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Indiana Behavioral Health Board Attorney 

If you are a licensed social worker, marriage and family therapist, or a counselor, then you’ve certainly invested a significant amount of time and resources to reach this point in your career. However, it’s important for you to understand that all that effort and hard work can be rendered meaningless by a single complaint against your professional license. When this occurs, you’ll want to contact an experienced Indiana Behavioral Health Board attorney who has past experience handling matters like these before the Indiana Behavioral Health licensing Board.  

The Indiana professional license defense lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP know just how important of a role you play in our community and believe that you and your license deserve to be protected. With our team by your side, you can rest assured that you are being defended by a skilled litigator who understands precisely what it will take to protect your Indiana behavioral health and human services license. To begin addressing this matter today contact our firm at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. We stand ready to fight for your ability to continue serving the community and thrive in your career.  

Indiana Professional License Defense Attorneys

The Indiana Behavioral Health Board 

The Indiana Behavioral Health Board regulates certain licensed professions in Indiana, including social workers, marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, and addiction counselors.  

As outlined in Indiana Code 25-23.6-2-2, the Board consists of ten members: two marriage and family therapists; one social worker; one social services director of a hospital; two mental health counselors; one consumer; one physician with training in psychiatric medicine; and two licensed clinical addiction counselors.  

The Board, generally, is tasked with establishing the following:  

  • Standards of administration for the Board 
  • Standards of practice for the professions it regulates 
  • Standards for the renewal of licenses 
  • Continuing education requirements for those seeking license renewal 
  • The retention of patient records and reports 
  • The approval of continuing education providers, programs, courses, fees, and proof of course completion 

The Board is also responsible for considering the qualifications of individuals who apply for licensure; provide examinations for those individuals; and for handling the renewal of licenses. On top of that, the Board is responsible for conducting proceedings under the Health Professions Standards of Practice, located in Indiana Code 25-1-9. In other words, when a consumer complaint is made or a licensed practitioner is alleged to have violated the Standards of Practice, the Board shall litigate the matter and decide whether or not disciplinary action shall be taken, and if so, to what extent.  

In addition, the Indiana Behavioral Health Board is comprised of four sections: the social work section; the addiction counselor section; the marriage and family therapist section; and the mental health counselor section. As outlined in Indiana Code 25-23.6-2-11, the duties of these sections are to approve continuing education courses; propose rules to the Board concerning the practice of the profession regulated by each section; and to fulfill “other duties” as directed by the Board.  

Rules Governing a Behavioral Health and Human Services License 

When a person is issued a license by the Behavior Health Licensing Board in Indiana, they must abide by several sets of standards. This includes the general set of rules and regulations set forth Indiana Code 25-1-11-5 for ALL licensed professionals in Indiana; the Indiana Health Professionals Standards of Practice in Indiana Code 25-1-9; and the specific Standards of Practice for their profession, as listed in Rules 3-5.5 of 839 IAC. In addition, Marriage and Family Therapists are required to also comply with the standards set forth in Indiana Code 25-1-9-6.7

Standards for ALL Licensed Practitioners in Indiana 

The standards set forth in Indiana Code 25-1-11-5 prevent all licensed professionals from:  

  • Engaging or cooperating fraud or material deception in order to obtain a license to practice 
  • Engaging or cooperating fraud or material deception in the course of professional services or activities 
  • Advertising services or goods in a false or misleading manner 
  • Being convicted of a crime or assessed a civil penalty involving fraudulent billing practices 
  • Being convicted of a crime that has a direct bearing on the practitioner’s ability to continue to practice competently 
  • Being convicted of a crime that is harmful to the public 
  • Knowingly violating a state statute, rule, federal statute, or regulation that regulates the profession for which the practitioner holds a license 
  • Continuing to practice although the practitioner has deemed unfit to practice 
  • Engaging in a course of lewd or immoral conduct in connection with the delivery of services to the public 
  • Allowing the practitioner’s name or license to be used in connection with an individual or business who renders services beyond the scope of the practitioner’s training, experience or competence 
  • Assisting another person in committing an act that would constitute a ground for disciplinary action 
  • Allowing another person to use the practitioner’s license 
  • Displaying an expired, inactive, revoked or suspended license 
  • Refusing to comply with disciplinary sanctions ordered by the Board or Professional Licensing Agency 

Health Professions Standards of Practice 

The Health Professions Standards, located in Indiana Code 25-1-9-4, includes some broad professional violations, such as “failure to keep abreast of current professional theory or practice.” It also includes rather clear violations, like “engaging in sexual contact with patient,” or “fraudulent billing practices.” However, the standards clearly state that licensed practitioners may have their Behavioral Health and Human Services license called into question by the Behavioral Health Licensing Board in Indiana if they’re convicted “of a crime that is harmful to the public,” or “convicted of a crime with a direct bearing on one’s ability to continue to practice competently.” In addition, the standards also state that a practitioner’s license may be called into question if they are found to “be addicted to, abusing, or having a severe dependency on alcohol or drugs that may impair their ability to practice safely.” 

