Protecting Your License In An Administrative Investigation
As a doctor or a physician assistant, if you hear from the Office of Professional Medical Conduct, you know it is not good news. If you are another type of medical professional, it is the New York State Office of the Professions that you do not want to hear from. You spend your career trying to avoid the scrutiny of these offices. You know that your license and your livelihood might be on the line.
The team at Kutner Friedrich, LLP, is here to help you through the process. We have decades of collective experience representing medical professionals of all disciplines, both in litigation and during administrative investigations and hearings. Our office in Manhattan serves the health care community in all five boroughs as well as the surrounding counties of Suffolk, Westchester and Nassau. We also represent legal professionals facing malpractice and administrative penalties.
What Does The Board Consider Misconduct?
Both of these professional boards have a mission to protect health care patients from negligence and unethical conduct by medical professionals. In most cases, a complaint comes to them from a patient or their family member. Complaints can take many forms. Examples include:
- Performing unnecessary or unauthorized work
- Releasing a patient’s confidential information without permission
- Committing an act of gross incompetence or gross negligence
- Practicing while drinking or taking illegal drugs
These are just a few of many examples. If you have received a complaint, we would be happy to discuss the specifics of your case with you. We will help you understand the legal ramifications and discuss next steps. If the complaint accompanies a medical malpractice suit or a claim of dental malpractice, we can explain how these separate claims work together.
Understanding The Administrative Process
Once the relevant board receives a complaint, they will investigate. The process is very similar with both boards. With investigations of doctors, the investigators will look for sufficient evidence of the alleged misconduct to present to an investigation committee. The committee then makes a recommendation to the director, which may include:
- Nondisciplinary warnings or consultations: This may include some sort of written warning or professional recommendation for improving your practice.
- Dismissal of the matter: This often happens in cases of insufficient evidence of misconduct and the case is closed.
- Additional investigation: The investigators may find that they do not have enough information to make a decision and continue their investigation until they reach a conclusion regarding dismissal or some disciplinary outcome.
- A hearing before the board: If the investigators find evidence of misconduct, they will bring charges and schedule a disciplinary hearing before the Board of Professional Medical Conduct.
Penalties may include suspension or revocation of your license. The board may also choose to limit your license in some way, issue a fine or require you to attend certain training.
Standing By You During An Administrative Hearing
If you arrive at the point where you must attend an administrative hearing, most likely, you are facing trouble. We do all we can to avoid this step by mounting a strong defense at the outset. If you do face a hearing, that is when our decades of courtroom experience serve you best. We will be with you every step of the way. You may appeal the outcome of your administrative hearing to an Administrative Review Board.
Time Is Of The Essence
You likely have limited time to respond to a complaint and investigation, so the sooner you contact our office the better. Schedule an appointment as soon as possible by calling 917-730-7020 or sending us an online message.