The Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners (NSBME) is a state agency that regulates, through issuance of licenses as well as disciplinary actions, the following medical professionals: medical doctors, physician assistants, practitioners of respiratory care, and perfusionists. The NSBME consists of nine members, six of which are practicing physicians and three of which are public members. All members are appointed by the Governor of Nevada.
What Does Discipline Mean with the NBME?
When a physician assistant, doctor, practitioner of respiratory care, or perfusionist violates the law under the Nevada Medical Practice Act (NMPA), found in chapter 630 of the Nevada Revised Statutes and Nevada Administrative Code, the NBME has the authority to investigate and file charges against the healthcare professional. If the charges are proven to be true and a violation of the law did occur, the NBME has the authority to revoke the medical professional’s license, place him or her on probation, or impose other sanctions.
What Acts Result in Discipline?
Generally, there are three major categories under which a healthcare professional may be disciplined by the NBME:
Medical malpractice: If a Nevada healthcare provider fails to provide well-known and effective treatment that is customary in the field and region, then he or she may have committed medical malpractice;
Professional incompetence: If a Nevada healthcare provider does something he or she is not adequately trained to practice both effectively and safely, he or she may be professionally incompetent;
Other general issues such as
Sexual misconduct with patients;
Billing for services that were never rendered;
Problems with drugs or alcohol;
Indiscriminate prescriptions or other violations of drug laws; and
Conviction of a serious crime involving moral turpitude or the practice of medicine.
Filing a Complaint
The actual filing of a complaint against a Nevada healthcare professional is not complicated, as you can contact them directly via phone toll free within the state of Nevada. A person may go on the NBME website and file a complaint online. The complaint must be made in writing, and the NBME will respond with a written confirmation that the complaint was received. The NBME must follow a formal procedure when a complaint is filed against one of its licensees. Specifically, the NBME must determine whether or not the NBME has jurisdiction over the matter. If jurisdiction exists, NBME’s Investigative Committee will assign an investigator to the case. If a violation has occurred, then the healthcare provider will be given a public hearing. If the charges are proven, then disciplinary action may be taken, including suspension, revocation, or probation. If the problem is alcohol or drug-related, the NBME may require the healthcare practitioner to participate in treatment.
Charges filed by the board, and any formal decisions made by the NBME, are public record. Likewise, documents relating to malpractice claims or disciplinary actions against a licensed Nevada healthcare professional are public record, and can be obtained from the NBME by way of a written request.
If you believe you have been injured by a Nevada healthcare profession and have a valid complaint to file with the NBME, contact the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Parry & Pfau. They can help guide you every step of the way. Click here to schedule your case evaluation.
(image courtesy of Martha Dominguez)