary approach to health care shall not constitute the basis of a disciplinary action per se.

Subd. 3.Evidence.

In disciplinary actions alleging a violation of subdivision 1, paragraph (a), (b), (c), or (g), a copy of the judgment or proceeding under the seal of the court administrator or of the administrative agency that entered the same is admissible into evidence without further authentication and constitutes prima facie evidence of its contents.

Subd. 4.Examination; access to medical data.

(a) If the commissioner has probable cause to believe that an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner has engaged in conduct prohibited by subdivision 1, paragraph (g), (h), (i), or (j), the commissioner may issue an order directing the practitioner to submit to a mental or physical examination or chemical dependency evaluation. For the purpose of this subdivision, every unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner is deemed to have consented to submit to a mental or physical examination or chemical dependency evaluation when ordered to do so in writing by the commissioner and further to have waived all objections to the admissibility of the testimony or examination reports of the health care provider performing the examination or evaluation on the grounds that the same constitute a privileged communication. Failure of an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner to submit to an examination or evaluation when ordered, unless the failure was due to circumstances beyond the practitioner's control, constitutes an admission that the unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner violated subdivision 1, paragraph (g), (h), (i), or (j), based on the factual specifications in the examination or evaluation order and may result in a default and final disciplinary order being entered after a contested case hearing. An unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner affected under this paragraph shall at reasonable intervals be given an opportunity to demonstrate that the practitioner can resume the provision of complementary and alternative health care practices with reasonable safety to clients. In any proceeding under this paragraph, neither the record of proceedings nor the orders entered by the commissioner shall be used against an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner in any other proceeding.

(b) In addition to ordering a physical or mental examination or chemical dependency evaluation, the commissioner may, notwithstanding section 13.384; 144.651; 595.02; or any other law limiting access to medical or other health data, obtain medical data and health records relating to an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner without the practitioner's consent if the commissioner has probable cause to believe that a practitioner has engaged in conduct prohibited by subdivision 1, paragraph (g), (h), (i), or (j). 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 commissioner under this subdivision and is not liable in any action for damages for releasing the data requested by the commissioner if the data are released pursuant to a written request under this subdivision, unless the information is false and the person or organization giving the information knew or had reason to believe the information was false. Information obtained under this subdivision is private data under section 13.41.

146A.09 DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS.

Subdivision 1.Forms of disciplinary action.

When the commissioner finds that an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner has violated any provision of this chapter, the commissioner may take one or more of the following actions, only against the individual practitioner:

(1) revoke the right to practice;

(2) suspend the right to practice;

(3) impose limitations or conditions on the practitioner's provision of complementary and alternative health care practices, impose rehabilitation requirements, or require practice under supervision;

(4) impose a civil penalty not exceeding $10,000 for each separate violation, the amount of the civil penalty to be fixed so as to deprive the practitioner of any economic advantage gained by reason of the violation charged or to reimburse the office for all costs of the investigation and proceeding;

(5) censure or reprimand the practitioner;

(6) impose a fee on the practitioner to reimburse the office for all or part of the cost of the proceedings resulting in disciplinary action including, but not limited to, the amount paid by the office for services from the Office of Administrative Hearings, attorney fees, court reports, witnesses, reproduction of records, staff time, and expense incurred by the staff of the Office of Unlicensed Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practice; or

(7) any other action justified by the case.

Subd. 2.Discovery; subpoenas.

In all matters relating to the lawful activities of the office, the commissioner may issue subpoenas and compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of all necessary papers, books, records, documents, and other evidentiary material. Any person failing or refusing to appear or testify regarding any matter about which the person may be lawfully questioned or failing to produce any papers, books, records, documents, or other evidentiary materials in the matter to be heard, after having been required by order of the commissioner or by a subpoena of the commissioner to do so may, upon application to the district court in any district, be ordered to comply with the order or subpoena. The commissioner may administer oaths to witnesses or take their affirmation. Depositions may be taken within or without the state in the manner provided by law for the taking of depositions in civil actions. A subpoena or other process may be served upon a person it names anywhere within the state by any officer authorized to serve subpoenas or other process in civil actions in the same manner as prescribed by law for service of process issued out of the district court of this state.

Subd. 3.Hearings.

