Iowa Practitioner Program
The Dental Board established the Iowa Practitioner Review Committee (IPRC) to evaluate, assist and monitor the recovery or rehabilitation of dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants who self-report possible impairments.
Under Board rules, "impairment" means an inability to practice dentistry, dental hygiene, or dental assisting with reasonable safety and skill as a result of alcohol or drug abuse, dependency, or addiction, or any mental or physical disorder or disability. "Self report" means the licensee providing written or oral notifications to the Board that the licensee has been or may be diagnosed as having an impairment prior to the Board's receiving a complaint or report alleging an impairment prior to the date of self-report.
Self reports made by licensees are reviewed by the Iowa Practitioner Review Committee to determine eligibility for participation in the Recovery Program. The IPRC then designs an individualized recovery or rehabilitation program to meet the specific needs of the licensee.
State law mandates that information in the possession of the IPRC be kept confidential. Accordingly, participation in the program is not a matter of public record.
Criteria for Participation in the Program
The IPRC is responsible for determining whether practitioners meet the criteria for participation in a recovery or rehabilitation program monitored by the committee. A person is deemed ineligible to participate in the IPRC for any of the following reasons:
- The practitioner engaged in the unlawful diversion or distribution of controlled illegal substances to a third party, or for personal gain or profit;
- The practitioner is already under a Board order;
- The practitioner has caused harm or injury to a patient;
- There is currently a Board investigation of the practitioner that concerns serious matters related to the practitioner's competence;
- The practitioner failed to provide truthful information or to fully cooperate with the Board or the IPRC; or
- The practitioner has been subject to a civil administrative or criminal sanction for actions the committee determined to be serious infractions or law, professional ethics, or administrative rules related to the practice.
The Recovery Contract
Based upon the recommendation of an IPRC-approved evaluator, an individualized contract is established which provides a detailed description of the goals of the program, requirements for successful completion, and the practitioner's obligations therein. Practitioners who are not compliant with the terms of their contract may be referred to the Dental Board for consideration of disciplinary action.
The chairperson of the Board appoints the members of the IPRC. The IPRC includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Executive Director of the Board or the director's designee from the Board's staff;
- A practitioner who has remained free of addiction for a period of no less than two years since successfully completing a recovery program for drug or alcohol dependency, addiction, or abuse;
- A physician/counselor with expertise in substance abuse/addiction treatment programs;
- A psychiatrist or psychologist; and
- A public member.
Why Use The Iowa Practitioner Recovery Program?
The program is designed to encourage practitioners who have impairments to get the help they need. All information received by the IPRC remains confidential as long as the practitioner complies with the terms of a IPRC-approved treatment program.
By self-reporting an impairment to the IPRC, the practitioner avoids the imposition of formal disciplinary action by the Dental Board. Formal disciplinary action taken against a practitioner is a matter of public record and is reported to the press, the National Practitioners Data Bank, insurance companies, and to other state and federal authorities. Participation in the program, however, is confidential.
In addition, other health care practitioners are required by law to report knowledge of another practitioner's possible impairment to the Board. Health care practitioners who fail to report colleagues with a possible impairment may be subject themselves to disciplinary action by the Board. Therefore, it is in the practitioner's best interest to self-report an impairment before a complaint or report is filed by someone else.
When Should Someone Self-Report to the IPRC and How?
If a practitioner has been involved in any of the following, it is in that person's best interest to self-report to the IPRC as soon as possible:
- Charged with, and/or arrested for, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or for another alcohol or drug related offense;
- Disciplined by another federal or state agency for alcohol or drug abuse;
- Evaluated or treated for alcohol or drug abuse or dependency, or is currently enrolled in a rehabilitation program;
- Diagnosed with a mental or physical disorder or disability;
- Practiced after drinking alcohol or taking an illegal or mind/mood altering substance;
- Addiction/dependence on drugs, alcohol or prescription medication; and/or
- Urged by friend, family or colleagues to get help for alcohol or drug abuse, or a mental or physical disorder.
To self-report, a dentist, dental hygienist, or dental assistant may:
- Download the self-report form and mail it to the Board office;
- Call to receive confidential information and ask questions (515-725-4112); or
- Email questions to IPRC at Angela.Davidson@iowa.gov.