How to Respond to Medical Board Complaints

complaints

When a complaint is filed with the Florida Medical Board, the Board responds by sending a letter to the physician in question.

This first step starts a time clock that ensures the complaint is handled expeditiously, so it is important for physicians to respond in a timely manner. However, it is recommended that they do not respond until they have the advice of a legal team that understands the ins and outs of the medical, dental, and pharmaceutical industries.

If you have been sent a letter indicating that a complaint has been filed against you with the Florida Medical Board, reach out to Florida Healthcare Law Firm today.

What Do I Do if I Receive a Complaint Through the Florida State Medical Board?

First things first, relax. Receiving a complaint does not automatically mean that heavy fines, a business shutdown, or suspension of your license is pending. It is important to take it seriously but not to allow panic to get the better of you.

Getting legal support should be your first move since it means you will have advice that is specific to your circumstances. You’ll also get assistance meeting all the deadlines. The timeline can be 20 to 45 days depending on the license you hold.

Tips for Responding to a Medical Board Complaint

  • Do not ignore it. There are time clocks that are triggered when a complaint is filed. It is important that you respond before that time clock runs out, or it could mean automatic fines, license suspicion, and/or legal proceedings.
  • Do not respond without legal advice. This may seem counterintuitive since the letter will likely request some action on your part, but it is important that you not make a move without the advice of an attorney.
  • Contact Florida Healthcare Law Firm. Florida Healthcare Law Firm is a boutique law firm that serves medical, dental, and pharmaceutical companies that work directly with patients.

What Are My Options When a Florida Medical Board Complaint Is Filed Against Me?

Your legal team will be able to direct you on which of the following options is best suited to the complaint you are facing. In general, you will usually have 21 days to choose from the following:

  • An informal hearing
  • A formal hearing
  • To waive your rights
  • A settlement agreement

In almost no case is it appropriate to waive your rights entirely. Otherwise, you can choose from the following:

  • Agree that there is truth to the allegations made against you in an informal hearing and ask for leniency.
  • Ask for a trial so you can submit evidence to challenge the allegations made against you in a formal hearing.
  • Accept or negotiate any settlement that may have been offered by the Florida Department of Health.

Florida Medical Board Complaint Response Support

If you have received a letter saying you need to respond to a complaint from the medical board, reach out to us at Florida Healthcare Law Firm for assistance right away.

The 3 Knocks Coming to your Healthcare Business’ Door Post-Pandemic: The Lawyers, The Regulators; and The Auditors

florida healthcare law firm audits after covidBy: Steven Boyne

When COVID-19 passes and the world begins to return to normal, you can be guaranteed that many of your old “friends” will come to visit you. To minimize future liability, pain and time, you should be preparing today for tomorrow’s visitors:

The Lawyers. Lawyers come in many flavors, and can bring good or bad news. Depending on your initial reaction to the pandemic, and your subsequent actions as the panic started to die down you may see three types of lawyers: (1) Those that represent past or present employees who have lost their job or contracted COVID-19; (2) Those that represent patients who claim malpractice based on the care that you did or did not deliver, and also those patients who assert that they contracted COVID-19 at your office; and finally (3) Those that represent creditors or debtors of your practice. The actions you should take today are many and varied and beyond the scope of this overview, however, you should be asking the following questions of yourself: (i) did you file a claim for business interruption despite the fact that your insurance broker said you were wasting your time? (ii) does your malpractice carrier cover you for liability outside of the normal scope of providing care? (iii) are your documenting your actions throughout the pandemic to demonstrate that you were acting reasonably at a time when you did not have all the facts? (iv) did you look at your business insurance policies for coverage for employee claims, or workers comp claims, or OSHA claims? (v) did you research what other similarly situated companies are doing, as you will most likely be held to the same standards? (vi) did you follow guidance from State and Federal entities? and (vii) did you provide notice during the pandemic to debtors or other parties who have breached their obligations?Continue reading

Real Medical Malpractice Defense

malpractice defenseBy: Jeff Cohen

Florida has long been a hot spot for medical malpractice lawsuits.  Professionals debate the causes frequently, but the fact remains:  Florida is a place where medicine has to be practiced defensively.  And it’s likely to get worse because the Florida Supreme Court recently tossed out the state cap on non-economic damages.

Since the cap was found to be unconstitutional, the risk of expensive med mal suits is expected to rise.  And the secondary effect will almost certainly be increased med mal insurance premiums.  If the upcoming premium rise is like any from the past (this is a cyclic phenomenon), it’s a sure thing that more physicians will decide to self-insure (not carry professional liability insurance). The State of Florida doesn’t require physicians to carry professional liability insurance provided that they have adequate financial backing or provide necessary patient notices        Continue reading

Medical Malpractice Update: No More Caps

By: Dave Davidson

On June 8, 2017 the Florida Supreme Court, in a 4-3 opinion, ruled that the legislatively-established caps on non-economic damages (such as awards for pain and suffering) in medical malpractice cases are unconstitutional.  In 2014 the Florida Supreme Court determined the cap established for wrongful death claims was unconstitutional.  The 2017 decision now does away with the remaining caps.Continue reading

Florida Supreme Court Ruling Means Asset Protection is a Must

Physician Asset Protection Medical Malpractice Cap

By: Jeff Cohen

As expected for some time, Florida’s limits on non-economic damages has been ruled unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court.  This event will likely drive medical malpractice premiums up and have healthcare providers reexamining (a) whether it makes more sense to “go bare” (without liability coverage), and also (b) their corporate structure to minimize exposure to professional liability claims. Continue reading

Asset Protection: Building Limits is the Best Defense

By: Susan St. John

Should you consider asset protection planning as part of your estate planning? The short answer to this question is yes if you have significant assets, will inherit sizable assets, or work in a profession that is routinely sued pursuant to medical malpractice complaints. In particular, healthcare professionals should go the extra mile when it comes to asset protection in light of the McCall and Kalitan cases out of the Florida Supreme Court and Fourth District Court of Appeals, respectively, invalidating the limit on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. So how can asset protection be accomplished?

Protecting your assets and preserving wealth can be accomplished through a variety of planning techniques. These techniques are used to protect assets from being wasted or levied against in a medical malpractice suit. Asset protection planning is part of estate planning, which should be reviewed whenever an individual has a significant change in life circumstances, becomes aware he or she will inherit a sizable investment or asset, or enters a profession that is considered to carry considerable risk.

The intent of asset protection is to protect assets from waste or exposure to potential creditors, without concealment or tax evasion. Asset protection can preserve wealth for use later in life or to be passed on to descendants, that is, children or grandchildren, or perhaps other family members.

Asset protection can be maximized through various vehicles such as:Continue reading