Find Out What Could Bar a Florida Health Care Provider from Holding a License for 15 Years or More

Thursday, February 19, 2015
With recent amendments, Section 456.0635, Florida Statutes, has enacted very harsh consequences for physicians, dentists, nurses and other professionals licensed by the Florida Department of Health (DOH), if they are convicted of certain crimes.  These consequences include prohibitions on holding a license for up to 15 years after serving the last day of a sentence or probation.

Section 456.0635, Florida Statutes provides:

1.    If you have been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication (this means adjudication withheld or adjudication deferred), a felony under Chapter 409 (Medicaid fraud), Chapter 817 (theft or fraud), or Chapter 893 (drug related offenses), Florida Statutes, or a similar felony offense committed in another state, you shall be prohibited from obtaining a license, renewing a license or holding a license.

2.    If you have been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication (this means adjudication withheld or adjudication deferred), a felony under 21 U.S.C. Sections 801-970 (federal drug charges), or 42 U.S.C. Sections 1395-1396 (Medicare or Medicaid fraud) you shall be prohibited from obtaining a license, renewing a license or holding a license.

There are different time limits for different offenses, with the least being five years from the last day of a sentence or probation.


What Events Other than Criminal Convictions May Also Bar You from Holding a License?

In addition to convictions, Section 456.035, Florida Statutes, also prohibits you from holding a license as a health professional issued by the Florida DOH if:

1.    You are terminated for cause from the Florida Medicaid program or any other state's Medicaid program.

2.    You are listed on the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE) maintained by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  This can occur because of discipline on a medical, nursing, dental or other professional license, loss of a license, conviction of certain offenses, or a number of other reasons.


A Criminal Defense Attorney Should Consult with a Health Law Attorney Prior to Making Decisions in Criminal Cases.

There may be ways to avoid the harsh consequences of losing a professional license that you have sacrificed and worked for.  There may be alternatives that have not been considered.  Additionally, if a judge or prosecutor is aware of the dire consequences that a conviction may bring, it might influence the court to take more lenient action or to substitute alternative action.

In many cases, we have been called upon to write an opinion letter setting forth the extremely harsh consequences of a conviction for a physician or other health professional for a criminal defense attorney to present to the court. Additionally we have had success in obtaining relief from being excluded from the Medicaid program or being placed on the LEIE.  A motion or petition to reverse an erroneously entered Final Order, a motion or petition for a new hearing or an application for removal from the LEIE may be pursued if the fats are such that you qualify.

Make sure that you or your criminal defense attorney consults with an experienced health law attorney prior to making decisions in criminal cases.


Comments?

Did you know about the harsh consequences for health professionals under Section 456.0635, Florida Statutes? Can you see the benefit of having a health law attorney? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.


Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Handling Licensure Matters.

If you have been arrested, it is strongly recommended that you retain an experienced healthcare attorney who can advise you and your criminal counsel as to the effects a potential outcome could have on your license.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners in licensure matters.  We frequently consult with criminal defense attorneys regarding defense strategies tailored to minimizing criminal sanctions while at the same time preserving the practitioner's license.

To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.


About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.


Keywords: conviction, plea of nolo contendere, finding of guilt, adjudication withheld, deferred, physician, nurse, dentist, professional license, Florida Department of Health, DOH, criminal conviction, criminal conviction of a health care professional, consequences of a criminal conviction, Florida Medicaid program, termination from Medicaid program, excluded individuals and entities, LEIE, discipline on a medical license, discipline on a nursing license, discipline on a dental license, criminal cases, health lawyer, health attorney, defense attorney, defense lawyer, The Health Law Firm reviews


The Health Law Firm" is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. - The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1999-2015 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.
 
George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in the Legal Specialty of Health Law 2/19/2015

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