Medical License Defense Attorney
Lauren A. Leikam, PLLCMedical License Defense Attorney
MEDICAL LICENSE DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Lauren A. Leikam, Medical License Defense Attorney, can help you defend your medical license, your reputation, and your livelihood.
Lauren has successfully helped numerous healthcare professionals with physician license defense, nursing license defense, and more. One quick appointment, and you can find out if she can help you too.
Is Your Medical License Being Threatened by an Allegation of Misconduct? Have You Been Subjected to Medical License Disciplinary Actions?
If this is happening to you, don’t risk everything you’ve worked for by trying to go it alone.
Facing a complaint against your medical license can be daunting. The licensing board, whose primary responsibility is to safeguard the public rather than protect licenses, will actively seek evidence to support the complaint. This puts you in a precarious position, as even casual conversations with investigators could potentially be used against you.
Navigating this alone is risky. That’s why it’s crucial to have the right support.
The earlier you call Medical License Defense Attorney Lauren A. Leikam, PLLC, the better. With over a decade of experience handling various medical license complaints, Lauren is a former prosecutor for the Florida Department of Health (FL DOH), and she now focuses on independent professional license defense for healthcare professionals.
What happens when a complaint is filed against your medical license?
When a complaint is filed against your medical license, it involves crucial steps. The process begins with the FL DOH Letter of Investigation, which sets response deadlines. At this initial phase, consulting with an attorney like Lauren A. Leikam, PLLC, is vital to navigate the process effectively. It continues with an Investigative File, a second formal rebuttal, and a pivotal Probable Cause Panel phase. If the complaint persists, it leads to an Administrative Complaint, becoming a matter of public record.
For a full understanding of the entire process, including what happens after the Administrative Complaint, and why it’s crucial to have legal counsel, visit the FL DOH’s investigative and administrative complaint processes page.
TYPES OF MEDICAL LICENSE DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: FAILURE TO MEET THE STANDARD OF CARE
Penalty: Fines, suspension, probation to revocation.
Medical malpractice is one of the most prevalent complaints against physicians. When facing allegations of medical malpractice, it’s important to anticipate the involvement of the DOH, which typically hires an expert in your specific area of specialty to conduct a comprehensive review of your case. This expert’s primary task is to assess whether the standard of care was met or breached, which introduces an additional layer of complexity to the legal process.
As a premier medical license attorney, Lauren A. Leikam, PLLC will represent you by securing the services of an expert witness. This expert will review your case and help you articulate your side of the story.
Penalty: Usually the same as the state that imposed the original adverse action.
If you work in multiple areas, an adverse action in one jurisdiction is likely to impact your ability to practice in other places as well. For example, if you have your license or the authority to practice medicine suspended or revoked — or if you’re denied licensure — in one jurisdiction, the Florida Board of Medicine and the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine will usually follow suit.
Note: You must notify the board in writing within 30 days of any adverse action taken against your license. If you don’t, that’s considered a separate violation and it’ll be handled accordingly.
CRIMES RELATED TO THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE
Penalty: Fines and probation to revocation.
This involves being convicted of, found guilty of, or entering a plea of nolo contendere to a crime in any jurisdiction that relates to the practice (or ability to practice) medicine. Such crimes can include — but aren’t limited to — battery, possession of a controlled substance, or fraud.
Note: Crimes can be deemed “related to the practice of medicine” even if they didn’t occur during the practice of medicine.
Penalty: Emergency suspension, restriction orders, and revocation.
“Sexual misconduct” is defined as exercising influence within a patient-physician relationship to engage a patient in sexual activity and is grounds for disciplinary actions.
Patients are presumed to be incapable of giving informed consent to sexual activity with their physician. It’s also important to note that the term “patient,” for the purposes of sexual misconduct, can extend to a patient’s immediate family member, guardian, or representative.
FAILURE TO SUPERVISE
Penalty: Probation or suspension. Second offenses can result in revocation.
This encompasses any lapse in effectively and responsibly overseeing the work of personnel who are operating under your direct supervision, which may include physician assistants, emergency medical technicians, advance practice registered nurses, and anesthesiologist assistants.
