Section 34-14C-6Denial, suspension, or revocation of license; hearing; notice, penalties; appeal.
(a) The board may deny, suspend, or revoke a license as provided in this section.
(b) A license may not be denied, suspended, or revoked except by majority vote of the board and with prior notice and opportunity for hearing in accordance with this chapter and the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act.
(c) The board may institute a hearing for denial, suspension, or revocation of a license or any person may file a written complaint with the board seeking the denial, suspension, or revocation of an application for licensure or license issued by the board or the investigation of any unlicensed person or entity providing home medical equipment services. The complaint shall be in a form prescribed by the board.
(d) A copy of the charges, including notice of the time and place of hearing, shall be served by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least 21 days before the scheduled hearing date to the most recent address of the applicant or licensee on file with the board, or to the last known address of any unlicensed person or entity providing home medical equipment services. If the notice and opportunity for hearing is refused or the return receipt has not been received by the board within 10 days before the scheduled hearing, the applicant, licensee, or unlicensed person or entity may be served by mailing the charges and notice by first class mail, at least seven days before the hearing date, to the most recent address on file with the board, or to the last known address of the unlicensed person or entity providing home medical equipment services.
(e) The board may invoke disciplinary action as outlined in subsection (f) whenever it is established to the satisfaction of the board, after a hearing held in accordance with this chapter and the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act, that any person is guilty of any of the following acts:
(1) Violation of this chapter or a rule of the board.
(2) Making a material misrepresentation in furnishing information to the board.
(3) Making a misrepresentation to obtain licensure or to otherwise violate this chapter.
(4) Conviction of or entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any crime that is a felony under the laws of the United States, or any state or territory of the United States, or to any crime that is a misdemeanor, if an essential element of the crime is dishonesty or is directly related to providing home medical equipment services.
(5) Gross negligence or gross misconduct in providing home medical equipment services.
(6) Aiding, assisting, or willingly permitting another person to violate any provision of this chapter or rule of the board.
(7) Failing, within 30 days, to provide information in response to a written request of the board.
(8) Failing to cooperate with an inspection or with an investigation conducted by the board.
(9) Engaging in dishonorable, unethical, or unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public.
(10) Denial, revocation, suspension, or restriction of a license in another state or jurisdiction to provide home medical equipment services for a reason other than failure to renew the license.
(11) Directly or indirectly giving to or receiving from any person, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity any fee, commission, rebate, or other form of compensation for services not actually or personally rendered.
(12) A finding that a licensee on probationary status has violated the terms of the probation.
(13) Willfully making or filing false records, reports, or billings in the course of providing home medical equipment services including, but not limited to, false records, reports, or billings filed with state or federal agencies or departments.
(14) The use of any words, abbreviations, figures, or letters with the intention of indicating practice as a home medical equipment services provider without having first obtained a license from the board.
(15) Failure to comply with state or federal laws and regulations concerning home medical equipment services providers.
(16) Solicitation of home medical equipment services using false or misleading advertising.
(17) Failure to display a license in accordance with this chapter.
(18) Failure to report a change of name, address, control, ownership, or administration to the board within 30 days after the date of change.
(f) When the board finds any person guilty of any of the grounds set forth in subsection (e), the board may enter an order imposing one or more of the following penalties:
(l) A letter of reprimand.
(2) Imposition of probation for a period of time and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by the board.
(3) Denial of an application for an initial or renewal license.
(4) Suspension of a license for a period of time established by the board, with or without automatic reinstatement.
(5) Revocation of a license.
(6) Payment of restitution to each consumer negatively affected by the prohibited act. Proof of such restitution shall be a signed and notarized release executed by the consumer or the estate of the consumer.
(7) Assessment of the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.
(g) Failure to comply with any final order of the board is also cause for suspension or revocation of a license. The board may suspend or revoke any license which has been issued based on false or fraudulent representations.
(h) The board may informally resolve any alleged violation of this chapter or rule of the board by stipulation, agreed settlement, or consent order, in lieu of an administrative hearing.
(i) Any entity or person found to be providing home medical equipment services without a license as required by this chapter shall be subject to an administrative fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day that services were provided without a license. Funds collected pursuant to this chapter shall be allocated to the administration of the program.
(j) Any entity or person found to be providing home medical equipment services without a license as required by this chapter may be administratively enjoined by the board from providing services until such time as the entity or person complies with this chapter.
(k) In addition to any other disciplinary action authorized by this chapter, the board may levy and collect administrative fines for violations of this chapter or the rules or standards of the board in an amount of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each violation.
(l) Any person or entity violating this chapter, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, and subject to fine or imprisonment, or both.
(m) Any entity or person subject to the penalties prescribed by subsections (i) and (j) may pursue an appeal through the board according to rules promulgated by the board.
(n) Any hearings related to matters before the board shall be conducted in Montgomery County.
(o) In addition to any other penalty or disciplinary action authorized by this chapter, the board may seek an injunction against any person or entity found in violation of this chapter. In an action for an injunction, the board may demand and recover a civil penalty of fifty dollars ($50) per day for each violation, reasonable attorney fees, and court costs. No civil penalty shall be awarded to the board if an administrative fine is assessed pursuant to subsection (i).
(p) Upon the revocation or suspension of a license, the licensee shall immediately surrender the license to the board, and if the licensee fails to do so, the board may seize the license.
(q) Any person aggrieved by an adverse action of the board may appeal the action to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County in accordance with the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act.
(Act 2000-739, p. 1619, §6; Act 2004-441, p. 777, §1; Act 2014-172, §1.)