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Meeting of the Board of Regents | May 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008 - 11:00pm

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The Professional Practice Committee


Frank Muñoz


Update on Corporate Practice Issues


May 1, 2008


Goal 3






Issue for Discussion


This item presents a periodic update and the opportunity for discussion of evolving issues related to the increased involvement in and influence on the practice of the professions by unlicensed entities.


Reason(s) for Consideration


For information.


Proposed Handling


This item will be discussed at the May 2008 meeting of the Professional Practice Committee.


Procedural History


              The Professional Practice Committee is responsible for oversight of the practice of the licensed professions.  The authority to practice a Title VIII profession is limited to those who meet the standards set forth in the Education Law, Regents Rules and the Regulations of the Commissioner.  Individuals and entities not meeting those standards and who are not authorized to practice are prohibited from offering or providing professional services.  Currently, many unlicensed enterprises have engaged in activities that pose a risk of either unlicensed practice per se or of compromising the professional independence of Title VIII licensees.  This Committee acts upon cases involving licensees who have aided or abetted unlicensed practice and also informs the Department with respect to policies relating to unlicensed practice.


Background Information


In the past several years, we have seen a variety of attempts by unlicensed business corporations to provide professional services in New York.  Initially, we saw unauthorized entities providing or attempting to provide public accounting services.  Later, a similar business model was used to attempt to provide physical therapy services.  In those instances, the Department acted, to ensure that professional independence was preserved and that unlicensed practice was prohibited.  Ultimately, both of those ventures failed in New York, but the practice management model upon which they were based has continued.


In recent years, we have seen business corporations attempt to provide medical services directly to inmates of correctional institutions.  After extensive involvement by the Office of the Professions and Office of Counsel, those service arrangements have been modified so that all medical services are provided directly by a medical professional corporation; only the associated management services are provided through a business corporation.


Among more recent corporate practice issues confronting the Department are efforts by business corporations to provide medical services in retail establishments and to form “paper” professional corporations for the purpose of falsely billing Medicaid and other insurance funds.  The Department is working with other agencies to ensure professional independence, competent patient care, and justified insurance billing in all settings.


The Office of the Professions will continue to update the Committee on developments in this area and will present for the Committee’s consideration major policy determinations or the development of any regulations which may become necessary in the future.