VIOLATING A LAWFUL ORDER OR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH A SUBPOENA
Penalty: Reprimand to revocation.
If you receive a lawful order from the Florida Board or a subpoena from the DOH, make sure you follow it to the letter and note any mandated timelines. Anything that is deemed to be a violation or a failure to cooperate could put your medical license at risk.
Penalty: Probation to revocation, plus a referral to the Professionals Resource Network.
This misconduct involves the unauthorized prescribing, dispensing, or administering of medicinal drugs to oneself. To gain a better understanding of the controlled substances subject to this prohibition, one can refer to Florida Statutes Chapter 893, which outlines the schedules of controlled substances, including Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V.
Penalty: Probation to revocation, plus substantial fines.
To be clear, “overprescribing” includes prescribing, dispensing, administering, supplying, selling, giving, mixing or otherwise preparing a legend drug, including all controlled substances, other than in the course of the physician’s professional practice. It’s presumed that such acts are inappropriate or excessive and, thus, are not in the best interest of the patient — regardless of intent.
Penalty: An Order Compelling Examination, an Order of Emergency Suspension/Restriction, and/or a referral to the Professionals Resource Network.
Impairment means being unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety. Reasons for impairment aren’t limited to the use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other material. A physician’s colleagues or patients can also make allegations based on illness, a mental or physical condition, drug diversion, self-prescribing, failed drug tests, or impaired behavior — all of which constitute impairment under the Medical Practice Act.
Penalty: Reprimand to probation, or suspension.
Medical records must be legible and identify the licensed physician or physician extender and supervising physician by name and a professional title that justifies the patient’s course of treatment. This can include but is not limited to:
- Patient histories
- Examination results
- Test results
- Records of drugs prescribed, dispensed, or administered
- Reports of consultations and hospitalizations
While medical records violations can occur as standalone citations, they’re usually tacked on with other charges, such as overprescribing.
Penalty: Fines, a letter of concern, continuing education, a risk management assessment, and suspension followed by probation. Repeated offenses can result in revocation.
A “wrong procedure” violation can encompass:
- Performing or attempting to perform health care services on the wrong patient
- A wrong-site procedure
- A wrong procedure
- An unauthorized procedure
It can also include any procedure that’s medically unnecessary or otherwise unrelated to the patient’s diagnosis or medical condition.
Penalty: Fines, a letter of concern, continuing education, a lecture on retained foreign bodies, and suspension followed by probation. Repeat offenses can result in revocation.
Foreign bodies include sponges, clamps, forceps, surgical needles, or any paraphernalia commonly used in surgical, examination, or other diagnostic procedures.
It’s legally presumed that retention of a foreign body is not in the best interest of the patient or within the profession’s standard of care — regardless of intent. Therefore, leaving any foreign body in a patient is grounds for disciplinary action.
FAILURE TO REPORT A PLEA OR CONVICTION WITHIN 30 DAYS
Penalty: Fines, a reprimand, and suspension followed by probation. Repeat offenses can result in revocation.
If you’re found guilty of, or enter a plea of nolo contendere to, a crime in any jurisdiction — regardless of adjudication — you must, within 30 days, report the event in writing to the board (or the DOH if there is no board).
Like medical record citations, failure-to-report issues are usually tacked onto other violations.
Of course, these are only the most common violations. It’s not a complete list. Nor does it fully explain the FL DOH’s investigative and administrative complaint processes.
The good news is that you don’t need to know everything when you have experience on your side. And experience is exactly what you need when the stakes are high.
Remember: Your reputation has been called into question. Your livelihood is at risk. Your family is counting on you. And your future is riding on what you do right now.
So don’t go it alone.
Protect everything you’ve worked for with Lauren A. Leikam, PLLC.
ABOUT LAUREN A. LEIKAM, PLLC: MEDICAL LICENSE DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Ensuring the protection of your professional license is paramount, and having a dedicated legal advocate by your side is essential. My area of expertise lies in medical license defense for doctors, where I offer comprehensive support to uphold your professional standing.
I’ve represented numerous Florida medical professionals for over a decade. I can help you understand your rights and options. And I’ll be ready to be on your side before you even take step one.
Let’s talk. Schedule a complimentary consultation today.