If the commissioner proposes to take action against the practitioner as described in subdivision 1, the commissioner must first notify the practitioner against whom the action is proposed to be taken and provide the practitioner with an opportunity to request a hearing under the contested case provisions of chapter 14. If the practitioner does not request a hearing by notifying the commissioner within 30 days after service of the notice of the proposed action, the commissioner may proceed with the action without a hearing.

Subd. 4.Reinstatement.

The commissioner may at the commissioner's discretion reinstate the right to practice and may impose any disciplinary measure listed under subdivision 1.

Subd. 5.Temporary suspension.

In addition to any other remedy provided by law, the commissioner may, acting through a person to whom the commissioner has delegated this authority and without a hearing, temporarily suspend the right of an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner to practice if the commissioner's delegate finds that the practitioner has violated a statute or rule that the commissioner is empowered to enforce and continued practice by the practitioner would create a serious risk of harm to others. The suspension is in effect upon service of a written order on the practitioner specifying the statute or rule violated. The order remains in effect until the commissioner issues a final order in the matter after a hearing or upon agreement between the commissioner and the practitioner. Service of the order is effective if the order is served on the practitioner or counsel of record personally or by first class mail. Within ten days of service of the order, the commissioner shall hold a hearing on the sole issue of whether there is a reasonable basis to continue, modify, or lift the suspension. Evidence presented by the office or practitioner shall be in affidavit form only. The practitioner or the counsel of record may appear for oral argument. Within five working days after the hearing, the commissioner shall issue the commissioner's order and, if the suspension is continued, schedule a contested case hearing within 45 days after issuance of the order. The administrative law judge shall issue a report within 30 days after closing of the contested case hearing record. The commissioner shall issue a final order within 30 days after receipt of that report.

Subd. 6.Automatic suspension.

The right of an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner to practice is automatically suspended if (1) a guardian of an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner is appointed by order of a court under sections 524.5-101 to 524.5-502, or (2) the practitioner is committed by order of a court pursuant to chapter 253B. The right to practice remains suspended until the practitioner is restored to capacity by a court and, upon petition by the practitioner, the suspension is terminated by the commissioner after a hearing or upon agreement between the commissioner and the practitioner.

Subd. 7.Licensed or regulated practitioners.

If a practitioner investigated under this section is licensed or registered by the commissioner of health or a health-related licensing board, is subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner under section 146A.01, subdivision 6, paragraph (a), clause (1), item (ii), and the commissioner determines that the practitioner has violated any provision of this chapter, the commissioner, in addition to taking disciplinary action under this section:

(1) may, if the practitioner is licensed or regulated in another capacity by the commissioner, take further disciplinary action against the practitioner in that capacity; or

(2) shall, if the practitioner is licensed or registered in another capacity by a health-related licensing board, report the commissioner's findings under this section, and may make a nonbinding recommendation that the board take further action against the practitioner in that capacity.

146A.10 ADDITIONAL REMEDIES.

Subdivision 1.Cease and desist.

(a) The commissioner may issue a cease and desist order to stop a person from violating or threatening to violate a statute, rule, or order which the office has issued or is empowered to enforce. The cease and desist order must state the reason for its issuance and give notice of the person's right to request a hearing under sections 14.57 to 14.62. If, within 15 days of service of the order, the subject of the order fails to request a hearing in writing, the order is the final order of the commissioner and is not reviewable by a court or agency.

(b) A hearing must be initiated by the office not later than 30 days from the date of the office's receipt of a written hearing request. Within 30 days of receipt of the administrative law judge's report, the commissioner shall issue a final order modifying, vacating, or making permanent the cease and desist order as the facts require. The final order remains in effect until modified or vacated by the commissioner.

(c) When a request for a stay accompanies a timely hearing request, the commissioner may, in the commissioner's discretion, grant the stay. If the commissioner does not grant a requested stay, the commissioner shall refer the request to the Office of Administrative Hearings within three working days of receipt of the request. Within ten days after receiving the request from the commissioner, an administrative law judge shall issue a recommendation to grant or deny the stay. The commissioner shall grant or deny the stay within five days of receiving the administrative law judge's recommendation.

(d) In the event of noncompliance with a cease and desist order, the commissioner may institute a proceeding in Hennepin County District Court to obtain injunctive relief or other appropriate relief, including a civil penalty payable to the office not exceeding $10,000 for each separate violation.

Subd. 2.Injunctive relief.

