Division of Legislative Audit
Report Digest #08-30059-11
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|A Special Report on the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED); Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing (DCBPL); State Medical Board (SMB), June 16, 2011
PURPOSE OF THE REPORT
In accordance with Title 24 of the Alaska Statutes and a special request by the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, we have conducted a performance audit to determine:
(1) whether SMB complaints are processed in a timely, efficient, and effective manner;
(2) whether the SMB applies disciplinary sanctions consistently in both adjudicated and
non-adjudicated cases; (3) whether SMB disciplinary actions are reported to the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Practitioners Data Bank (NPDB) as required by state and federal laws; and (4) whether the SMB executive administratorís decisions to initiate a complaint against a licensee for a license renewal application issue are reasonable.
Based on our audit, we determined:
- Complaints are not processed in a timely, efficient, and effective manner.
- SMB disciplinary sanctions are consistently applied to both adjudicated and
- SMB disciplinary actions are not reported to FSMB and the NPDB in accordance with state and federal laws.
- Complaints initiated by the SMB executive administrator regarding license renewal application issues are reasonable.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
- SMB disciplinary sanctions and reporting to FSMB and the NPDB are now similar to other states.
Recommendation No. 1
DCBPLís director should implement improvements over complaint processing.
The DCBPL Investigation Unitís SMB complaint processing is untimely, has inefficiencies, and, in some cases, is ineffective. In summary, DCBPLís director should:
- Establish regulatory timelines for processing complaints.
- Address inefficiencies in obtaining evidentiary documents.
- Implement oversight of the Investigation Unitís workload, including staff assignments.
- Address the case management system deficiencies.
Recommendation No. 2
- Assess the processing of complaints from external sources.
DCBPLís director should implement procedures to ensure SMB disciplinary actions are reported in accordance with state and federal laws.
Four of 18 cases with SMB disciplinary actions were not reported to one or both national data banks, and most of those reported were not submitted within the 30-day timeframe. Additionally, a board order was reported to FSMB and the NPDB when not required under state and federal laws.
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