DOH acted arbitrarily in denial of medical license.


Byline: Barry Bridges

The Rhode Island Department of Health and its Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline was arbitrary and capricious in conditioning a physician's relicensure on his successful completion of a competency assessment, according to the Superior Court judge who weighed the doctor's appeal of the decision.

The plaintiff, Dr. William Kyros, agreed to stop practicing medicine in 2009 following complaints of boundary violations with patients and then spent the next several years seeking treatment and psychiatric care in an effort to regain his ability to see patients.

But the board was generally nonresponsive to Kyros' inquiries on reinstatement, and when it finally held a formal hearing on the issue in 2018 and denied his relicensure, he was advised of the need for a competency assessment to aid in the ongoing proceedings.

Not happy with that turn of events, Kyros took the matter to court, claiming an abuse of discretion.

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CASE: Kyros v. Rhode Island Department of Health, et al., Lawyers Weekly No. 61-124-19 (13 pages)

COURT: Superior Court

ISSUE: Was it arbitrary and capricious for the Department of Health's Medical Licensing Board to require that a doctor complete a clinical competency assessment as a condition of his relicensure?

DECISION: Yes, as there was no competent evidence in the record to support the penalty[/box]

Judge Jeffrey A. Lanphear agreed. In parsing the record, he found the board's decision to be "devoid of nearly any evidence that Dr. Kyros is not clinically competent." Moreover, he was dismayed by the "circuitous and extensive" bureaucratic route that Kyros had been traversing for nearly a decade as he worked to reclaim his livelihood.

"[T]he court is very concerned about the extensive license deprivation here," Lanphear wrote. "The Board created a situation where Dr. Kyros was unable to understand and fulfill what it wanted for over nine years. Dr. Kyros repeatedly attempted to follow the recommendations of various doctors to appease the Board, with little response from the Board."

In reversing the decision that would have cost Kyros approximately $28,000, the judge also tossed a $2,000 administrative fee levied against the doctor for the hearing costs as he was not "found guilty of unprofessional conduct" under the sanctions statute, G.L. 5-37-6.3(8).

Representing Kyros is Jackson C. Parmenter of Providence.

"This decision sends a clear message to the...

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