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Steps to fight health-licensing board investigations

Obtaining a license in a medical specialty often takes years of schooling, residencies and exams. As a medical professional any board request for information regarding your patients or practice can come as a surprise.

An initial narrow request can also expand into a broad review that leaves your license in jeopardy. The worst case scenario could even include a criminal investigation that culminates with charges related to Medicare fraud, assault or even criminal sexual conduct. When your livelihood is at stake, your first step must be seeking counsel from an attorney who understands professional licensure issues.

Notice of investigation

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is the overarching body that includes 27 boards. The department administers the licenses of more than 400,000 professionals in the state from physician assistants to pharmacists.

Each health-licensing board has a disciplinary subcommittee. These subcommittees investigate licensing violations and decide whether to suspend, revoke or modify a provider's license.

A complaint may come from co-workers who have concerns about your actions. They can also come from a hospital where you have admitting privileges, relatives of a patient or even a person interviewing at your office. A criminal impaired driving conviction can also prompt action.

What is required to stop a licensing investigation?

State regulations changed last year eliminating the practice where board chairmen could unilaterally end an investigation. At least three board members must now review and approve before a licensing investigation can cease.

The Michigan LARA can even overrule a health-licensing board disciplinary committee. However, this only occurs in very limited circumstances affecting public health and welfare.

Most professionals are worried about what they will do if their license is revoked. But even probation can be extremely expensive while the board or another colleague closely supervises all your work.

Get help through the administrative process

Investigations and hearings are different from typical court proceedings. These types of administrative hearings often seem less formal. This can lull medical professionals into the belief they can effectively represent themselves.

It is important to win at the agency level. Mistakes made initially when responding to an investigation or representing yourself at a hearing can ruin any chances on appeal. Fighting unfounded allegations requires a strategy and the assistance of an attorney who is familiar with administrative law.

The attorneys at NachtLaw realize just how critical it is to retain your license. Our experienced attorneys know how to get positive results for medical professionals facing allegations and investigations.

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