The information on this page was last updated by Horty, Springer & Mattern on September 4, 2019.
Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. §10-1-120 Reporting of medical malpractice claims.
(1) Each insurance company licensed to do business in this state and engaged in the writing of medical malpractice insurance for licensed practitioners shall send to the Colorado medical board, in the form prescribed by the commissioner of insurance, information relating to each medical malpractice claim against a licensed practitioner that is settled or in which judgment is rendered against the insured.
(2) The insurance company shall provide such information as is deemed necessary by the Colorado medical board to conduct a further investigation and hearing.
§12-36-117 Unprofessional conduct.
(1) “Unprofessional conduct” as used in this article 36 means:
(a) Resorting to fraud, misrepresentation, or deception in applying for, securing, renewing, or seeking reinstatement of a license to practice medicine or a license to practice as a physician assistant or an anesthesiologist assistant in this state or any other state, in applying for professional liability coverage, required pursuant to section 13-64-301, or privileges at a hospital, or in taking the examination provided for in this article 36;
(b) Repealed by Laws 2013, Ch. 372, § 3, eff. July 1, 2013.
(c) to (e) Repealed by Laws 1979, S.B.296, § 31.
(f) Any conviction of an offense of moral turpitude, a felony, or a crime that would constitute a violation of this article. For purposes of this paragraph (f), “conviction” includes the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or the imposition of a deferred sentence.
(g) Administering, dispensing, or prescribing any habit-forming drug or any controlled substance as defined in section 18-18-102(5), C.R.S., other than in the course of legitimate professional practice;
(h) Any conviction of violation of any federal or state law regulating the possession, distribution, or use of any controlled substance, as defined in section 18-18-102(5), C.R.S., and, in determining if a license should be denied, revoked, or suspended, or if the licensee should be placed on probation, the board shall be governed by section 24-5-101, C.R.S. For purposes of this paragraph (h), “conviction” includes the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or the imposition of a deferred sentence.
(i) Habitual or excessive use or abuse of alcohol, a habit-forming drug, or a controlled substance as defined in section 18-18-102(5), C.R.S.;
(j) Repealed by Laws 1979, S.B.296, § 31.
(k) The aiding or abetting, in the practice of medicine, of any person not licensed to practice medicine as defined under this article or of any person whose license to practice medicine is suspended;
(l) Repealed by Laws 1979, S.B.296, § 31.
(m)(I) Except as otherwise provided in sections 12-36-134, 25-3-103.7, and 25-3-314, C.R.S., practicing medicine as the partner, agent, or employee of, or in joint venture with, any person who does not hold a license to practice medicine within this state, or practicing medicine as an employee of, or in joint venture with, any partnership or association any of whose partners or associates do not hold a license to practice medicine within this state, or practicing medicine as an employee of or in joint venture with any corporation other than a professional service corporation for the practice of medicine as described in section 12-36-134. Any licensee holding a license to practice medicine in this state may accept employment from any person, partnership, association, or corporation to examine and treat the employees of such person, partnership, association, or corporation.
(II)(A) Nothing in this paragraph (m) shall be construed to permit a professional services corporation for the practice of medicine, as described in section 12-36-134, to practice medicine.
(B) Nothing in this paragraph (m) shall be construed to otherwise create an exception to the corporate practice of medicine doctrine.
(n) Violating, or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly, or assisting in or abetting the violation of or conspiring to violate any provision or term of this article;
(o) Failing to notify the board, as required by section 12-36-118.5(1), of a physical illness; a physical condition; or a behavioral, mental health, or substance use disorder that impacts the licensee’s ability to perform a medical service with reasonable skill and with safety to patients, failing to act within the limitations created by a physical illness; a physical condition; or a behavioral, mental health, or substance use disorder that renders the licensee unable to perform a medical service with reasonable skill and with safety to the patient, or failing to comply with the limitations agreed to under a confidential agreement entered pursuant to section 12-36-118.5;
(p) Any act or omission which fails to meet generally accepted standards of medical practice;
(q) Repealed by Laws 1991, H.B.91-1065, § 3, eff. July 1, 1991.
