The mission of the Kentucky Board of Nursing (KBN) is public protection and, as such, the Board is charged with investigating and acting upon complaints against nurses.
Complaints Against Nurses Process
Kentucky is a mandatory reporting state. The mandatory reporting requirement found in KRS 314.031(4) requires any nurse, employer of nurses or any person to report to KBN any possible violations of KRS Chapter 314, as set forth in subsections (4)(a) through (4)(k).
HIPAA and KBN's Subpoena power?
In response to inquiries concerning HIPAA and KBN's subpoena power pursuant to KRS 314.091, it is the determination of the Board that pursuant to federal regulation 45 CFR 164.512 the Kentucky Board of Nursing is a Health Oversight Agency engaged in oversight activities authorized by law. Consequently, the patient authorization requirements of HIPAA do not apply to KBN.
Furthermore, as a law enforcement agency engaged in law enforcement activities, a covered entity under HIPAA must comply with an administrative subpoena as issued by KBN, if the following assurances are made by the agency, which are typically given:
- The information is relevant and material to a legitimate enforcement inquiry;
- The request is specific and limited in scope to the extent reasonably practicable in light of the purpose for which the information is sought; and
- De-identified information could not reasonably be used.
KRS 314.031 makes reporting of complaints against nurses to KBN mandatory. KRS 314.091(3) gives KBN the power and authority to issue subpoenas to compel the production of documents in the conduct of an investigation. This subpoena is enforceable by the Circuit Court as for contempt. Failure to comply with this subpoena will result in an action for contempt being filed in the Circuit Court.
Who Is Required To Report?
- Any nurse, employer of nurses or any person person having knowledge of facts of a violation of KRS 314.031.
Who Files the Complaints?
- Director of Health Care Agency
- KBN Internal/Administrative
- Police Department
- Other Board of Nursing
- Other Administrative Agency
What Should Be Reported?
Complaints Against Someone Other Than a Nurse
If your complaint is against someone other than a licensed nurse, you may wish to contact the appropriate regulatory board.
If your complaint is against a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA), hospital or other health care facility, the complaint should be directed to the Division of Licensing and Regulation of the Cabinet for Health Services (502-564-2888).
If your complaint involves the rendering of nursing services by someone who you feel is not duly licensed, this information should be forwarded to KBN.