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Responding to a DOH Probe of Your Health Care License

April 17, 2024
Est read time: 2 minutes

Navigating an investigation by the Florida Department of Health (DOH) can be daunting for licensed healthcare professionals. The initial query often arrives as a letter from a Medical Quality Assurance Investigator requesting either a written response or an interview about the allegations.

But should you respond?

Should You Respond to an Investigation Against Your License?

Many practitioners grapple with this question, either ignoring the letter or engaging with the investigator solo. This can be perilous without the guidance of seasoned healthcare attorneys well-versed in the DOH process. While rare, a well-crafted response might resolve the issue, but more often, your words could unwittingly be used against you.

While early-stage investigations are confidential under Florida Law, once formal charges are laid in an "Administrative Complaint," they become public record. However, before this stage, a thorough legal review may persuade the DOH prosecutor to drop the charges, though this outcome is uncommon. It's crucial to note that some allegations may not warrant a violation of your professional practice act.

Navigating Options During an Administrative Complaint

Should an Administrative Complaint materialize, you have several options, each requiring careful consideration and legal counsel:

  • Informal Hearing: Admit to the allegations and advocate for leniency before your professional Board.
  • Formal Hearing: Request a trial before an Administrative Law Judge to contest the allegations.
  • Waive Rights: Surrender your rights, though this option is seldom advisable.
  • Settlement Agreement: Negotiate terms with the DOH, potentially with the assistance of an experienced attorney.

Engaging legal counsel is paramount at this stage. Mishandling the case can jeopardize your license, leading to a range of disciplinary actions, from fines to license revocation. While DOH prosecutors recommend penalties, it's the professional Board that ultimately decides.

When You Need Legal Counsel

An adept healthcare license defense attorney can guide you through the administrative process, aiming for dismissal or advocating for the most favorable terms with the Board.

Explore more insights into the administrative complaint process.

If you've received notice of investigation or an administrative complaint from the Florida Department of Health, it's imperative to consult with an experienced attorney. To schedule a free consultation with attorney, Jeff Howell, contact Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law at 850-877-7776 or email lawyerhelpnow@jsh-pa.com. We assist healthcare professionals throughout Florida and those outside the state with queries regarding licensing and regulations under Florida law.

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Contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong at 850-877-7776 to set up a FREE no-obligation consultation. Our firm represents physicians, nurses, psychologists, and other licensed professionals statewide.
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