Administrative Complaints & Hearings
Being a healthcare worker can be very stressful. If you are a physician, a nurse, a mental health professional, a physical therapist, a pharmacist, or any other healthcare professional, you chose your profession because you wanted to help people. After going through years of education and working experience, you know that you can do just that. You also know that you are held to certain legal standards of care and high moral standards of conduct. You are a dedicated and hardworking professional with hard-earned skills and a reputation, and you probably have people who depend on you. Then one day you receive a letter in the mail regarding administrative complaints filed against you, and you feel like your entire life is over.
Unfortunately, you are one of many thousands of American healthcare workers around the country who had disciplinary charges and/or complaints filed against them. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through this whole ordeal alone.
Our firm, the Norman Spencer Law Group, has helped hundreds of healthcare professionals get through this process. We have years of experience and have achieved great results in and out of court. As much as you might think your career is over, please rest assured that things might not be as bad as they seem. Of the many doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists, physical therapists, and other clients we’ve helped, the vast majority did not lose their licenses and are happily practicing to this day.
How Do You Deal with Administrative Complaints?
So, what are administrative complaints? Simply put, they are documents accusing you of alleged professional misconduct, whatever that misconduct might be. They are based on allegations submitted to an administrative agency such as a professional board or some other regulatory agency, most often an employer, a disgruntled patient, a competitor, or an insurance company, although they can in fact be submitted by anyone.
If you’re a licensed healthcare professional and are facing a complaint against you, you can rely on our firm to help you. At the Norman Spencer Law Group, we have dealt with hundreds of administrative complaints.
Once you receive a copy of the complaint, you need to respond to it in a timely manner. We can help you do that. If a response isn’t sent within the designated timeframe, then you will be waiving all rights to a hearing during which a defense can be presented. The complaint is then sent directly to the board or another administrative agency for a final sanction determination.
What Should You Do When You Are Named in a Complaint?
If you’re a healthcare professional and you’re named in an administrative complaint filed by a licensing authority or any other agency, we recommend that you follow a few simple rules. If you do, there’s a virtual guarantee that your chances of a successful outcome will increase significantly.
- Maintain a positive mental attitude and perspective. Things often look worse than what they actually are. Know that many factors determine the outcome of your case, no matter how bad you might think it seems. You can get professional help, and that is honestly the best thing that you can do.
- Do not try to solve this all by yourself. You can try, but there is a reason you are a healthcare provider and not a lawyer. Lawyers don’t try to self-suture, and you shouldn’t try to practice law.
- Contact a competent attorney. The Norman Spencer Law Group can provide you with all the help that you will need.
- Get as much evidence as you can to help prepare for the eventual hearing.
The Importance of Hiring an Experienced Administrative Complaints Law Attorney
Healthcare practitioners who represent themselves in an administrative complaint typically do not get a favorable result in their case. The state will be represented by a corporate attorney or assistant attorney general. Both have extensive experience dealing with administrative complaints and are well-versed in securing sanctions against licensed professionals who choose to represent themselves.
It’s also very important to keep in mind that the primary duty of the professional board is to protect the public, and they are extremely skilled at disciplinary proceedings. It’s up to the healthcare professional to fully present their argument in the best possible light, proving that they can practice safely and are not a danger to the public.
Healthcare professionals who choose to move forward without the support of a defense attorney are consistently outmatched and ineffective in the long run. Hiring a lawyer who’s experienced in administrative law provides the support and the knowledge needed to move forward with a strong and effective defense.
The legal team at the Norman Spencer Law Group has successfully represented many doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals during the entire administrative complaint process.
Informal vs. Formal Hearings
There are two types of hearings that might be part of the administrative complaint process: informal and formal hearings. Informal hearings take place before a professional board, while formal hearings are typically overseen by an administrative law judge.
Informal hearings do not give the healthcare professional a chance to dispute the allegations. They’re usually chosen when the practitioner does not dispute the facts as set forth in the complaint but would instead like to ask the board for mercy through a settlement, sanction, or some other disciplinary action.
Formal hearings are the best choice when the facts of the allegations are in dispute and the healthcare professional is looking for a dismissal or other type of justice. Requesting a formal hearing is the best choice by far, as it gives the healthcare professional the opportunity to be heard.
If you don’t exercise your right to a formal hearing, the board is allowed to view the complaint and evidence against you as true. You will lose the right to refute the allegations before an administrative law judge in a formal hearing. So don’t put your future in limbo: get in touch with us today so that we can get you the help that you need.