Following the lead of other states, West Virginia passed SB 585 in order to give physicians the option of obtaining a non-clinical “administrative medicine” license to practice administrative medicine. An administrative medicine license is a unique limited license, distinguishable from a traditional clinical license. The administrative medicine license gives physicians a means by which to use medical and clinical knowledge, experience, and skill in a non-clinical advisory or administrative role, but such physicians may not practice “clinical medicine,” and accordingly are prohibited from direct involvement in patient evaluation, diagnosis and treatment, prescribing, administering or dispensing medication, delegating medical acts, services or prescriptive authority, or supervising others in the provision of clinical medical services. The administrative medicine license provides flexibility to individuals who no longer seek to actively practice medicine but may be required to maintain a license pursuant to a condition of employment.
In the coming weeks, it is expected that the West Virginia Board of Medicine will set forth the process for obtaining an administrative medicine license. Prior to the implementation of SB 585, there was no such thing as an administrative medicine license in West Virginia; however, a physician could request that a limitation be imposed on his or her license by Consent Order, a disciplinary procedure that gave the appearance of impropriety and typically triggered reporting in other states in which the physician was licensed. This created challenges for a physician serving in an administrative role that did not require the provision of clinical services but did require maintaining a license.
The bill becomes effective on June 8, 2022. If you have questions about an administrative medicine license, please contact the authors of this alert. Also, visit the Steptoe & Johnson Health Care Team on LinkedIn to keep up with the latest development in health care law.