TITLE XXX
OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS

CHAPTER 329
PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS

Disciplinary Proceedings

Section 329:18

    329:18 Investigations. –
I. The board, through the medical review subcommittee, may investigate possible misconduct by licensees and applicants for licensure, as well as the unauthorized practice of medicine and other matters within the scope of this chapter. Investigations may be conducted formally, after issuance of a board order setting forth the general scope of the investigation, or informally, without such an order. In either case, board investigations and the information gathered in such investigations, including information provided to the board under RSA 329:17, I(b), III, IV, and V and RSA 329:18, V, shall be exempt from the public disclosure provisions of RSA 91-A, except to the extent such information may later become the subject of a public disciplinary hearing. The board may disclose information acquired in an investigation to law enforcement or health licensing agencies in this state or any other jurisdiction, or in response to specific statutory requirements or court orders.
I-a. Any board member who has, or whose spouse or dependents have, a private interest or professional relationship which may directly or indirectly affect or influence the board member's ability to investigate or consider a complaint, shall recuse himself or herself from any investigation or disciplinary action against such licensee. If the chairperson of the board is recused the remaining board members shall elect an acting chairperson from among the board. The chairperson or acting chairperson may appoint a former board member to replace the recused board member during the investigation and proceedings against the licensee.
II. The board through the office of professional licensure and certification may retain expert witnesses or other qualified persons to assist with any investigation or adjudicatory proceeding. Members of the board are not eligible for retainment.
III. The form taken by an investigation is a matter reserved to the discretion of the board. The board may conduct or authorize investigations on an ex parte basis.
IV. (a) The board, the medical review subcommittee, the board investigator, or the medical review subcommittee investigator, may administer oaths or affirmations, preserve testimony and issue subpoenas for witnesses and for documents and things only in a formal investigation or an adjudicatory hearing, except that subpoenas for medical records and pharmacy records, as provided in paragraph V, may be issued at any time.
(b) The board, the medical review subcommittee, the board investigator, or the medical review subcommittee investigator, may serve a subpoena on any licensee of the board by certified mail, but shall serve a subpoena on any other person in accordance with the procedures and fee schedules used in superior court.
(c) Persons licensed by the board shall not be entitled to a witness fee or mileage expenses for travel within the state, which are necessary to respond to a subpoena.
(d) Any board-issued subpoena related to a board hearing or investigation shall be valid if annotated "Fees Guaranteed by the New Hampshire Board of Medicine."
(e) A minimum of 48 hours' notice shall be given for compliance with a subpoena issued under this chapter.
V. The board, the medical review subcommittee, the board investigator, or the medical review subcommittee investigator, may at any time subpoena medical, pharmacy, or billing records related to medical diagnosis or treatment from its licensees, or other health care providers, health care facilities, health insurance companies, health maintenance organizations, and medical and hospital service corporations licensed or certified in this state to the extent that the records sought are relevant to matters within the board's regulatory authority. Such subpoenas shall be served by certified mail or by personal delivery to the address shown on the respondent's current license or certificate, and shall require no witness or other fee. A minimum of 15 days' advance notice shall be allowed for complying with a subpoena duces tecum issued under this paragraph.
VI. All licensees shall have the duty to notify the board of their current business and residence addresses. A licensee shall receive adequate notice of any hearing or other action taken under this chapter if notice is mailed in a timely fashion to the most recent home or business address furnished to the board by the licensee.
VII. The board may at any time require a licensee or license applicant to provide a detailed, good faith written response to allegations of possible professional misconduct or grounds for non-disciplinary remedial action being investigated by the board. The board may also require the licensee or applicant to provide the board with complete copies of records concerning any patient whose treatment may be material to allegations of possible professional misconduct or grounds for non-disciplinary remedial action being investigated by the board. Licensees and applicants shall respond to either type of request within 15 days from the date of the request, or within such greater time period as the board may specify.
VIII. Any person may file a written complaint with the board which charges that a licensee or license applicant has engaged in professional misconduct or should not be licensed. Such complaints shall be treated as petitions for the commencement of disciplinary proceedings, or if appropriate, non-disciplinary remedial proceedings, shall be investigated by the board, and shall be exempt from the time limitations of RSA 541-A:29. Some or all of the allegations in a complaint may be consolidated with another complaint or with issues which the board wishes to investigate or hear on its own motion. If an investigation of a complaint results in an offer of settlement by the licensee, the board may settle the allegations against the licensee without the consent of a complainant, provided that material facts are not in dispute and the complainant is given an opportunity to comment on the terms of the proposed settlement.
IX. Any health care facility system's deficiencies or concerns identified in the course of an investigation shall be communicated by the board to the administrator of the facility and to the bureau of health facilities administration. This paragraph shall apply only to health care facilities that are licensed under RSA 151.

Source. 1915, 167:13. PL 204:15. RL 250:15. 1951, 27:8. RSA 329:18. 1977, 417:20. 1981, 396:5; 483:7. 1992, 179:10. 1993, 179:9-11. 1994, 412:42. 1995, 286:20, 21. 2005, 154:8. 2009, 206:15. 2015, 276:64, eff. July 1, 2015. 2021, 197:77, eff. July 1, 2021.