Failure to Report Conviction, Mandatory Information to Board
Licensed healthcare professionals who are charged with crimes and forced to go through the criminal justice process are under a lot of stress. If the outcome is less than favorable, even more stress can be added to the situation. Yet regardless of the outcome, it can be a major relief when the matter is over.
Most are ready to put the whole thing behind them and get back to work. But there’s one more step many healthcare professionals ignore. It’s the duty of healthcare practitioners to report all criminal convictions to the state licensing board.
The attorneys at Norman Spencer Law Group have seen too many licensed professionals incur additional penalties and fines for failing to report a criminal conviction to the respective licensing board. The deadline and method for reporting convictions to the board depend on the location of your practice.
In Florida, for instance, healthcare professionals must report convictions online within 15 days of the date of the conviction, and in writing within 30 days. Michigan requires reporting the conviction within 30 days.
What if I Missed the Self-Reporting Deadline?
If you failed to report a conviction in a timely manner, you may receive a letter from the licensing board asking about a prior conviction. Even if you don’t receive such a letter, you want to ensure you are following the self-reporting guidelines to avoid additional penalties, fines or other adverse action. The lawyers at Norman Spencer Law Group can help, and it’s recommended you contact us as quickly as possible.
Our attorneys can help you draft an appropriate response, one that includes mitigating factors to help minimize the potential penalties. State licensing boards tend to take offense when it’s perceived that a licensed healthcare professional has withheld information or lied to the board. Contacting an experienced lawyer is crucial before responding to the board, as you want to word your response with both precision and care.
Duty to Report Additional Information
Criminal convictions are not the only information a licensed healthcare professional has the duty to report. While each state has its own reporting requirements, most expect healthcare
practitioners to self-report a number of occurrences. Failure to report even seemingly minor occurrences can be grounds for disciplinary action against a licensed professional.
Some of these occurrences may include:
Change of contact information: Healthcare professionals need to notify the board of any changes of address, phone number or email for their home or practice, especially the personal email used to communicate with the board.
Name change: A name change must be reported to most state boards, generally accompanied by a notarized or certified copy of a legal document showing their new legal name. Documents may include a marriage license or divorce degree. Unofficial copies are usually not accepted.
Judgments or settlements: Licensed healthcare professionals must report any adverse judgment and claim settlements related to malpractice actions against them, even if their license is currently inactive. Boards generally require the submission of a report and a copy of the judgment or settlement.
Wrongful acts or omissions: Licensed healthcare practitioners must report knowledge of wrongful acts or omissions in which another licensed professional may be engaged. This applies to acts or omissions that would be grounds for license suspension or revocation, or would otherwise constitute careless acts, negligence or omissions that would impact the professional’s ability to practice safely, competently and within the bounds of ethics.
Disciplinary action in another jurisdiction: It’s mandatory to report all disciplinary actions taken against a licensed healthcare professional by a licensing authority of another state, U.S. government agency, or any other territory, country or jurisdiction.
Child abuse and dependent adult abuse: Licensed professionals are required by federal and state law to report child abuse and dependent adult abuse.
Penalties for Failure to Report
Just as each state has its own set of reporting obligations, each also has its own penalties for failure to meet those obligations. The severity of the penalty is often related to the severity of the offense, and they can range from fines all the way to license revocation. Failure to report certain incidents, such as child abuse, is a misdemeanor in some states. Depending on the state, misdemeanors can sometimes come with penalties that include up to six months in jail, a fine, or both.
Because the regulations vary for different states and different licensing, it’s always wise to seek counsel from a qualified attorney if you have any questions or are unsure what action to take. With more than 10 years’ experience in the legal healthcare arena, the lawyers at Norman Spencer Law Group can help you navigate through the reporting requirements that apply to your location and profession.
Our goal is to help licensed healthcare providers protect their license, reputation and career, and one of the ways we do so is by ensuring you’re fulfilling your duty to report. Contact our office to schedule a consultation today.