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(1) In addition to those forms of unprofessional conduct defined in 37-1-316, MCA, the following is unprofessional conduct for a licensee or license applicant under Title 37, chapter 25, MCA:

(a) conviction, including conviction following a plea of nolo contendere, of an offense involving moral turpitude whether misdemeanor or felony, and whether or not an appeal is pending;

(b) fraud, misrepresentation, deception, or concealment of a material fact in applying for or securing a license or license renewal, or in taking an examination required for licensure. As used herein, "material" means any false or misleading statement or information;

(c) conduct likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public;

(d) making a false or misleading statement regarding the licensee's skill or the effectiveness or value of the treatment or remedy prescribed by the licensee, or at the licensee's direction in the treatment of a disease or other condition of the body or mind;

(e) resorting to fraud, misrepresentation, or deception in the examination or treatment of a person; or in billing, giving, or receiving a fee related to professional services; or reporting to a person, company, institution, or organization, including fraud, misrepresentation, or deception with regard to a claim for benefits under Title 39, chapter 71 or 72, MCA;

(f) use of a false, fraudulent, or deceptive statement in any document connected with the practice of dietetics-nutrition;

(g) having been subject to disciplinary action of another state or jurisdiction against a license or other authorization to practice dietetics-nutrition, based upon acts or conduct by the licensee similar to acts or conduct that would constitute grounds for disciplinary action under Title 37, chapter 25, MCA, or these rules. A certified copy of the record of the action taken by the other state or jurisdiction is evidence of unprofessional conduct;

(h) willful disobedience of a rule adopted by the board, or an order of the board regarding enforcement of discipline of a licensee;

(i) habitual intemperance or excessive use of an addictive drug, alcohol, or any other substance to the extent that the use impairs the user physically or mentally;

(j) failing to furnish to the board or its investigators or representatives information legally requested by the board;

(k) failing to cooperate with a lawful investigation conducted by the board;

(l) failing to report to the board any adverse judgment, settlement, or award arising from a medical liability claim or other unprofessional conduct;

(m) obtaining a fee or other compensation, either directly or indirectly, by the misrepresentation that a manifestly incurable disease, injury, or condition of a person can be cured;

(n) abusive billing practices;

(o) commission of an act of sexual abuse, misconduct, or exploitation by the licensee, whether or not related to the licensee's practice of dietetics-nutrition;

(p) conviction or violation of a federal or state law regulating the possession, distribution, or use of any drug or any controlled substance as defined by the federal Food and Drug Administration or successors, whether or not an appeal is pending;

(q) testifying in court on a contingency basis;

(r) conspiring to misrepresent or willfully misrepresenting medical conditions improperly to increase or decrease a settlement, award, verdict, or judgment;

(s) except as provided in this subsection, practicing dietetics-nutrition as the partner, agent, or employee of, or in joint venture with, a person who does not hold a license to practice dietetics-nutrition within this state; however, this does not prohibit:

(i) the incorporation of an individual licensee or group of licensees as a professional service corporation under Title 35, chapter 4, MCA; or

(ii) the organization of a professional limited liability company under Title 35, chapter 8, MCA, for the providing of professional services as defined in Title 35, chapter 8, MCA; or

(iii) practicing dietetics-nutrition as the partner, agent, or employee of, or in joint venture with, a hospital, medical assistance facility, or other licensed health care provider; however,

(A) the partnership, agency, employment, or joint venture must be evidenced by a written agreement containing language to the effect that the relationship created by the agreement may not affect the exercise of the nutritionist's independent judgment in the practice of dietetics-nutrition; and

(B) the nutritionist's independent judgment in the practice of dietetics-nutrition must in fact be unaffected by the relationship; and

(C) the nutritionist may not be required to refer any patient to a particular provider or supplier or take any other action that the nutritionist determines not to be in the patient's best interest;

(t) failing to transfer pertinent and necessary patient records to another licensed health care provider, the patient, or the patient's representative when requested to do so by the patient or the patient's legally designated representative;

(u) practicing dietetics-nutrition as a registered or licensed nutritionist in this state without a current active Montana license; such unlicensed practice shall be grounds for denial of a license to that individual if the application is made subsequent to such conduct;

(v) terminating an existing relationship with a patient, for whatever reason, without verifiable written notice prior to terminating the relationship, and sufficiently far in advance to allow other dietetics-nutrition care to be secured;

(w) failing to place patient health records in a secure location preceding, during, or following a change in practice location or termination of a patient relationship or a dietetics-nutrition practice; or knowingly breaching confidentiality of patient health records with an individual unauthorized to receive health records; or

(x) any other act, whether specifically enumerated or not, that in fact constitutes unprofessional conduct.


History: 37-1-319, 37-25-201, MCA; IMP, 37-1-316, 37-25-308, MCA; NEW, 1996 MAR p. 269, Eff. 11/23/95; TRANS, 1996 MAR p. 2279, Eff. 8/23/96; TRANS, from Commerce, 2001 MAR p. 1471; AMD, 2014 MAR p. 2833, Eff. 11/21/14; AMD, 2017 MAR p. 487, Eff. 4/29/17.

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