PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
(Medical Quality Assurance Commission)
[Filed July 1, 1998, 10:27 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Sexual misconduct and patient abuse. Sexual contact with patients and patient abuse are violations of the Uniform Disciplinary Act (RCW 18.130.180(24)). These proposed rules would define what constitutes sexual misconduct and patient abuse and establish minimum enforceable standards for physicians and physician assistants.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 18.130.180(24), 18.71.017.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: While RCW 18.130.180(24) has determined sexual contact with patients and patient abuse is unprofessional conduct, these terms are very broad and do not define what constitutes the violation. These rules would establish definitions of behavior that would be defined as sexual misconduct and patient abuse. These rules are needed to ensure protection of the public.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.
Process for Developing New Rule: The commission has conducted two public meetings to allow interested persons to participate in the development of these rules. In addition, the Medical Quality Assurance Commission will solicit information through their publication, the "Update," which is published three times per year and sent to all physicians and physician assistants who hold active licenses in the state of Washington. Interested parties include licensees, the Washington State Medical Association, the University of Washington School of Medicine, all County Medical Societies, and several individual private citizens.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Susan Anthony, Program Manager, Department of Health, Medical Quality Assurance Commission, P.O. Box 47866, Olympia, WA 98504-7866, phone (360) 664-4376, fax (360) 586-4573.
June 19, 1998
Beverly A. Teeter
for Bonnie King