The Medical Board, Pharmacy Board and Chiropractic Boards in the state of California were established to investigate and prosecute individuals for wrongdoing who are licensed in each of those professions.
Reasons why a medical professional may be subject to a board hearing.
Some of the more common reasons why a medical professional may be investigated can include:
- Sexual misconduct
- Drug, alcohol or prescription drug abuse
- Possession or use of illegal narcotics
- Incompetence or negligence
- Criminal conviction of a crimes substantially related to the practice of medicine
- Falsifying or making grossly incorrect entries on a patient’s chart
- Fiscal dishonesty, theft or fraud including Medicare or Medicaid claims
- Overprescribing or wrongly prescribing drugs to patients
These boards can find that no violation exists or at the far end of the spectrum, can revoke a medical professional’s license for serious offenses. As a professional, your livelihood may be at stake, and so it is critical to retain the services of an experienced board hearings attorney such as The Law Office of Ginger Kelley.
Disciplinary possibilities can be wide ranging
Medical, Pharmacy and Chiropractic boards have a wide range of options when it comes to deciding on penalties if they find sufficient evidence of misconduct exists. An attorney may not always be able to help a client fully escape punishment if they are found to be in the wrong, but many times, they may be able to negotiate with a board to have a lesser penalty put in place. Disciplinary alternatives can involve any of the following actions:
- Case closed – no violation.
- Case closed – violation but no disciplinary action filed
- Case closed through mediation, oftentimes due to misunderstandings and other minor issues
- Case closed letter of warning. Typically involving minor infractions, but without any formal administrative actions
- Case closed – enforcement review. Takes place when there are departures from the standard of care, but not serious enough to warrant referring the case to the Attorney General to file an accusation.
- Letter of reprimand. This will accompany the filing of an Accusation where the violation is relatively minor, but where the professional’s lawyer has also put up a strong defense.
- After an accusation with minor violations has been filed, if no patient harm has taken place and remedial action can satisfactorily close the case, a stipulation may be entered into. Stipulations are considered disciplinary actions and are publicly noticed.
- This results in the professional’s license being revoked but only for a specified time period. Terms of probation must be met or the revocation may become permanent.
- During a suspension, a medical professional may not practice medicine or refer to themselves as a licensed medical professional.
- Interim Suspension Order. These are issued when it is deemed likely that a medical professional poses an immediate threat to the public health, safety and welfare.
- Stipulation to surrender license. Rather than go through an administrative hearing process, a physician may decide to surrender his or her license. The waiting period after surrender is three years.
- This is an outright loss of the medical professional’s license and takes place after serious cases go through an administrative hearing process.
Because the consequences can be devastating to a medical professional’s career, hiring a medical board defense attorney is critical to achieving the best of many possible outcomes.
The Law Office of Ginger Kelley serves clients in Newport Beach, Santa Ana and communities throughout Orange County, California.