Any time your health care career is threatened or sidelined, you want to work with an attorney who is experienced with the underlying licensing agency or board, knows how it works, and understands the expectation of that licensing agency or board for purposes of securing or maintaining a license. Simas & Associates, Ltd. has the attorneys, paralegals, and support staff with that knowledge and experience when it comes to the Board of Occupational Therapy in California. Since 2002, Simas & Associates, Ltd. has represented Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants in a variety of legal matters.
Common Complaints Against Occupational Therapists
Simas & Associates, Ltd. has seen occupational therapist professionals be investigated by the Board of Occupational Therapy for any of the following complaints:
- Submitting false reports
- Verbal, physical, or sexual abuse of a patient
- Continuing treatment beyond the point of benefit
- Refusal to carry out the orders of a referring doctor or practitioner
- Crime committed outside of the profession
- Sharing information with a third party not directly involved with patient care
- Causing harm to the patient or their property
- Violating ethical standards
- Billing issues
- Substance abuse
- Making false statements or claims
- Not accurately recording patient information
Many California occupational therapists are charged with criminal offenses in California. Law enforcement officers throughout the state investigate California occupational therapists for criminal law violations. The California Attorney General’s Office conducts sting operations designed to catch individuals violating the law. And the resulting conviction can have licensing consequences. The California Board of Occupational Therapy uses the “substantial relationship” test to determine whether a criminal conviction will affect one’s ability to practice. Any criminal conviction that is substantially related to the duties, qualifications and functions of an occupational therapist will result in an investigation by the Board and filing of an Accusation.
Furthermore, just patient complaints can have collateral consequences, resulting in lawsuits or claims impacting participation or membership on insurance panels and occupational therapy associations. Simas & Associates, Ltd. can help navigate and minimize the potential repercussions of an unfounded complaint or set up a pathway for an offending professional to quickly rehabilitate themselves in the eyes of the Board, Court, or Association.
Legal Services for Occupational Therapy Professionals
Our team provides the following legal services and advises our occupational therapy clients in the following areas:
- Board of Occupational Therapy investigations
- Board of Occupational Therapy applications, disciplinary actions, and reinstatement
- Insurance provider audits, appeals, and provider status disputes
- Legal Advice and Consultation regarding scope of practice and supervision requirements of occupational therapists and occupational therapist assistants
- Advice regarding compliance with professional corporation structuring
- Legal advice regarding referral-for-profit, advertising, and physician-owned occupational therapy services
- Employment Law and supervision of assistive personnel
- Regulatory compliance, including medical record keeping
- Membership matters before the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), and the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC).
- Civil litigation, Appeals, and Alternative Dispute Resolution, such as arbitration or mediation
- Contract Negotiation and review, and Business Law consulting
- Employment law, including advice and consultation, defense of claims, and related litigation
Simas & Associates, Ltd. serves occupational therapy professionals throughout California, with offices in Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, San Jose, Santa Monica, and San Diego. Call us today to receive your free and confidential initial consultation.