Kansas

State report card

The report card for each state contains the scores it received when we evaluated it for how well it protects patients against sexually abusive doctors. The overall rating is the average of the score the state received in each category. In states with two medical boards, one for osteopathic physicians and the other for medical doctors, the overall rating is based on an average of each board’s scores.

Click on the boxes below to read how Kansas did on each category — and how we calculated the score for the categories.

69

State rating (out of 100)

  • Board composition: 60
    Are consumer members included to balance physicians’ tendency to identify with their colleagues? More...
    A blueprint developed by The Federation of State Medical Boards recognized the importance of having independent public members on physician-dominated medical regulatory agencies. To assess the composition of disciplinary agencies, the AJC used three measures, with the most weight given to consumer representation. Top grades went to states where public members make up at least 40 percent of the board; where those members represent consumers and where neither they nor their family members have professional or financial ties to health care; and where women hold at least 40 percent of the board seats.
  • Criminal acts: 48
    Are medical regulators and law enforcement made aware of doctors’ criminal conduct? More...
    The medical profession has long recognized the power imbalance between doctors and patients. But only in recent years have states enacted three key laws to try to protect vulnerable patients from dangerous doctors. The AJC considered two of these laws the most important. Top grades went to states where physicians must undergo criminal background checks, with fingerprints, at initial license application and periodically; and where doctor-patient sexual contact has been made a criminal offense in recognition that patients cannot give meaningful consent. In addition, the AJC also rated states on whether medical boards that learn of allegations of criminal conduct must alert law enforcement.
  • Discipline laws: 81
    Do state laws strengthen oversight and discipline of problem physicians? More...
    Abusive physicians can be protected by laws that limit regulators’ ability to investigate cases and don’t require permanent revocation of doctor licenses for egregious offenses. To assess the legal environment for doctor discipline, the AJC examined four key laws. Top grades went to states that require permanent revocation of doctor licenses for some violations; where physicians who have been convicted of felonies or who have lost their licenses in other states cannot be licensed; where medical regulators are entitled to records and other proceedings of hospital peer review committees that examine doctor misconduct; and where there is a reasonable standard of proof required for disciplinary action against physicians, especially in sexual misconduct cases where there may be no independent witnesses.
    • Does state law require revocation for some violations? Can revocation be permanent?: 18 of 25
      After three years, physicians whose licenses are revoked can reapply. While state law says the board must revoke a physician's license following conviction of felony or substantially similar offenses, it also says that a two-thirds majority of board members present can reinstate the doctor. In such cases, the licensee must prove by clear and convincing evidence they will not pose a threat and have been rehabilitated.

More from Kansas

Highlighted case

Dr. Louis M. Culp

According to a 2001 Board of Healing Arts order, Culp pinched a patient's nipples and made inappropriate comments when she was seeing him about a work injury. When she was clothed he put a tuning fork on her crotch and asked if it excited her. Then he opened her pants and digitally penetrated her. He was charged with rape in Wyandotte County, according to the order. It also cites complaints of violations with another female patient. Later that year, the board revoked Culp's license.

He was later sent to prison when he refused to acknowledge responsibility and so wasn’t deemed eligible for a therapy program.

Allegations against Culp date back to at least 1998, when patients complained he made inappropriate remarks of a sexual nature, but the board decided these didn’t merit any restrictions on his license.

Culp died in 2013 at the age of 88.

Researching a doctor

  • Accurate records of sexual abuse accusations against doctors are not always easily accessible. In Kansas, the best chance of finding problems is to search the records offered by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts. Please note that license search results typically include all public disciplinary actions, not just those involving sexual misconduct, and can sometimes include vague language. Also, some states deal with some disciplinary issues privately; private board orders are not included.

Complaint process

The board said it will review anonymous complaints. But its website warns that anonymous ones are very difficult to investigate. The online complaint form says that if the complaint involves unprofessional conduct, such as sexual misconduct, the case is reviewed by a staff attorney to determine whether there is sufficient evidence of a violation, then is reviewed by a board panel. Those filing a complaint also are advised they must agree to testify in any hearings that may result.

Where to file a complaint

Quoted

"The Presiding Officer also considers that [the doctor’s] alleged misconduct has only been with female patients…”

— The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, in its 2013 decision to lift the emergency suspension of a doctor and allow him to treat male patients. A few days later, it again modified its order, saying he could treat female patient if a nurse chaperone was present. Among the complaints against him: A patient said that after he asked her to disrobe completely with no gown, he touched her pubic hair and said “nice”; asked her if she used sex toys and told her how long it had been since he'd had sex with his wife.

Key fact

Kansas redacts and marks as confidential large portions of some medical board orders, including the terms under which doctors may practice when they are on probation.

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