(r) Engaging in a sexual act with a patient during the course of patient care or within six months immediately following the termination of the licensee’s professional relationship with the patient. “Sexual act”, as used in this paragraph (r), means sexual contact, sexual intrusion, or sexual penetration as defined in section 18-3-401, C.R.S.
(s) Refusal of an attending physician to comply with the terms of a declaration executed by a patient pursuant to the provisions of article 18 of title 15, C.R.S., and failure of the attending physician to transfer care of said patient to another physician;
(t)(I) Violation of abuse of health insurance pursuant to section 18-13-119, C.R.S.; or
(II) Advertising through newspapers, magazines, circulars, direct mail, directories, radio, television, or otherwise that the licensee will perform any act prohibited by section 18-13-119(3), C.R.S.;
(u) Violation of any valid board order or any rule or regulation promulgated by the board in conformance with law;
(v) Dispensing, injecting, or prescribing an anabolic steroid as defined in section 18-18-102(3), C.R.S., for the purpose of the hormonal manipulation that is intended to increase muscle mass, strength, or weight without a medical necessity to do so or for the intended purpose of improving performance in any form of exercise, sport, or game;
(w) Dispensing or injecting an anabolic steroid as defined in section 18-18-102(3), C.R.S., unless such anabolic steroid is dispensed from a pharmacy prescription drug outlet pursuant to a prescription order or is dispensed by any practitioner in the course of his professional practice;
(x) Prescribing, distributing, or giving to a family member or to oneself except on an emergency basis any controlled substance as defined in section 18-18-204, C.R.S., or as contained in schedule II of 21 U.S.C. sec. 812, as amended;
(y) Failing to report to the board, within thirty days after an adverse action, that an adverse action has been taken against the licensee by another licensing agency in another state or country, a peer review body, a health care institution, a professional or medical society or association, a governmental agency, a law enforcement agency, or a court for acts or conduct that would constitute grounds for disciplinary or adverse action as described in this article;
(z) Failing to report to the board, within thirty days, the surrender of a license or other authorization to practice medicine in another state or jurisdiction or the surrender of membership on any medical staff or in any medical or professional association or society while under investigation by any of those authorities or bodies for acts or conduct similar to acts or conduct that would constitute grounds for action as described in this article;
(aa) Failing to accurately answer the questionnaire accompanying the renewal form as required pursuant to section 12-36-123(1)(b);
(bb)(I) Engaging in any of the following activities and practices: Willful and repeated ordering or performance, without clinical justification, of demonstrably unnecessary laboratory tests or studies; the administration, without clinical justification, of treatment which is demonstrably unnecessary; the failure to obtain consultations or perform referrals when failing to do so is not consistent with the standard of care for the profession; or ordering or performing, without clinical justification, any service, X ray, or treatment which is contrary to recognized standards of the practice of medicine as interpreted by the board.
(II) In determining which activities and practices are not consistent with the standard of care or are contrary to recognized standards of the practice of medicine, the board shall utilize, in addition to its own expertise, the standards developed by recognized and established accreditation or review organizations that meet requirements established by the board by rule. Such determinations shall include but not be limited to appropriate ordering of laboratory tests and studies, appropriate ordering of diagnostic tests and studies, appropriate treatment of the medical condition under review, appropriate use of consultations or referrals in patient care, and appropriate creation and maintenance of patient records.
(cc) Falsifying or repeatedly making incorrect essential entries or repeatedly failing to make essential entries on patient records;
(dd) Committing a fraudulent insurance act, as defined in section 10-1-128, C.R.S.;
(ee) Failing to establish and continuously maintain financial responsibility, as required in section 13-64-301, C.R.S.;
(ff) Repealed by Laws 2010, Ch. 172, § 11, eff. April 29, 2010.
(gg) Failing to respond in an honest, materially responsive, and timely manner to a complaint issued pursuant to section 12-36-118(4);
(hh) Advertising in a manner that is misleading, deceptive, or false;
(ii) Repealed by Laws 2009, Ch. 401, § 26, eff. July 1, 2010.
