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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 53 Pa.B. 6142 (September 30, 2023).

49 Pa. Code § 16.61. Unprofessional and immoral conduct.


§ 16.61. Unprofessional and immoral conduct.

 (a)  A Board-regulated practitioner who engages in unprofessional or immoral conduct is subject to disciplinary action under section 41 of the act (63 P. S. §  422.41). Unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

   (1)  Revealing personally identifiable facts, obtained as the result of a practitioner-patient relationship, without the prior consent of the patient, except as authorized or required by statute.

   (2)  Violating a statute, or a regulation adopted thereunder, which imposes a standard for the practice of the healing arts as regulated by the Board in this Commonwealth. The Board, in reaching a decision on whether there has been a violation of a statute, rule or regulation, will be guided by adjudications of the agency or court which administers or enforces the standard.

   (3)  Performing a medical act or treatment regimen incompetently or performing a medical act or treatment regimen which the Board-regulated practitioner knows or has reason to know that the practitioner is not competent to perform.

   (4)  Unconditionally guaranteeing that a cure will result from the performance of medical services or treatment regimen.

   (5)  Advertising of a medical business which is intended to or has a tendency to deceive the public.

   (6)  Practicing the healing arts fraudulently, or with reckless indifference to the interests of a patient on a particular occasion, or with negligence on repeated occasions.

   (7)  Practicing the healing arts while the ability to practice is impaired by alcohol, drugs or physical or mental disability.

   (8)  Knowingly permitting, aiding or abetting a person who is not licensed or certified, or exempt from license or certification requirements, to perform activities requiring a license or certification in a health care practice.

   (9)  Continuing to practice while the Board-regulated practitioner’s license or certificate has expired, is not registered or is suspended or revoked.

   (10)  Impersonating another health-care practitioner.

   (11)  Possessing, using, prescribing for use or distributing a controlled substance or a legend drug in a way other than for an acceptable medical purpose. An acceptable experimental purpose is considered an acceptable medical purpose.

   (12)  Offering, undertaking or agreeing to cure or treat a disease by a secret method, procedure, treatment or medicine, or the treating, operating or prescribing for a human condition by a method, means or procedure which the licensee refuses to divulge to the Board upon demand of the Board.

   (13)  Charging a patient or a third-party payor for a medical service or treatment regimen not performed. This paragraph does not apply to charging for an unkept office visit.

   (14)  Delegating a medical responsibility to a person when the physician knows or has reason to know that the person is not qualified by training, experience, license or certification to perform the delegated task.

   (15)  Failing to exercise appropriate supervision over a person who is authorized to practice only under the supervision of the physician.

   (16)  Willfully harassing, abusing or intimidating a patient.

   (17)  Abandoning a patient. Abandonment occurs when a physician withdraws his services after a physician-patient relationship has been established, by failing to give notice to the patient of the physician’s intention to withdraw in sufficient time to allow the patient to obtain necessary medical care. Abandonment also occurs when a physician leaves the employment of a group practice, hospital, clinic or other health-care facility, without the physician giving reasonable notice and under circumstances which seriously impair the delivery of medical care to patients.

   (18)  Failing to make available to the patient or to another designated health care practitioner, upon a patient’s written request, the medical record or a copy of the medical record relating to the patient which is in the possession or under the control of the Board-regulated practitioner; or failing to complete those forms or reports, or components of forms or reports, which are required to be completed by the Board-regulated practitioner as a precondition to the reimbursement or direct payment by a third party of the expenses of a patient that result from the practice of the healing arts. Reasonable fees may be charged for making available copies, forms or reports. Prior payment for professional services to which the records relate—this does not apply to fees charged for reports—may not be required as a condition for making the records available. A Board-regulated practioner may withhold information from a patient if, in the reasonable exercise of his professional judgment, he believes release of the information would adversely affect the patient’s health.

   (19)  Violating a provision of this chapter, Chapter 17 or Chapter 18 (relating to State Board of Medicine—medical doctors; or State Board of Medicine—practitioners other than medical doctors) fixing a standard of professional conduct.

 (b)  Immoral conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

   (1)  Misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact in obtaining a license or a certificate issued by the Board or a reinstatement thereof.

   (2)  The commission of an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption when the act directly or indirectly affects the health, welfare or safety of citizens of this Commonwealth. If the act constitutes a crime, conviction thereof in a criminal proceeding is not a condition precedent to disciplinary action.


   The provisions of this §  16.61 amended under section 51.1(d) of the Medicial Practice Act of 1985 (63 P. S. §  422.51a(d)).


   The provisions of this §  16.61 amended July 13, 2007, effective July 14, 2007, 37 Pa.B. 3230. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (311629) to (311630) and (261709).

Cross References

   This section cited in 28 Pa. Code §  26.4 (relating to procedures); 49 Pa. Code §  18.510 (relating to refusal, suspension or revocation of license); 49 Pa. Code §  18.527 (relating to disciplinary action for licensed behavior specialist); 49 Pa. Code §  18.708 (relating to disciplinary action for applicants and genetic counselors); 49 Pa. Code §  18.811 (relating to graduate permit); 49 Pa. Code §  18.813 (relating to provisional prosthetist license); 49 Pa. Code §  18.814 (relating to prosthetist license); 49 Pa. Code §  18.821 (relating to graduate permit); 49 Pa. Code §  18.823 (relating to provisional orthotist license); 49 Pa. Code §  18.824 (relating to orthotist license); 49 Pa. Code §  18.831 (relating to temporary practice permit); 49 Pa. Code §  18.833 (relating to pedorthist license); 49 Pa. Code §  18.841 (relating to temporary practice permit); 49 Pa. Code §  18.843 (relating to orthotic fitter license); and 49 Pa. Code §  18.853 (relating to unprofessional and immoral conduct).

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