Here at Simas & Associates, we help countless medically licensed individuals who are facing disciplinary actions. For each of our clients, we take a unique approach that fits their priorities. To give you a better understanding, we wanted to discuss four of the most significant potential consequences of a medical license disciplinary action.
Public Nature of Action
Simply being under investigation can do damage. Many job or or credentialing applications ask whether the licensee “has been under investigation.” An affirmative answer can be devastating. Even worse is when Medical Board and other boards issue an unproven statement of untested charges called an Accusation. This is publicly posted on the California Medical Board website listing the name, location and alleged charges of wrongdoing. The Accusation stays public during the entire pendency of the case, and even after if discipline is taken or the case is settled.
Thereafter, the licensee will have to disclose this discipline in the future and will have to continually overcome its negative consequences.
Restriction of Practice
One of the most commonly feared results of a medical license hearing is the limitation of a licensee’s ability to practice. License discipline can result in suspension, revocation, and most frequently probation. This means that a medical professional, either temporarily or permanently, can no longer practice medicine, and if on probation, has severe limits on ability to practice. Possible terms of probation can include random drug testing, a physical or mental evaluation, inability to perform certain procedures or provide certain care, and supervision by another practitioner. Such discipline threatens reputation and livelihood.
Loss of Employment
Medical employers often are unable or unwilling to employ a licensee who has a probationary license, and cannot employ one whose license is revoked or suspended. Under probation, a medical professional must often be supervised for a period of time and can have limits of the ability to practice. It is imperative to consider the possible terms and conditions of probation when appealing or settling a disciplinary action as the licensee’s job is almost always on the line.
Loss of Insurance Provider Status and Loss of Privileges
Depending on the outcome of a medical license hearing, a medical professional could suffer loss of insurance provider status and loss of staff privileges at various practices and hospitals. Credentialing and peer review bodies are often critical of any type of restriction on a medical professional’s ability to practice. This is important to consider when creating a defense plan. Unless you prepare for this unexpected outcome, your livelihood may be threatened despite what may seem like a good outcome at the hearing. It’s important to consider all potential consequences that can result from disciplinary action by the medical board.
There are broad sweeping consequences of medical licensing actions, the top four of which are discussed above. To best assist our clients in these situations, we consider the individual goals of our clients and the impact on their lives. While the Board may treat all of these cases the same, we do not. Rather we tailor our plan to remediate the impact of disciplie to our individual client’s needs — ranging from the new licensed professional just starting out to the seasoned veteran two years from retirement.
We always spend time communicating with our clients to fully understand what is most important to them and work with them to create the best plan to achieve that outcome.
Facing a medical license disciplinary action? Give us a call today for your consultation.