(jj) Any act or omission in the practice of telemedicine that fails to meet generally accepted standards of medical practice;
(kk) Entering into or continuing in a mentorship relationship with an advanced practice nurse pursuant to sections 12-36-106.4 and 12-38-111.6(4.5) that fails to meet generally acceptable standards of medical practice;
(ll) Verifying by signature the articulated plan developed by an advanced practice nurse pursuant to sections 12-36-106.4 and 12-38-111.6(4.5) if the articulated plan fails to comply with the requirements of section 12-38-111.6(4.5)(b)(II);
(mm) Failure to comply with the requirements of section 14 of article XVIII of the state constitution, section 25-1.5-106, C.R.S., or the rules promulgated by the state health agency pursuant to section 25-1.5-106(3), C.R.S.
(nn) Engaging in conversion therapy with a patient who is under eighteen years of age.
(oo)(I) Any suspension of a license pursuant to section 24-4-104(4) as a result of a formal charge for a crime pursuant to title 18, or that under federal law or the law of another state would constitute a crime under title 18, where the board finds the crime is a continuing threat to patient safety.
(II) A suspension issued pursuant to subsection (1)(oo)(I) of this section may be continued until dismissal, acquittal, or conviction of the charges. A hearing on the suspension may not occur until after the dismissal, acquittal, or conviction of such charge unless the licensee opts to proceed to a hearing regarding the suspension.
(1.5)(a) A licensee shall not be subject to disciplinary action by the board solely for prescribing controlled substances for the relief of intractable pain.
(b) For the purposes of this subsection (1.5), “intractable pain” means a pain state in which the cause of the pain cannot be removed and which in the generally accepted course of medical practice no relief or cure of the cause of the pain is possible or none has been found after reasonable efforts including, but not limited to, evaluation by the attending physician and one or more physicians specializing in the treatment of the area, system, or organ of the body perceived as the source of the pain.
(1.7) Repealed by Laws 2015, Ch. 78, § 2, eff. April 3, 2015.
(1.8) A licensee is not subject to disciplinary action by the board for issuing standing orders and protocols regarding the use of epinephrine auto-injectors in a public or nonpublic school in accordance with the requirements of section 22-1-119.5, C.R.S., for the actions taken by a school nurse or by any designated school personnel who administer epinephrine auto-injectors in accordance with the requirements of section 22-1-119.5, C.R.S., or for prescribing epinephrine auto-injectors in accordance with the requirements of article 47 of title 25, C.R.S.
(2) The discipline of a license to practice medicine, of a license to practice as a physician assistant, or of a license to practice as an anesthesiologist assistant in another state, territory, or country shall be deemed to be unprofessional conduct. For purposes of this subsection (2), “discipline” includes any sanction required to be reported pursuant to 45 CFR 60.8. This subsection (2) applies only to discipline that is based upon an act or omission in such other state, territory, or country that is defined substantially the same as unprofessional conduct pursuant to subsection (1) of this section.
(3)(a) For purposes of this section, “alternative medicine” means those health care methods of diagnosis, treatment, or healing that are not generally used but that provide a reasonable potential for therapeutic gain in a patient’s medical condition that is not outweighed by the risk of such methods. A licensee who practices alternative medicine shall inform each patient in writing, during the initial patient contact, of such licensee’s education, experience, and credentials related to the alternative medicine practiced by such licensee. The board shall not take disciplinary action against a licensee solely on the grounds that such licensee practices alternative medicine.
(b) Nothing in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3) prevents disciplinary action against a licensee for practicing medicine, practicing as a physician assistant, or practicing as an anesthesiologist assistant in violation of this article.
§12-36-118 Disciplinary action by board — immunity — rules.
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(3)(a) In the discharge of its duties, the board may enlist the assistance of other licensees. Licensees have the duty to report to the board any licensee known, or upon information and belief, to have violated any of the provisions of section 12-36-117(1); except that a licensee who is treating another licensee for a behavioral, mental health, or substance use disorder or the excessive use of any habit-forming drug, shall not have a duty to report his or her patient unless, in the opinion of the treating licensee, the impaired licensee presents a danger to himself, herself, or others.
