Medical License Defense Lawyer in North Carolina
Sometimes even the best healthcare provider may have a complaint filed against them. All the years of education and hard work can quickly go down the drain if you get a letter of complaint. That is why it is important for you to take action and to ensure you get a medical license defense lawyer to help prepare your defense. A medical license defense attorney will present your side of the story to the Board in an effective manner.
Physicians who work in North Carolina are regulated by the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners, which in turn is overseen by the North Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (LLR). Besides physicians (MDs and DOs), the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners also regulates the following professions:
- Anesthesiology assistants
- Physician assistants
- Respiratory care therapists
Who Can Make a Complaint Against Physicians?
Anyone can file a complaint against a medical professional with the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners. This could include:
- Your colleagues
- The hospital director
- Law enforcement agents
- Patient family or relatives
- Your family or relatives
- Your Insurance company
- Any other person who comes in contact with your or who believes that you have done something wrong.
In the majority of cases, the complaint against a physician is made by either a patient or the nurses who work with you. This complaint should not be considered as just a trivial thing because if you ignore it, you can lose your license to practice. That is why you should call a medical license defense lawyer as soon as you find out that a complaint has been filed against you.
What Types Of Physician Complaints Does The North Carolina Board Of Medical Examiners Usually Receives?
The North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners receives many complaints from patients, nurses, colleagues and other public citizens regarding medical examiners. However, some very common complaints received by the Board include:
- Practicing medicine without a license
- Practicing medicine in a dangerous fashion
- Prescribing controlled substances without properly examining patients or prescribing these drugs to patients who really don’t need them.
- Drunk driving
- Performing your medical duties while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Stealing prescription medications
- Domestic and/or child abuse
- Engaging in or possessing child pornography
- Convicted of criminal activity like stealing, robbery, murder, theft, or violence
- Committing fraud
- Failing to maintain proper medical records
- Sexual harassment, abuse or inappropriate relationship with patients
- Phony billing practice
- Abuse of patients (sexually and or physically)
All medical professionals should understand that all these are serious complaints that go under investigation by the Board. Before the complaint letter is even sent to the physician, the Board has already initiated an investigation and knows a lot more about you than you think. That is why you also need to be prepared. Talk to a medical license defense attorney immediately and inform them of the situation so that they can help you respond properly.
The Board investigator may have already spoken to the people who made the complaint and may have obtained sufficient information to take action against you. As soon as someone files a complaint with the Board, you need to act fast. Time is of the essence. The Board sends letters of complaint only when they know for sure you have done something wrong. However, they will give you the opportunity to present your side of the story. Let your medical license defense lawyer help you prepare that properly.
Should I Reply To The Complaint Letter?
The decision to reply to the letter of a complaint requires a great deal of judgment. Most medical license defense lawyers advise against it. The reason is that anything you may in that letter may be used against you at a later stage. However, you do need to respond but discuss your situation with your medical license defense attorney before you take any action.
Remember the Board also has lawyers working for them and their primary job is to protect the public. If you respond without consulting a medical license defense lawyer and if the Board deems anything in your letter which may indicate negligence, carelessness or a lapse in judgment, this can create a problem for you when you face the Board at the hearing. That is why it is best to seek assistance from a medical license defense lawyer. A medical license defense attorney will find out more information so that they can understand the nature of the complaint.
Your medical license defense attorney can also tell you your legal rights. Sometimes you may meet with an agent from the North Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. It is important not to say anything other than to say you will have your lawyer contact them. Be polite and courteous but tell the agent that you would first like to speak to a lawyer. Do not be afraid. This is your legal right.
What Type Of Penalties Can A Medical Professional Face?
The penalty depends on the type of complaint and the number of previous complaints. In general, the following are the most common penalties:
- Public apology
- Temporary license suspension
- Revoked license
- Monetary penalty
If caught with child pornography, this is a federal offense, and the Board will permanently revoke your license. However, if you have received a conviction for drunk driving, the Board may agree to a rehabilitation program for a few months. In many cases where there is no criminal conviction, your medical license defense attorney can help downgrade the complaint and have you placed on probation. The Board will monitor you for five years if you do not get your license revoked.
When Should I Get Help From A Medical License Defense Lawyer?
In general, the moment you get the letter of complaint, you should get in touch with a medical license defense attorney. This is a serious matter which demands urgent attention. Time is of the essence, and the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners has specific timelines on settling such cases. The sooner you speak to the medical license defense lawyer, the sooner they can get access to all the records/files and prepare a defense strategy.
If you have received notification that there is a complaint, contact our medical license defense attorney. You will need someone who knows the medical professional licensing system. Our medical license defense lawyer at The Carolina Law Group will offer an initial consult at no charge. At this consult, we will review your case, and you can ask any questions you want. The medical license defense lawyer will also tell you if you have a legitimate defense and how to defend yourself. Call us today so we can help you defend your right to practice.