Navigating Complaints and Hearings Before the Board 

When a complaint is made against a person’s behavioral health and human services license in Indiana, or when a licensee discloses a potential violation to the Board, they may be subject to disciplinary action under Indiana Code 25-1-11-12. The litigation process for such actions begins by the Board notifying the license holder that a hearing has been scheduled for a public evidentiary hearing. This hearing is quite similar to a typical criminal trial in that both sides may present or refute evidence; and that the license holder is within their rights to be represented by an Indiana Behavior Health Board attorney. Ultimately, at this hearing, the Board will seek to determine whether the practitioner violated the practical or ethical standards set forth for their profession. If the practitioner is found to have committed a violation, the Board will proceed to issue a finding of facts and conclusion of law. From there, they’ll proceed to impose disciplinary actions upon the practitioner.   

The disciplinary actions imposed upon a practitioner vary. In some situations, the Board may simply censure the practitioner; issue a formal letter of reprimand; and/or impose civil penalties. As stated in Indiana Code 25-1-11-12(a)(6), a civil penalty may not exceed a total of more than $1,000 and the Board must consider the practitioner’s ability to pay the amount when imposing such a sanction. If the practitioner fails to pay the civil penalty within the time specified by the Board, they may proceed to suspend the practitioner’s license without any additional proceedings. 

In other situations, the Board may place the practitioner’s license on probation and require them to meet requirements before their probationary status may be terminated. Probationary requirements typically include regular reporting to the Board, limiting professional practice, continuing education, and/or community restitution or service. 

Finally, under some circumstances, the Board may issue a lengthy suspension or permanent revocation of the practitioner’s license. This level of action is reserved for the most serious violations, often ones that involve illegal activity. Given this, it’s highly recommended that any practitioner who is concerned about a criminal conviction or criminal allegations contact an Indiana Behavior Health Board attorney who has past litigation experience with the Board. This will better ensure that everything is be done to protect the practitioner’s license and ultimately, their career. 

Why Hire an Indiana Behavior Health Board Attorney?  

If you’re facing disciplinary action by the Behavioral Health and Human Services Board, your career, livelihood and reputation are all at risk. To protect your best interests, it’s highly recommended that you retain the services of an Indiana Behavioral Health Board attorney. This will ensure that you’re being guided and defended by someone who has past experience navigating the administrative procedures of the Board.  

The Indiana professional license defense lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP have helped defend the professional licenses of countless Hoosiers, including social workers, counselors and therapists. Those who choose to enlist our services will have their complaint, along with any other documentation, reviewed by one of our attorneys. From there, they’ll help the practitioner understand the seriousness of the situation and the administrative procedures moving forward.  

After initial consultation, our attorneys will proceed to investigate the allegations and file an appropriate, compliant response with the relevant Board or section. If the matter is set for an evidentiary hearing, they’ll appear alongside the practitioner and argue their case before the Board. Ultimately, if the Board’s ruling is not in favor of the practitioner, an Indiana Behavioral Health Board attorney from our firm may recommend drafting and filing an appeal to review the decision. 

Need to Speak with an Indiana Behavioral Health Board Attorney Today? 

When you’re facing allegations that threaten your Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services license, your entire reputation career is at stake. Therefore, the best thing that you can do to protect your future is to hire an aggressive and experienced professional license defense lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP. No matter the circumstances, our attorneys’ goal is always to protect the livelihood of their clients. That means we’ll work tirelessly in pursuit of the best possible outcome in the matter and exhaust every option to defend your professional license.  

If need an attorney who understands the makeup, culture, and procedures of the Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Board and has handled cases of this nature in the past, then contact our firm today at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. The Indianapolis attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are ready to come to your defense.  

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Indiana Behavioral Health Board Attorney
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Indiana Behavioral Health Board Attorney
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This article describes when it's most important to hire an Indiana Behavioral Health Board Attorney.
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Keffer Hirschauer LLP

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