(b) Any member of the board, any member of the board’s staff, any person acting as a witness or consultant to the board, any witness testifying in a proceeding authorized under this part 1, and any person who lodges a complaint pursuant to this part 1 shall be immune from liability in any civil action brought against him or her for acts occurring while acting in his or her capacity as board member, staff, consultant, or witness, respectively, if such individual was acting in good faith within the scope of his or her respective capacity, made a reasonable effort to obtain the facts of the matter as to which he or she acted, and acted in the reasonable belief that the action taken by him or her was warranted by the facts. Any person participating in good faith in the making of a complaint or report or participating in any investigative or administrative proceeding pursuant to this section shall be immune from any liability, civil or criminal, that otherwise might result by reason of such participation.
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(4)(b) The board shall cause an investigation to be made when the board is informed of:
(I) Disciplinary actions taken by hospitals to suspend or revoke the privileges of a physician and reported to the board pursuant to section 25-3-107, C.R.S.;
(II) Disciplinary actions taken as a result of a professional review proceeding pursuant to part 1 of article 36.5 of this title against a physician. Such disciplinary actions shall be promptly reported to the board.
(III) An instance of a medical malpractice settlement or judgment against a licensee reported to the board pursuant to section 10-1-120, C.R.S.; or
(IV) Licensees who have been allowed to resign from hospitals for medical misconduct. Such hospitals shall report the same. [Emphasis added.]
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§12-36-118.5 Confidential agreements to limit practice–violation grounds for discipline.
(1) If a physician, physician assistant, or anesthesiologist assistant has a physical illness, physical condition, or behavioral or mental health disorder that renders the licensee unable to practice medicine, practice as a physician assistant, or practice as an anesthesiologist assistant with reasonable skill and with safety to patients, the physician, physician assistant, or anesthesiologist assistant shall notify the board of the physical illness, physical condition, or behavioral or mental health disorder in a manner and within a period determined by the board. The board may require the licensee to submit to an examination or refer the licensee to a peer health assistance program pursuant to section 12-36-123.5 to evaluate the extent of the physical illness, physical condition, or behavioral or mental health disorder and its impact on the licensee’s ability to practice with reasonable skill and with safety to patients.
(2)(a) Upon determining that a physician, physician assistant, or anesthesiologist assistant with a physical illness; a physical condition; or a behavioral or mental health disorder is able to render limited medical services with reasonable skill and with safety to patients, the board may enter into a confidential agreement with the physician, physician assistant, or anesthesiologist assistant in which the physician, physician assistant, or anesthesiologist assistant agrees to limit his or her practice based on the restrictions imposed by the physical illness; the physical condition; or the behavioral or mental health disorder, as determined by the board.
(b) As part of the agreement, the licensee shall be subject to periodic reevaluations or monitoring as determined appropriate by the board. The board may refer the licensee to the peer assistance health program for reevaluation or monitoring.
(c) The parties may modify or dissolve the agreement as necessary based on the results of a reevaluation or of monitoring.
(3) By entering into an agreement with the board pursuant to this section to limit his or her practice, the licensee shall not be deemed to be engaging in unprofessional conduct, and the agreement shall be considered an administrative action and shall not constitute a restriction or discipline by the board. However, if the licensee fails to comply with the terms of an agreement entered into pursuant to this section, such failure constitutes unprofessional conduct pursuant to section 12-36-117(1)(o), and the licensee shall be subject to discipline in accordance with section 12-36-118.
(4) This section shall not apply to a licensee subject to discipline for unprofessional conduct as described in section 12-36-117(1)(i).
§25-3-107 Disciplinary actions reported to Colorado medical board or podiatry board.
(1) Any disciplinary action to suspend, revoke, or otherwise limit the privileges of a licensed physician or podiatrist that is taken by the governing board of a hospital required to be licensed or certified pursuant to this part 1 or required to obtain a certificate of compliance pursuant to section 25-1.5-103(1)(a)(I) or (1)(a)(II) shall be reported to the Colorado medical board or the Colorado podiatry board, whichever board is appropriate, in the form prescribed by said board.
(2) Said hospital shall provide such additional information as is deemed necessary by the Colorado medical board or the Colorado podiatry board to conduct a further investigation and hearing.