Any regulated health care provider in Virginia is required to hold a license, certification, or registration issued by one of the 14 individual health regulatory boards within the Virginia Department of Health Professions. In addition to issuing professional licensees, the Boards within the Department of Health Professions are responsible for establishing professional practice standards, investigating alleged violations of those standards, and pursuing disciplinary action against licensed health care providers for such violations.
Allegations of misconduct can originate from a variety of sources, including patients, employers, employees, law enforcement agencies, courts, and other state and federal regulatory agencies. Each board has wide discretion to discipline a licensee based on substandard quality of care, practicing beyond the scope of licensure, diversion of prescription drugs, inappropriate prescribing, inadequate documentation, unprofessional conduct, certain criminal convictions, and adverse licensure action in another jurisdiction. Findings of violations can result in a range of public sanctions including reprimand, probation, suspension, or revocation of a license.
A complaint against any health care provider sparks many concerns. Public disciplinary action results in the publishing of personal details of allegations on the Board’s website and licensure verification sites, and may result in reports to the National Practitioner Data Bank. Public disciplinary action remains visible throughout a provider’s career, requiring disclosure and review during future efforts to obtain privileges or credentials with other health care entities or payors, or licenses in other states. Some types of factual findings in public disciplinary orders can prevent health care providers from ever working again in certain employment settings. Our attorneys offer years of experience and expertise in counseling health care providers through licensure disciplinary matters and resulting complications.
The attorneys at Mellette PC understand the distress and alarm that follows when a health care professional receives a complaint against their license. Receipt of a complaint does not mean that the licensee has done anything wrong, but it does mean there will be a thorough investigation. Involvement of an attorney does not imply guilt, but does help ensure that the complaint is addressed professionally, completely, and in a manner that places the practitioner in the best light. Throughout an investigation, Mellette PC attorneys seek to understand our client’s position, accurately present information, and assert defenses. Should allegations require informal or formal administrative proceedings, our attorneys develop evidence and legal arguments, prepare witness testimony, and assist clients in presenting themselves effectively in response to questions from the regulatory Board. We seek to develop an effective and efficient approach for each client that provides peace of mind and assistance throughout the entire investigation and any disciplinary proceedings.