MN Professional Medical License Defense
Perhaps the old adage that “medicine is the most noble profession”, is true. At a minimum, it may be the most difficult professional degree to obtain.
There is a significant investment of one’s time and financial resources to get a medical degree.
It takes decades of schooling, dedication, and perserverance. Even after the grueling medical school course work, clerkships, internships, residency, and, possibly a fellowship or two, there are long hours at the hospital or medical practice to gain the necessary experience to become a master of one’s trade.
Even after you become licensed, you must continue your education with yearly CME requirements and maintenance of Board Certification.
Lauren Campoli – Protecting your future
We understand that being charged with a crime can also have significant impact on one’s medical or professional license. We have helped medical students, doctors, nurses, and other licensed professionals navigate the criminal court system and address the licensing aspects of the case.
Sometimes Mistakes Happen
Even some of the best, most experienced and popular doctors may – at some point in their career – get a formal Complaint. Each year, between 800-900 doctors across the state of Minnesota receive Complaints to the Medical Licensing Board. Most of these Complaints come from patients or family members of patients. But, they may also come from employers, health care providers, and medical insittutions who are obligated to report information that might indicate a basis for disiclinary action. In some cases, physicians are obligated to self report information that could lead to disciplinary action.
The Complaints are anonymous and confidential unless the patient provides a release. Those people complaining have legal protection against claims of defamation.
Common Reasons for Complaints
Common grounds for discipline include:
- the inability to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety to patinets
- concerns about prescribing or over-prescribing,
- unethical or unprofessional conduct (a very broad category);
- boundary issues – including sexual conduct or improper communications with a patient;
- falure to provide CME credits,
- improper management of records,
- unlawfully revealing privileged communications from or about a patient,
- false or misleading advertising,
- conviction of a felony reasonably related to the paractie of medicine,
- disciplinary action in another jurisdiction, and;
- abusive or fraudulent billing practices.
Purpose of the Board
The Board’s primary responsibility is to protect the public from the unprofessional, improper, incompetent or unlawful practice of medicine. The Board does not punish, imprison, shame, or extoll money damages for alleged victims.
The Pathway of a Complaint
The first notice that a doctor may receive about a complaint is a letter notifying them that a complaint has been filed and requesting a response. It is imperative to retain an attorney to reply to the Board’s letter for additional information/response.
How can An Attorney Help?
An attorney can respond on behalf of the physician. An attorney can review the reply written by the physician. Or an attorney can ghost write the reply on behalf of the physician. Criminal Defense Attorney Lauren Campoli will craft a reply that is informative, honest, and direct. Or help you write a reply that is professional, organized, and protects your interests and your license. It is important to avoid unhelpful emotional responses or a defensive tone.
The Complaint Review Committees
All complaints are reviewed by one of two Complaint Review Committees (CRC). There are two physicians and one public member on the committee. They meet once a month to review the complaints that were submitted.
The Board does an initial review of the complaint and may obtain patient records or other supporting documentation to assess the validity of the Complaint. The Board will also review the doctor’s written reply. Most complaints are dismissed at this preliminary stage which underscores the importance of writing a solid reply to the Board’s inquiry.
If the case is not dismissed after the preliminary review of information by CRC, the CRC may:
- Request more information and interview witnesses
- Decline to discipline but set a medical coordinator conference to discuss the case and determine whether to continue the disciplinary proceedings or dismiss;
- Send a Notice to the licensed physician to compel them to appear before the CRC for a conference.
The CRC Hearing
This hearing is conducted in an administrative manner. There is no judge, but rather staff members from the Medical Board. The physician will be read their Miranda rights. The physician will also have an opportunity to have an opening statement and field questions. There will be a deliberation period and the Board will announce its decision.
Medical Board Discipline Options
The Board has the power to do the following things:
- Revoke or suspend a license;
- Revoke or suspend registration to preform interstate telemedicine;
- Impose license limitations or conditions on the scope and use of the license;
- Impose a civil penalty;
- Order a physician to provide unremunerated professional services
- Reprimand or censure the licensed physician
The Physician’s options
The Physician, if discipline is forthcoming, can go to a contested case hearing if he/she does not agree with the course of action recommended by the Board. This hearing will be held in the administrative law system and be heard before an administrative law judge. Thus, is wise to retain an attorney with trial experience to maximize your chances of success at this important phase.
An Attorney Matters
An attorney well-versed in the defense of individuals accused of wrongdoing can help a practicing physician navigate this emotional time and protect her license and livelihood. With so much at stake, it is imperative to call an attorney with an excellent track record and personal experience defending licensed professionals.
If you receive a Complaint letter, do not panic. Call Lauren Campoli, 612-810-0060.