What is a medical professional’s worst nightmare … a letter from the medical board.
What do you do to make sure you get this problem swept under the rug? You hire a medical board lawyer as soon as possible.
Whether you are a doctor or a nurse, like every medical professional, you have an enormous responsibility. In particular, as a medical professional, you often hold your patients’ lives in their hands.
In order to get to where you are now … you have gone through years and years of education, obtained multiple advanced degrees, invested an enormous amount of money and loans in your education, and given up most of your free time to the dedication of the craft. Even now that you have your license, you have to continue to take classes to maintain your license.
So, when your medical license is in jeopardy, you need the best MN medical board attorneys you can find. The process can be intimidating, however with a medical board lawyer who has specialized in this narrow area of the law, you can walk through the process with less anxiety and stress.
What are the Allegations?
There are many allegations that can occur against medical licenses, such as:
- Maltreatment of patients
- Physical, verbal, sexual abuse
- Theft or mistreatment of vulnerable adults
- Clerical errors (documentation mistakes, improperly documenting medical care)
- Negative peer reviews
- Unprofessional conduct
- Chemical dependency (alcohol, drugs)
- Criminal issues
- Non-therapeutic prescribing
- Billing issues
- The list goes on and is enumerated in “Minnesota Statutes section 147.091”
What is the Process?
The process of going through a board complaint is much easier when you have experienced MN Medical Board Attorneys on your side. When you are accused by a patient of wrongdoing, the process usually looks something like this:
- You receive a letter in the mail from the Board
- Letter outlines allegations
- A notice that you get to respond
- You may get a phone call from an investigator
- You have the option to hire an attorney – it is very wise you do this immediately.
- Written responses
- Potential investigation
- Discussions with lawyer
- Submit responses to the Board
- Loss of license
- Maintain license with disciplinary action
- Maintain license
- No action on medical professional.
When the board finds that a licensed physician or a physician registered under section 147.032 has violated a provision or provisions of sections 147.01 to 147.22, it may do one or more of the following:
(1) revoke the license;
(2) suspend the license;
(3) revoke or suspend registration to perform interstate telemedicine;
(4) impose limitations or conditions on the physician’s practice of medicine, including the limitation of scope of practice to designated field specialties; the imposition of retraining or rehabilitation requirements; the requirement of practice under supervision; or the conditioning of continued practice on demonstration of knowledge or skills by appropriate examination or other review of skill and competence;
(5) impose a civil penalty not exceeding $10,000 for each separate violation, the amount of the civil penalty to be fixed so as to deprive the physician of any economic advantage gained by reason of the violation charged or to reimburse the board for the cost of the investigation and proceeding;
(6) order the physician to provide unremunerated professional service under supervision at a designated public hospital, clinic, or other health care institution; or
(7) censure or reprimand the licensed physician.
See “Minn. Stat. § 147.141”
There is a limitation to action by the Board. “No board proceeding against a regulated person shall be instituted unless commenced within seven years from the date of the commission of some portion of the offense or misconduct complained of except for alleged violations of [certain sexual acts]. “Minn. Stat. § 147.091, subdiv. 8”.
Medical Board’s Subject to Discipline
May medical professionals are subject to board discipline. Please see:
Minnesota Board of:
- Psychology (“Governed by Minn. Stat. §§ 148.79–.99”)
- Medical Malpractice (“Governed by Minn. Stat. §§ 147.0001–.37”)
- Pediatric Medicine
- Occupational Therapy (“Governed by Minn. Stat. §§ 148.6401–.6450”)
- Physical Therapy (“Governed by Minn. Stat. §§ 148.65–.78”)
- Optometry (“Governed by Minn. Stat. §§ 148.52–.62”)
- Pharmacy (“Governed by Minn. Stat. §§ 151.01–.70”)
- Chiropractic Examiners (“Governed by Minn. Stat. §§ 148.01–.17”)
- Nursing (“Governed by Minn. Stat. §§ 148.171–.51”)
Who is on the Medical Board?
The Board of Medical Practice is made up of specific individuals:
The Board of Medical Practice consists of 16 residents of the state of Minnesota appointed by the governor. Ten board members must hold a degree of doctor of medicine and be licensed to practice medicine under this chapter. One board member must hold a degree of doctor of osteopathy and either be licensed to practice osteopathy under Minnesota Statutes 1961, sections 148.11 to 148.16; prior to May 1, 1963, or be licensed to practice medicine under this chapter. Five board members must be public members as defined by section 214.02. The governor shall make appointments to the board which reflect the geography of the state. In making these appointments, the governor shall ensure that no more than one public member resides in each United States congressional district, and that at least one member who is not a public member resides in each United States congressional district. The board members holding the degree of doctor of medicine must, as a whole, reflect the broad mix of expertise of physicians practicing in Minnesota. A member may be reappointed but shall not serve more than eight years consecutively. Membership terms, compensation of members, removal of members, the filling of membership vacancies, and fiscal year and reporting requirements are as provided in sections 214.07 to 214.09. The provision of staff, administrative services and office space; the review and processing of complaints; the setting of board fees; and other provisions relating to board operations are as provided in chapter 214.
If certain sexual acts are accused, a probable cause hearing is held:
(a) In any contested case in which a violation of section 147.091, subdivision 1, paragraph (t), is charged all parties shall be afforded an opportunity for a probable cause hearing before an administrative law judge. The motion for a hearing must be made to the Office of Administrative Hearings within 20 days of the filing date of the contested case and served upon the board upon filing. Any hearing shall be held within 30 days of the motion. The administrative law judge shall issue a decision within 20 days of completion of the probable cause hearing. If there is no request for a hearing, the portion of the notice of and order for hearing relating to allegations of sexual misconduct automatically becomes public.
(b) The scope of the probable cause hearing is confined to a review of the facts upon which the complaint review committee of the board based its determination that there was a reasonable belief that section 147.091, subdivision 1, paragraph (t), was violated. The administrative law judge shall determine whether there is a sufficient showing of probable cause to believe the licensee committed the violations listed in the notice of and order for hearing, and shall receive evidence offered in support or opposition. Each party may cross-examine any witnesses produced by the other. A finding of probable cause shall be based upon the entire record including reliable hearsay in whole or in part and requires only a preponderance of the evidence. The burden of proof rests with the board.
(c) Upon a showing of probable cause, that portion of the notice of and order for hearing filed by the board that pertains to the allegations of sexual misconduct, including the factual allegations that support the charge, become public data. In addition, the notice of and order for hearing may be amended. A finding of no probable cause by the administrative law judge is grounds for dismissal without prejudice. Nothing in this section shall prevent the board from reopening the investigation or filing charges based on the same subject matter at a later date.
See “Minn. Stat. § 147.092”
Bottom line, if you are accused of wrongdoing by the medical board, it is very important you hire a specialized medical board lawyer as soon as possible. Call Ryan Garry today – (612) 436-3051!