FAQs

Who does NDPHP serve?

NDPHP serves physicians, physician assistants and medical students.

What is Impairment?

Impairment is defined as the condition of being unable to perform one’s professional duties and responsibilities in a reasonable manner and consistent with professional standards. Cognitive function, judgement, reaction time, and ability to handle stress are increasingly affected. As impairment progresses the potential for compromised patient care increases.

Impairment may result from dependence or use of mind altering substances; distorted thought processes resulting from mental illness or physical condition; or disruptive social tendencies.

I’m not “impaired.” Why should I enter into a Monitoring Agreement?

A Monitoring Agreement does not require you to be impaired. In fact, our goal is to prevent impairment from occurring. In the past, problems would not be identified until there were significant negative consequences such as lawsuits, loss of licensure or loss of employment. The medical community has become more proactive, recognizing the need to help our providers address concerns before it affects patient care.

Who can refer to NDPHP?

Anyone who has concerns about a healthcare provider with mental health or substance use can refer to NDPHP.

How do I refer a medical professional to the NDPHP?

A person making a referral will be required to provide their name and contact information. However, NDPHP will not share this information unless given consent.

Is the North Dakota Board of Medicine informed of participation with the NDPHP?

No, as long as there is compliance with the Monitoring Agreement. NDPHP will only report an individual who is in violation of the monitoring agreement. The ND Board of Medicine is only aware of the licensees who have been “board ordered” to participate in the program.

Will participation with NDPHP be confidential?

Voluntary participation is kept confidential as long as there is not a threat to patient safety or a violation of the Medical Practice Act.

What is the cost?

Participants are responsible for all assessment and monitoring fees, including the yearly administrative fee of $500. However, insurance may cover services in some circumstances, such as outpatient or residential substance abuse treatment.

Can participants practice medicine?

Participants may be required to refrain from practice during evaluation and treatment. The approval for a return to practice is based on recommendations from treatment providers.

Why does my employer need to know I am involved with NDPHP?

NDPHP relies on your monitoring physician to let us know how you are doing every quarter via a brief behavioral checklist, notifying us if concerns arise. Employers are given information about your illness strictly on a need-to-know basis.

When should a provider be referred to NDPHP?

The NDPHP should be notified if there are concerns about potential impairment.

Am I eligible for NDPHP if I am not working in my profession?

Any provider with an active North Dakota medical license, or UND medical student, is eligible to enroll with NDPHP.