Our medical board defense attorneys represent physicians daily with matters before the medical board, including medical board hearings, investigations, administrative complaints, suspensions, licensure appeals, other disciplinary actions. We have a team of licensing defense attorneys that represent physicians daily with matters before the medical boards in Florida, Michigan, Idaho, and Ohio. Our medical board defense attorneys are passionate about the defense of health care providers and fight aggressively to help physicians protect the medical license, career, and reputation.
When an administrative complaint is filed that seeks to strip a physician of his/her medical license or discipline a physician, the physician has a right to request a hearing. However, you must request a hearing within the specified time or your right to a hearing is waived. There are two types of hearings you can request; an informal hearing before the medical board or a formal hearing before an administrative law judge. Our medical board defense attorneys are experienced in medical licensing defense and medical board hearings and will be able to listen to the facts of your case and determine which type of hearing is best for you. You should contact our medical board defense attorneys immediately if you have received an administrative complaint to ensure that you select the proper hearing and timely file your request for a hearing to preserve your rights.
Option one is an informal hearing before the medical board. The Board of Medicine cannot decide facts at a hearing, therefore an informal hearing before the medical board is only for cases where the physician does not dispute the facts alleged in the administrative complaint or where a physician has entered into a settlement agreement with the medical board. While this is a good option for some, it is not the best option for most.
Even if you do not dispute the allegations contained in the administrative complaint, we strongly advise that you seek assistance from our medical board attorneys. to help negotiate a more favorable settlement or resolution of the complaint. Our medical board defense attorneys may be able to have the case dismissed, have a letter of reprimand issued in lieu of formal action, or greatly reduce sanctions and probation/monitoring requirements.
Option two is a formal hearing before an administrative law judge. Unlike informal hearings, you may dispute the facts alleged in the administrative complaint during a formal hearing. Formal hearings are held before a neutral judge and proceed much like most court proceedings. Because formal hearings are in court and similar to other court proceedings, the rules of evidence, procedure and administrative law code applies. Each party is given an opportunity to present their argument. The physician may present evidence, call witnesses, and cross-examine state’s witnesses.
Following the formal hearing, the Judge will issue a Recommended Order to the Board of Medicine. The Board of Medicine will then issue a final order. The physician has the opportunity to submit exceptions to the Medical Board if he/she disagrees with the Recommended Order. Once the final order is issued by the Board of Medicine, the physician can file an appeal with the District Court of Appeals if he/she disagrees with the Board of Medicine’s final order.
Formal hearings are a great opportunity to present your case and challenge the allegations made against you, however, they require knowledge of administrative code and evidentiary laws to achieve the best outcome. Therefore, we strongly advise against physicians representing themselves in formal administrative hearings. Our medical board defense attorneys are experienced in medical board hearings and ALJ hearings and can aggressively advocate for you to help protect your medical license.
The standard of proof required for the State to succeed at an administrative hearing is much higher than the standard required to simply file an administrative complaint. Therefore, in some cases, a physician may succeed at a formal hearing merely because the State cannot prove their case. Often this is because the State lacks sufficient evidence required to prove the claims alleged in the administrative complaint.
While it may sound easy to represent yourself at a medical board hearing, we strongly advise that you hire a medical board defense attorney. You must fully present your argument in the best possible light to show that you are safe to practice and are not a danger to the public. If you choose to represent yourself, this can be difficult to do. In a formal hearing, you must not only know the facts of your case, but you must also know the law and rules of evidence and know how to spot issues with the opposing party’s argument. You must put forth your best arguments and be prepared to articulate why the opposing party has failed to substantiate their claim. This requires knowledge of the law and the required elements of proof for each claim. You must know how to properly admit your supporting evidence and oppose evidence offered by the State. In an informal hearing before the Board of Medicine, the rules are less stringent, but there are rules and you need to follow them. Presenting your case requires communication skill, knowledge of the facts of the case, and Board procedure. Don’t trust your professional license to an inexperienced person or yourself. We strongly advise that you consider hiring our medical board defense attorneys to help you protect your medical license.
We understand that the cost of a medical board defense attorney may discourage some physicians from seeking legal representation; however, the cost of negative licensing action is often far greater than the cost of an attorney. Not only can the immediate cost of sanctions be several thousands of dollars, but negative action on your medical license can lead to job loss and exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid, among many other things.
Chapman Law Group is passionate about the defense of health care providers. Our medical board attorneys represent physicians daily before the medical boards and have a depth of experience. Our goal is not only to protect your medical license but to reduce the damage to your medical license, career, and reputation caused by the allegations. Please contact our medical board defense attorneys immediately if you received an administrative complaint or have other issues that require a hearing before the medical board.