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What To Do If A Complaint Is Filed Against You With The Department Of Health (DOH)

There is a difference between an administrative complaint and the initial complaint. An administrative complaint is filed by the relevant board after a probable cause panel determines that there is merit in the initial complaint. An initial complaint filed with DOH and is usually a complaint made by a prior patient, or a complaint made by your employer or colleague accusing you of violating some provision of the practice act.

These initial complaints filed with the Department of Health (DOH) are very serious and cannot be pushed aside. Once an initial complaint is filed an investigator is assigned. The investigator generally writes you a letter and asks for you to call him/her or states that you “may” respond in writing within 20 days. The critical word is MAY. You are not required to respond to the investigator other than to send in a copy of your current resume. However, if you want the best shot at having the probable cause panel dismiss your case or offer you a letter of concern, you will need to contact a professional licensing attorney. The decision of whether or not to respond depends on a lot of factors including the allegation, the weight of the evidence against you, the potential for obtaining a good result, the evidence that supports you, etc. You never want to make a false statement or say something that can be used against you at a later date. However, if you prepare a complete response that offers a proper explanation to the relevant board, you create an opportunity for the board to find no probable cause and dismiss the initial complaint. Additionally, you have the right to ask for discovery and respond after you receive all of the evidence used by the DOH to formulate the complaint. (more information about DOH investigations).

The key point is the opportunity to stop an administrative complaint before it is filed. Do not waste the opportunity; call a professional licensing attorney. Often professionals call us after they responded and in reading their response they made adverse statements that prevented us from helping. Don’t squander the opportunity to beat the complaint before it becomes an administrative complaint. (more information about administrative complaints).

Chart of Florida Administrative Complaint Process [click to enlarge]

Chart of Florida Administrative Complaint Process for Health Professionals

Chart of Michigan’s Administrative Complaint Process [click to enlarge]

Chart of Michigan's Administrative Complaint Process for Health Professionals