Mandatory Reporting of Impaired Healthcare Practitioners
Contributed by Richard Brown.
Since 2015, Connecticut requires all heath care professionals, including hospital staff, to file a notice with the Connecticut Department of Public Health where he, she or it has information that appears to show that another health care professional, or even one’s self is or may be unable to practice his or her profession with reasonable skill, including, but not limited to substance abuse, (alcohol or chemical abuse/addiction) emotional disorder, mental illness, illegal, negligent or incompetent conduct, fraud, contain criminal violations, including operation of a motor vehicle under the influence, and several other conditions that may impair the licensed health care provider’s ability to perform and do their respective job. (See Connecticut General Statute §19a-12a). This is required even if the practitioner has yet to perform below standards in their respective professional position.
Interestingly, the law allows the reporting individual to meet their legal obligation by referring the targeted individual to an assistance program such as HAVEN for evaluation and possible treatment, if necessary. (NOTE: There are some misdeeds, such as certain criminal wrong doing (e.g.-sexual assault) that would not be handled by HAVEN. These cases typically involve matters where DPH would be seeking revocation of a license.) If the notified targeted health care provider fails to cooperate with an assistance program, such as HAVEN (860-828-3175), then the matter will be referred to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, DPH, for an immediate investigation into the allegations.
If you are the targeted individual with your license and livelihood on the line, it is important to obtain the services of an attorney who is experienced in dealing with DPH. Contact the lawyers at Brown Paindiris & Scott for more information.