2009 New Jersey Code
TITLE 45 - PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
45:9-19.8 - Medical Practitioner Review Panel; establishment, membership, terms, compensation
The State Board of Medical Examiners shall establish a Medical Practitioner Review Panel.
a. The review panel shall consist of nine members. Eight members shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, as follows: four physicians licensed to practice medicine and surgery in this State, at least one of whom is a board certified psychiatrist or a physician experienced in the field of chemical dependency and at least one of whom is employed by a health maintenance organization; three consumers of health care services who are not licensed health care providers or the spouses of licensed health care providers; and one administrator of a hospital who is appointed upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Hospital Association. One member shall be appointed by the President of the State Board of Medical Examiners and shall be a member of the board and shall serve ex officio.
A review panel member shall serve for a term of three years, except that of the members first appointed, three shall serve for terms of one year, three for terms of two years and two for a term of three years. A review panel member is eligible for reappointment but shall not serve more than two successive terms in addition to any unexpired term to which he has been appointed. Any vacancy in the membership of the review panel shall be filled for the unexpired term in the manner provided by the original appointment.
b. The Governor shall appoint the first chairman and vice chairman of the review panel from among the members to serve for a one-year term, but thereafter, the members of the panel shall annually elect a chairman and vice chairman from among the members. The board shall appoint an executive director and the board and the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall provide such investigative, medical consulting and clerical support as is necessary to carry out the duties of the review panel. The State Board of Medical Examiners' member shall not serve as chairman or vice chairman of the panel.
c. Five members of the review panel shall constitute a quorum and the review panel shall not make any recommendation without the affirmative vote of at least five members of the review panel.
d. The members of the review panel shall be compensated on a per diem basis in the amount of $150 and shall be reimbursed for actual expenses reasonably incurred in the performance of their official duties. The executive director of the review panel shall receive such salary as determined by the director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
e. The Attorney General shall provide legal staff services to the review panel.
L.1989, c.300, s.8.
45:9-19.9 Notice received by review panel; actions, recommendations.
9. a. The review panel shall receive:
(1)Notice from a health care entity, provided through the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.2005, c.83 (C.26:2H-12.2b);
(2)Notice from an insurer or insurance association or a practitioner, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1983, c.247 (C.17:30D-17), regarding a medical malpractice claim settlement, judgment or arbitration award or a termination or denial of, or surcharge on, the medical malpractice liability insurance coverage of a practitioner; and
b.The review panel may receive referrals from the board which may include complaints alleging professional misconduct, incompetence, negligence or impairment of a practitioner from other health care providers and consumers of health care.
c.Upon receipt of a notice or complaint pursuant to this section, the review panel shall promptly investigate the information received and obtain any additional information that may be necessary in order to make a recommendation to the board. The review panel may seek the assistance of a consultant or other knowledgeable person, as necessary, in making its recommendation. The review panel may request the board or the Attorney General to exercise investigative powers pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1978, c.73 (C.45:1-18) in the conduct of its investigation.
(1)If the review panel has reasonable cause to believe that a practitioner represents an imminent danger to his patients, the review panel shall immediately notify the State Board of Medical Examiners and the Attorney General and recommend the initiation of an application before the board to temporarily suspend or otherwise limit the practitioner's license pending further proceedings by the review panel or the board.
If the board temporarily suspends or otherwise limits the license, the board shall notify each health care entity with which the practitioner is affiliated and every practitioner in the State with which the practitioner is directly associated in his private practice.
(2)A practitioner who is the subject of an investigation shall be promptly notified of the investigation, pursuant to procedures adopted by regulation of the board that give consideration to the health, safety and welfare of the practitioner's patients and to the necessity for a confidential or covert investigation by the review panel. At the panel's request or upon a good cause showing by the practitioner an informal hearing shall be scheduled before the review panel or a subcommittee of at least three review panel members, in accordance with regulations adopted by the board. The hearing shall be transcribed and the practitioner shall be entitled to a copy of the transcript, at his own expense. A practitioner who presents information to the review panel is entitled to be represented by counsel.
(3)Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, in any case in which the board determines to conduct an investigation of a practitioner who it has reasonable cause to believe represents an imminent danger to his patients, the board may direct the review panel to provide the board with its files pertaining to that practitioner and may direct the review panel to promptly terminate its investigation of that practitioner without making a recommendation pursuant to subsection d. of this section.
Upon request of the review panel, the State Board of Medical Examiners shall provide the review panel with any information contained in the board's files concerning a practitioner.
d.Upon completion of its review, the review panel shall prepare a report recommending one of the following dispositions:
(1)Recommend to the State Board of Medical Examiners that the matter be referred to the Attorney General for the initiation of disciplinary action against the practitioner who is the subject of the notice or complaint, pursuant to section 8 or 9 of P.L.1978, c.73 (C.45:1-21 or 45:1-22);
(2)Defer making a recommendation to the board pending the outcome of litigation or a health care entity disciplinary proceeding, if there is no evidence that the practitioner's professional conduct may jeopardize or improperly risk the health, safety or life of a patient;
(3)Refer the practitioner to the appropriate licensed health care practitioner treatment program recognized by the State Board of Medical Examiners and promptly notify the medical director of the board of the referral;
(4)Refer the practitioner to the appropriate focused education program recognized by the State Board of Medical Examiners and promptly notify the educational director of the board of the referral; or
(5)Find that no further action is warranted at this time.
e.A member of the State Board of Medical Examiners shall not participate by voting or any other action in any matter before the board on which the board member has participated previously as a review panel member.
f.The State Board of Medical Examiners may affirm, reject or modify any disposition of the review panel. After its consideration of the panel recommendation the board shall notify the practitioner who has been the subject of a notice or complaint of the review panel's recommendation and the board's determination.
g.Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent or limit the State Board of Medical Examiners, the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety or the Attorney General from taking any other action permitted by law against a practitioner who is the subject of an investigation by the review panel.
h.For the purposes of this section, "practitioner" means a person licensed to practice: medicine and surgery under chapter 9 of Title 45 of the Revised Statutes or a medical resident or intern; or podiatric medicine under chapter 5 of Title 45 of the Revised Statutes.
i.As used in this section, "focused education program" means an individualized and systematic process to assess the educational needs of a licensee based on scientific analysis, technical skill and interpersonal evaluation as they relate to the licensee's professional practice, and the institution of remedial education and any supervision, monitoring or limitations of the licensee.
L.1989,c.300,s.9; amended 2001, c.307, s.8; 2005, c.83, s.8; 2005, c.259, s.14.
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