If you have received a notice of a formal complaint against you involving your work as a medical professional, you may not know where to turn next. These can be serious allegations that could have a real detrimental impact on your license, career, reputation, and your livelihood. You've worked hard throughout your education and professional career to uphold the duties and responsibilities of your profession.
You do not have to go through the process alone. Many physicians, dentists, and pharmacists think that all they have to do is explain what happened, and the voice of reason will carry them through to a favorable resolution. The process of a disciplinary proceeding is not as straightforward as it would seem. Experience has shown that getting legal representation as early as possible in the investigation will give you the best chance at success. I have been representing medical professionals before licensing and disciplinary proceedings for more than a decade, and will be able to clearly explain the entire process so that you'll know what to expect throughout.
No-Obligation Case Assessment
It is important to take a disciplinary complaint seriously, but it is not the end of the world. I offer a no-obligation consultation. After speaking with you about the specifics of your case, I can give you a clear understanding about what to expect going forward, and how to ensure your best possible chances for keeping your license and your professional reputation intact. The earlier you talk to an experienced lawyer the better, because everything you say can have an effect on your case.
If your case also involves allegations of medical malpractice, your insurance carrier will likely be representing you for those civil claims, but that representation will not extend to cover disciplinary proceedings. The two proceedings are distinct and separate, although they may involve many of the same issues.
What to Expect
In Washington State, disciplinary proceedings involving healthcare professionals are governed by the Department of Health. Together with various boards and commissions, they have the authority to discipline healthcare professionals. After a complaint is received, they will review and investigate the case to determine whether there has been a violation and if they have the legal authority to take action.
The process is governed by the Administrative Procedure Act. If the evidence does not support the complaint, then the matter is closed. However, if the Secretary of the Department of Health believes that violations have occurred, then the matter is presented to a panel for approval to take action against the provider. As soon as you become aware of an investigation, you should consult an experienced attorney skilled in representing medical professionals before administrative proceedings. Penalties could include mandatory fines, counseling, training, practice limitations, suspension from practice, or revocation of the license.
This is intended to give you a general overview of what your case might involve. However, each case is unique, based on specific facts and circumstances. During your no-obligation assessment, I will be able to more fully analyze your case, and provide you with a clear understanding of what to expect going forward, explain all options, and help you obtain the best possible outcome.
More information on the Washington State Department of Health complaint and disciplinary process can be found at: http://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/FileComplaintAboutProviderorFacility