WHAT IS A MEDICAL BOARD ACCUSATION ?
A Medical Board Accusation is the end result of an investigation where the Medical Board finds sufficient grounds to allege a violation of law or regulation. Click HERE for the Medical Board website which provides full details on the process. Stop the investigation before it reaches the Accusation stage by contacting experienced lawyers for doctors with extensive experience in responding to Medical Board investigations.
Most investigations of physicians start with a disgruntled employee, a referral from a pharmacy or insurance company or a complaint from a competitor. Another common and often preventable source are peer review referrals and 15 day reportable suspension. (See B&P Code 805 and 805.5)
Accusations are similar across a wide variety of boards. The California Attorney General advises most boards including the California Board of Registered Nursing; California Board of Behavioral Sciences and the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners. There are some structural differences in the “org chart” that differentiate the Board of Chiropractic Examiners but this is a technical issue that usually does not affect the basic process.
Other Board Inquiries May Implicate a Physician’s License
If you are a physician and employ R.N.’s, P.A.’s or other licensed professionals a single investigation may implicate both the Medical Board (other states use the term “Medical Commission”) and the boards for those professionals. Likewise, if your P.A. is under investigation you should consider the likelihood that the Medical Board is sharing the information and your license is under scrutiny.
I am a Doctor NOT a Criminal
A meaningful number of Medical Board Accusations involve claims of criminal conduct. What you consider an business dispute with an insurance company may quickly spiral into a medical board supported criminal investigation. You may be accused of billing fraud, having a DUI on your record, insurance fraud – but rarely are charges filed for non-criminal matters. Even if you have not been charged with a medical related crime, the administrative process before the board may lead to charges being filed.
The Latest Hot Button Issue
What the news. Opiates are the target of politicians and the Medical Board is supervised by politicians. If you prescribe opiates read the Medical of California’s tome on prescribing opiates titled “Guidelines for Prescribing Controlled Substances for Pain”. Follow those guidelines and document that you have done so. If you follow those rules you won’t have to contact our firm !
No Inside Baseball – Just Experience
If you are told that an attorney “has contacts” or “an inside track” you are being lied to. The Medical Board and the Attorney General are evidence and fact driven. If you want to negotiate with them, you must assemble a strong factual argument in your favor. The “good old boy” days are over and if you buy into that approach you will be confirming your guilt. Our lawyers are evidence based and fact based in their approach.
How Soon Do I Need a Physician Defense Lawyer ?
We can sometimes stop the “accusation train” before it leaves the station. We can often reach compromises that protect your reputation and practice. If the board insists on a battle, we know the rules, the law and most importantly, we know how to prepare a case, plan a strategy and execute effectively.
What Time Limits are there ?
A (California) Medical Board Accusation triggers a time clock. To contest a Medical Board Accusation you must file a form that requests a hearing. That form should be included with the Accusation package and it is available on the Medical Board website. Your request for a hearing must be received within fifteen (15) days after the accusation is served. (See Government Code Section 11506) To be safe, have a service deliver the form titled “Notice of Defense” to the board and to the office of the Attorney General.
What Address Should I Use to Serve a “Notice of Defense” ?
The Attorney General’s address is on Accusation itself. Use the name of the listed attorney and his/her address. The notice to the Medical Board should be directed to the Discipline Coordination Unit, 2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200, Sacramento, CA 95815-3831.
Do I Need An Attorney ?
You should have had notice of the investigation long before an Accusation was filed. It is imperative that you contact an attorney for all but the most absurd complaints against you. So “yes”, you needed an attorney and you need one now.