Authority of disciplining authority.
Except as provided in RCW 18.130.062, the disciplining authority has the following authority:
(1) To adopt, amend, and rescind such rules as are deemed necessary to carry out this chapter;
(2) To investigate all complaints or reports of unprofessional conduct as defined in this chapter;
(3) To hold hearings as provided in this chapter;
(4) To issue subpoenas and administer oaths in connection with any investigation, consideration of an application for license, hearing, or proceeding held under this chapter;
(5) To take or cause depositions to be taken and use other discovery procedures as needed in any investigation, hearing, or proceeding held under this chapter;
(6) To compel attendance of witnesses at hearings;
(7) In the course of investigating a complaint or report of unprofessional conduct, to conduct practice reviews and to issue citations and assess fines for failure to produce documents, records, or other items in accordance with RCW 18.130.230;
(8) To take emergency action ordering summary suspension of a license, or restriction or limitation of the license holder's practice pending proceedings by the disciplining authority. Within fourteen days of a request by the affected license holder, the disciplining authority must provide a show cause hearing in accordance with the requirements of RCW 18.130.135. In addition to the authority in this subsection, a disciplining authority shall:
(a) Consistent with RCW 18.130.370, issue a summary suspension of the license or temporary practice permit of a license holder prohibited from practicing a health care profession in another state, federal, or foreign jurisdiction because of an act of unprofessional conduct that is substantially equivalent to an act of unprofessional conduct prohibited by this chapter or any of the chapters specified in RCW 18.130.040. The summary suspension remains in effect until proceedings by the Washington disciplining authority have been completed;
(b) Consistent with RCW 18.130.400, issue a summary suspension of the license or temporary practice permit if, under RCW 74.39A.051, the license holder is prohibited from employment in the care of vulnerable adults based upon a department of social and health services' final finding of abuse or neglect of a minor or abuse, abandonment, neglect, or financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. The summary suspension remains in effect until proceedings by the disciplining authority have been completed;
(9) To conduct show cause hearings in accordance with RCW 18.130.062 or 18.130.135 to review an action taken by the disciplining authority to suspend a license or restrict or limit a license holder's practice pending proceedings by the disciplining authority;
(10) To use a presiding officer as authorized in RCW 18.130.095(3) or the office of administrative hearings as authorized in chapter 34.12 RCW to conduct hearings. Disciplining authorities identified in RCW 18.130.040(2) shall make the final decision regarding disposition of the license unless the disciplining authority elects to delegate in writing the final decision to the presiding officer. Disciplining authorities identified in RCW 18.130.040(2)(b) may not delegate the final decision regarding disposition of the license or imposition of sanctions to a presiding officer in any case pertaining to standards of practice or where clinical expertise is necessary, including deciding any motion that results in dismissal of any allegation contained in the statement of charges. Presiding officers acting on behalf of the secretary shall enter initial orders. The secretary may, by rule, provide that initial orders in specified classes of cases may become final without further agency action unless, within a specified time period:
(a) The secretary upon his or her own motion determines that the initial order should be reviewed; or
(b) A party to the proceedings files a petition for administrative review of the initial order;
(11) To use individual members of the boards to direct investigations and to authorize the issuance of a citation under subsection (7) of this section. However, the member of the board shall not subsequently participate in the hearing of the case;
(12) To enter into contracts for professional services determined to be necessary for adequate enforcement of this chapter;
(13) To contract with license holders or other persons or organizations to provide services necessary for the monitoring and supervision of license holders who are placed on probation, whose professional activities are restricted, or who are for any authorized purpose subject to monitoring by the disciplining authority;
(14) To adopt standards of professional conduct or practice;
(15) To grant or deny license applications, and in the event of a finding of unprofessional conduct by an applicant or license holder, to impose any sanction against a license applicant or license holder provided by this chapter. After January 1, 2009, all sanctions must be issued in accordance with RCW 18.130.390;
(16) To restrict or place conditions on the practice of new licensees in order to protect the public and promote the safety of and confidence in the health care system;
(17) To designate individuals authorized to sign subpoenas and statements of charges;
(18) To establish panels consisting of three or more members of the board to perform any duty or authority within the board's jurisdiction under this chapter;
(19) To review and audit the records of licensed health facilities' or services' quality assurance committee decisions in which a license holder's practice privilege or employment is terminated or restricted. Each health facility or service shall produce and make accessible to the disciplining authority the appropriate records and otherwise facilitate the review and audit. Information so gained shall not be subject to discovery or introduction into evidence in any civil action pursuant to RCW 70.41.200(3).
[2013 c 109 § 1; 2013 c 86 § 2; 2008 c 134 § 3; 2006 c 99 § 4; 1995 c 336 § 4. Prior: 1993 c 367 § 21; 1993 c 367 § 5; 1987 c 150 § 2; 1984 c 279 § 5.]
| Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2013 c 86 § 2 and by 2013 c 109 § 1, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).|
Effective date -- 2013 c 86: See note following RCW 18.130.400.
Finding -- Intent -- Severability -- 2008 c 134: See notes following RCW 18.130.020.
Severability -- 1987 c 150: See RCW 18.122.901.