Challenging Allegations, Mitigating Consequences, Preserving Licensure
As an experienced Orlando attorney practicing in healthcare license defense, Mr. Rose offers aggressive representation and honest counsel representation to licensed healthcare professionals who need to defend against disciplinary action against their licenses due to allegations of unethical, unprofessional, or illegal conduct or respond to administrative investigations and prepare a thorough defense.
The goal in all cases is to successfully challenge any license suspension or revocation. In many instances, this can be done through successfully contesting the allegations forming the basis of the complaint. However, if a successful challenge to the facts alleged is unlikely, Mr. Rose is skilled in presenting mitigating evidence to the Department of Health to reduce the severity of any sanctions. Such mitigating evidence is frequently the difference between a minor censure and a career altering suspension or revocation.
All physicians regulated by the Board of Medicine accused of standard of care violations, negligence, malpractice, inadequate record keeping, prescribing outside professional practice and more.
Nurses accused of standard of care violations, diversion, impairment, inaccurate recording, practicing beyond scope of license, falsifying records.
Pharmacists accused of inadequate supervision of RPTs, failing to maintain records, inaccurate labeling, improperly filling controlled substance prescriptions.
Jonathan Rose also has experience providing aggressive representation for all other healthcare professionals, including:
- Osteopathic Physicians
- Physical Therapists
- Occupation Therapists
- Physicians’ Assistants
- Mental Health and Marriage and Family Counselors
The Process of Healthcare License Defense
Mr. Rose has the knowledge and experience to effectively guide you through the following steps of the license defense process:
The complaint process: When you learn that a co-worker, former patient, or other individual has filed a complaint against you, it is important to talk to an attorney before taking any action or making any statement on the matter. Mr. Rose is skilled in seeking a dismissal prior to the formal filing of an administrative complaint. If a complaint has been filed, Mr. Rose is frequently successful in obtaining favorable settlements for his clients. If a favorable settlement cannot be reached, Mr. Rose is experienced in formal hearing practice before the Department of Administrative Hearings.
Initial Complaint: The process begins with a letter to the healthcare professional informing him or her of the basic facts of the complaint. The recipient then must respond within twenty days. The response need only be a general denial. However, this is first opportunity to challenge the facts asserted in the complaint and provide the Department with evidence of the your stellar reputation in the medical community. Mr. Rose recommends a strong response, as this information will be among the information considered by the Probable Cause Panel, should the DOH choose to present the case for their consideration. It is important to note that at this point the process is entirely confidential.
Probable Cause Panel: At this point, a prosecutor from the Department of Health will make a recommendation to the Probable Cause Panel as to whether probable cause exists in your case. The PCP is comprised of three members of your board who make a simple determination of whether probable cause exists based on all of the materials presented by the Department and the defense. Probable cause is difficult to quantify, but it is a degree of proof requiring less than fifty percent certainty of your culpability for the violations alleged. If probable cause is not found, your case will be dismissed.
Administrative Complaint: If probable cause is found, the Department will file an administrative complaint (AC) against your license. At this juncture, the process becomes public, and the AC may be found on your DOH Medical Quality Assurance web page. The physician then must answer the complaint by completing an Election of Rights (EOR) form. This requires you to choose a formal or informal hearing. Requesting a formal hearing is a denial of the facts alleged in the AC and the request for a hearing before an administrative law judge, the administrative equivalent of a trial. Requesting an informal hearing is an admission to the facts alleged, and requesting the Board to consider mitigating information or circumstances.
Post-AC Process: The vast majority of clients request a formal hearing. There may be a possibility to provide additional information to the Department and return the case to the PCP for reconsideration. Otherwise, you must either reach a settlement agreement with the Department or allow the case to be referred to the Department of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) for the formal hearing. The administrative complaint also ceases the confidentiality of the process, and the AC is publicly searchable. If the facts alleged in the AC are easily provable, a client can opt for an informal hearing, which is an admission of the allegations and allows the client to provide the DOH and board with information such as letters of recommendation and awards.
Settlement: The Department will offer a settlement agreement prior to the case being referred to DOAH. The agreement merely recommends discipline to the board. The recommendation could vary from a letter of concern to probation and fines to probation or suspension, depending on the nature of the complaint, the facts of the alleged conduct, and the practitioner’s disciplinary history. It is extremely important to understand that the settlement agreement is simply a recommendation. Your board can decline to accept the settlement and may offer its own agreement during the hearing on the agreement. You may normally ask for your case to be reset in order to consider the Board’s settlement offer. If it is not accepted, the case will continue and go back to the board for settlement or be referred to DOAH.
DOAH: DOAH is the government agency responsible for providing formal hearings in Florida healthcare licensing and other matters. The hearing is essentially a non-jury trial before an administrative law judge. The case becomes an actual law suit at this juncture. The full manopoly of civil discovery is available to both parties, including depositions and written forms of fact-finding such as interrogatories and requests to produce documents and other information.
Jonathan Rose is experienced in all phases of this process, including having tried over eighty jury trials. While these are not jury trials, the rules on evidence and procedure are virtually the same. Significant experience in trials is an advantage to the physician should the matter require a formal hearing before the DOAH.