Philadelphia Physician Lawyers
Sidney L. Gold & Associates Defend and Counsel Physicians facing Disciplinary and Administrative Action
One of the biggest mistakes that physicians facing disciplinary or administrative actions make is not taking the actions seriously. Too often, physicians believe that the charges against them will not amount to any long standing consequences to their careers, but they can in fact have a significant impact on the doctor’s future opportunities. Philadelphia health care lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates provide legal counsel and representation to physicians facing the possibility of license suspension or revocation and state investigations.
Philadelphia physician attorney, Sidney L. Gold combines over 35 years of experience with his extensive knowledge of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York health care law to personally advise, defend and represent physicians facing disciplinary proceedings. Physicians and medical professionals can rely on personalized service and individual attention from Attorney Gold, who is the founder and shareholder of the firm. The dedication and loyalty that he personally shows to his physician and executive clients ensures that their legal rights and careers are protected as they work together toward a successful outcome.
Legal Rights and Professional Careers of Physicians and Medical Personnel
Disciplinary actions and proceedings before state licensing or administrative boards can significantly impact not only a doctor’s career, but also their personal finances. Preventing disciplinary actions is the key to avoiding lengthy and potentially costly proceedings. We work closely with physicians to ensure they are in compliance with the law. Loss of the physician’s health care provider status, staff privileges and professional memberships in the state where the violation occurred, and in any additional states that the physician holds a license to practice, are just some of the actions that can be taken against them.
Physicians are required to report disciplinary events brought by their state licensing boards to the various certification boards, hospitals, insurance plans and organizations in which they are professionally affiliated. These additional boards may also take corrective or disciplinary action against the physician, further impacting their career and financial health. Failing to report the incident to the proper authorities and regulatory boards can lead to criminal and civil consequences.
It is the responsibility of the physician to know their state requirements for reporting disciplinary actions. It is common today for physicians to be asked to provide information on any and all disciplinary events and investigations in which they have been involved. Sidney L. Gold has helped his clients remain compliant with these requirements while protecting the doctor’s professional interests. It is wise for the physician to be proactive in this area to avoid unnecessary penalties.
Disciplinary Actions and Proceedings Follow Standard Protocol
Most physicians are unaware of how the disciplinary process works. In fact, most have no idea what to expect unless they have faced corrective action. The disciplinary process begins when a member of the medical staff, a department chief, committee chairperson, chief executive officer of a medical facility or a member of the Board of Trustees files a written judgment with the Medical Examiner Committee (MEC), which then appoints an Ad Hoc committee to begin an investigation. The physician may not be aware that there may be an issue until the Ad Hoc committee notifies the doctor that it has begun an investigation.
The physician will be notified by registered mail that an investigation has begun. This document outlines the physician’s rights, including the right to be interviewed, the right to know the nature of the charges, whether there will be a report filed with the state medical board or the National Practitioner Data Bank and if their hospital or staff privileges are affected. The investigative process can be a rather long and cumbersome course.
Documents, medical records, interviews with colleagues and personal interviews with the physician in question are included in the investigative process. The physician should always consult with counsel when an investigation begins. At the corrective action stage of the disciplinary process, damage control can be best utilized when settlements can be reached at this level.
When the investigation is complete, the Ad Hoc Committee will submit its report with suggested actions to the appropriate medical examiner. The MEC can then reject or modify the Ad Hoc committee’s recommendations. Corrective actions taken by the MEC include verbal warnings, letter of reprimand, mandated medical education and reduction, suspension or termination of staff privileges. The physician is notified of the MEC’s actions by registered letter, and has the right to request a Judicial Review Hearing within 30 days. If the physician does not file a written request in the specified time period, they lose their right to request the hearing. When these steps are complete, the MEC’s decision is final. The physician then has a limited amount of time to appeal that decision.
Philadelphia Physician Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Represent Physicians and Health Care Workers
If you are a physician or health care worker facing disciplinary or administrative action, the experienced and knowledgeable Philadelphia physician lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates can help ensure your legal rights and professional career are protected. Call us at 215-569-1999 or complete our online contact form to schedule your consultation today. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, enabling us to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.