In addition to any other remedy provided by law, including the issuance of a cease and desist order under subdivision 1, the commissioner may in the commissioner's own name bring an action in Hennepin County District Court for injunctive relief to restrain an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner from a violation or threatened violation of any statute, rule, or order which the commissioner is empowered to regulate, enforce, or issue. A temporary restraining order must be granted in the proceeding if continued activity by a practitioner would create a serious risk of harm to others. The commissioner need not show irreparable harm.

Subd. 3.Additional powers.

The issuance of a cease and desist order or injunctive relief granted under this section does not relieve a practitioner from criminal prosecution by a competent authority or from disciplinary action by the commissioner.

History:

2000 c 460 s 19

146A.11 COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE HEALTH CARE CLIENT BILL OF RIGHTS.

Subdivision 1.Scope.

(a) All unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioners shall provide to each complementary and alternative health care client prior to providing treatment a written copy of the complementary and alternative health care client bill of rights. A copy must also be posted in a prominent location in the office of the unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner. Reasonable accommodations shall be made for those clients who cannot read or who have communication disabilities and those who do not read or speak English. The complementary and alternative health care client bill of rights shall include the following:

(1) the name, complementary and alternative health care title, business address, and telephone number of the unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner;

(2) the degrees, training, experience, or other qualifications of the practitioner regarding the complimentary and alternative health care being provided, followed by the following statement in bold print:

"THE STATE OF MINNESOTA HAS NOT ADOPTED ANY EDUCATIONAL AND TRAINING STANDARDS FOR UNLICENSED COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS. THIS STATEMENT OF CREDENTIALS IS FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY.

Under Minnesota law, an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner may not provide a medical diagnosis or recommend discontinuance of medically prescribed treatments. If a client desires a diagnosis from a licensed physician, chiropractor, or acupuncture practitioner, or services from a physician, chiropractor, nurse, osteopath, physical therapist, dietitian, nutritionist, acupuncture practitioner, athletic trainer, or any other type of health care provider, the client may seek such services at any time.";

(3) the name, business address, and telephone number of the practitioner's supervisor, if any;

(4) notice that a complementary and alternative health care client has the right to file a complaint with the practitioner's supervisor, if any, and the procedure for filing complaints;

(5) the name, address, and telephone number of the office of unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practice and notice that a client may file complaints with the office;

(6) the practitioner's fees per unit of service, the practitioner's method of billing for such fees, the names of any insurance companies that have agreed to reimburse the practitioner, or health maintenance organizations with whom the practitioner contracts to provide service, whether the practitioner accepts Medicare, medical assistance, or general assistance medical care, and whether the practitioner is willing to accept partial payment, or to waive payment, and in what circumstances;

(7) a statement that the client has a right to reasonable notice of changes in services or charges;

(8) a brief summary, in plain language, of the theoretical approach used by the practitioner in providing services to clients;

(9) notice that the client has a right to complete and current information concerning the practitioner's assessment and recommended service that is to be provided, including the expected duration of the service to be provided;

(10) a statement that clients may expect courteous treatment and to be free from verbal, physical, or sexual abuse by the practitioner;

(11) a statement that client records and transactions with the practitioner are confidential, unless release of these records is authorized in writing by the client, or otherwise provided by law;

(12) a statement of the client's right to be allowed access to records and written information from records in accordance with sections 144.291 to 144.298;

(13) a statement that other services may be available in the community, including where information concerning services is available;

(14) a statement that the client has the right to choose freely among available practitioners and to change practitioners after services have begun, within the limits of health insurance, medical assistance, or other health programs;

(15) a statement that the client has a right to coordinated transfer when there will be a change in the provider of services;

(16) a statement that the client may refuse services or treatment, unless otherwise provided by law; and

(17) a statement that the client may assert the client's rights without retaliation.

(b) This section does not apply to an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner who is employed by or is a volunteer in a hospital or hospice who provides services to a client in a hospital or under an appropriate hospice plan of care. Patients receiving complementary and alternative health care services in an inpatient hospital or under an appropriate hospice plan of care shall have and be made aware of the right to file a complaint with the hospital or hospice provider through which the practitioner is employed or registered as a volunteer.

Subd. 2.Acknowledgment by client.

Prior to the provision of any service, a complementary and alternative health care client must sign a written statement attesting that the client has received the complementary and alternative health care client bill of rights.

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569