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Seven Things To Know When You Receive A Notice Of Investigation From The Department Of Health

Department of Health (DOH) Representation

The lawyers of The Health Law Firm routinely provide legal representation to licensed health care professionals including physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, massage therapists (LMTs), mental health counselors (LMHCs), psychologists, social workers (LCSWs), advance registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), pharmacies pain clinics and physician assistants (PAs),in investigations.  If you receive notice that the Department of Health (DOH) has opened an investigation against you, contact The Health Law Firm immediately, before you talk to an investigator.

The notice that you are under investigation may seem nonthreatening. It may come in the mail, be delivered personally by an investigator or you may receive a telephone call from the investigator. Whatever you do, talk to an experienced health attorney before you talk to the investigator. This is a very serious matter for you. It is not a “medical malpractice” investigation. It is not a “quality assurance” investigation. It is a serious investigation of a complaint for which you may receive permanent discipline on your license, a black mark for life.  Furthermore, you may have insurance that pays for your legal defense.

The investigation of a complaint which could lead to the revocation of your license to practice and the assessment of tens of thousands of dollars in fines, is a very serious legal matter, and it should be treated as such. Yet, in many cases, attorneys are consulted by health care professionals after the entire investigation is over, and they have attempted to represent themselves throughout the case. Often, the mistakes that have been made severely compromise an attorney’s ability to achieve a favorable result for the health care professional. The key to a successful outcome in all of these cases is to obtain the assistance of a health lawyer experienced with Department of Health (DOH) investigations of health care professionals. For a list of the 25 biggest mistakes health care professionals make after being notified of a Department of Health (DOH) complaint, click here.

Our attorneys include those who are board certified in health law by The Florida Bar, those who are nurses, and those who are themselves licensed health professionals.  Our attorneys represent health care professionals and providers at formal administrative hearings at the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH), in defense of administrative complaints and in informal hearings before the Department of Health (DOH).

At The Health Law Firm we provide legal services for all health care professionals and providers. This includes physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, massage therapists, DME suppliers, medical students and interns, optometrists, social workers, hospitals, pharmacies, ambulatory surgical centers, pain management clinics, nursing homes, and any other health care provider.

The services we provide include reviewing and negotiating contracts, business transactions, professional license defense, representation in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, credential defense, representation in peer review and clinical privileges hearings, Medicare and Medicaid audits, opinion letters, commercial litigation, covenants-not-to-compete, restrictive covenant litigation, incorporation, formation of corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs), administrative hearings, Board of Nursing cases, Board of Medicine hearings, Board of Dentistry hearings, USMLE and NBME challenges and defense, pain management and pain medicine physician defense, pain management clinic defense and other matters of Health Law and legal representation of health care professionals.

We do continue to strongly recommend that every health care professional purchase professional liability insurance with coverage for professional licensure defense, despite your employer.  Often it is the hospital or other employer that reports the health care professional and causes an investigation to be initiated.  Health care professionals falsely believe that they have insurance coverage for such matters “through my employer” when they do not.  Often being able to afford an experienced health law attorney makes all the difference between losing a professional license and a professional career, and keeping them.

These are only a few of the many areas in which we provide legal advice and representation to health care professionals.