Are you on the Deadbeat Doctor List? - Public Records of Student Loan Defaults

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
From 1978 through 1998, the federal government administered a program called the Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL) Program.  HEAL loans were federally insured loans issued by qualified private lenders.  The loans were given to eligible students in schools of medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, podiatry, public health, pharmacy, chiropractic, health administration, and clinical psychology.

Ultimately, the HEAL program was discontinued and its administration was transferred from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).

Because of the expense associated with health education, borrowers often defaulted on their loans with many owing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Through a little know provision in the law, the U.S. government has permission to publish the names, addresses, specialty, and amount owed of every HEAL borrower in default.

Search the list here.

Beware the Slow News Cycle.

This so called "Deadbeat Doctor List" is routinely updated and published online.  Local news outlets frequently get copies of the list and ambush local doctors for the evening news.

The reports often show doctors getting into new cars or at their expensive homes and include statements to the effect that the doctor has stolen from the tax payer and is living a life of luxury.

Doctors often find that these reports irreparably damage their personal and professional reputations.  We have had numerous reports of referral sources drying up and mass exoduses of patients after a loan default becomes public knowledge.

You May Be "in Default" and Not Even Know it.

The most troubling aspect of the Deadbeat Doctor List is that you may be on it even if you are making payments.  We have heard stories of doctors who have been making payments for over a decade but are still considered in default.

According to government publications, a borrower is still considered in default on a loan unless he or she pays off the entire balance (including interest and penalties) or negotiates a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

This is an important revelation because being labeled as "in default" means that until your loan is completely paid off your name will be published on the Deadbeat Doctor List. You will also be placed on the OIG List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE).  Click here to read our blog about the effects of OIG exclusion.

A Default May Result in Discipline on Your License.

Another little known effect of a student loan default is disciplinary action by your professional board.  Many states have laws that require a licensing body to discipline the license of a person who is in default on his or her student loans.

Florida for instance requires that the practitioner's license be emergently suspended until the loan is no longer in default.  In essence, your ability to practice can be completely shut down without warning and will remain as such until you cure the default.

Get Help as Soon as You Can.

If you defaulted on your HEAL loans and are listed on the Deadbeat Doctor List you should consult with an experienced health attorney. An attorney can assist you in negotiating a settlement with the DOJ and can work to get you removed from the OIG Exclusion List.


Did you know of the "Deadbeat Doctor List?" Did you know about the consequences of being listed on this list? Do you think the publication of this list is fair to health care professionals? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Contact Attorney Experienced in Defending Against Action to Exclude an Individual or Business.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm have experience in dealing with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and defending against action to exclude an individual or business entity from the Medicare Program, in administrative hearings on this type of action, in submitting applications requesting reinstatement to the Medicare Program after exclusion, and removal from the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE).

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

About the Author: Lance O. Leider is an attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

Keywords: Health Education Assistance Loan, HEAL, HEAL loan, federally insured loan, qualified private lender, medical school loan, dentistry school loan, veterinary school loan, pharmacy school loan, health education loan, health education, loan default, student loan default, medical student loan,  medical school debt, default on loan, HEAL borrower, HEAL borrower in default, deadbeat doctor list, what is the deadbeat doctor list, how do I get off the deadbeat doctor list, how did I get on the deadbeat doctor list, consequences of being on the deadbeat doctor list, list of excluded individuals and entities, LEIE, disciplinary action on a professional license, suspended professional license, HEAL loan attorney, HEAL loan lawyer, 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 © 1996-2015 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.
Lance O. Leider, J.D. 2/25/2015


Response to: Are you on the Deadbeat Doctor List? - Public Records of Student Loan Defaults
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Lisa G says:

Financial responsibility is just that-FINANCIAL RESPONSIBIITY! People take out loans all the time for all kinds of reasons...whatever the reason, you are obligated to pay back what you owe! END OF STORY. People are free to make their choices, but they often do not think thorugh the consequences of those choices. Doctors have the same accountability as anyone...the loan numbers may be bigger, but so are their salaries! PAY UP AND SHUT UP! I bet if they knew they could be jailed, they would cough up the cash and get serious about paying up. We are a middle class family who are putting two kids through college. It took planning, saving, negotiating, and understanding the terms of what we were ALL taking on. Everyone has their part, and we are getting it done! We are not rich or uber smart,,,we looked square in the eye of opportunity and debt and created a light at the end of a tunnel from day one! I am always amazed how intelligent people ignore the term "compounded daily interest"....tha

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