Indiana Medical Licensing Defense Lawyers
As a physician, you hold the lives of others in your hands. To prepare, you have spent years of hard work to earn and keep your license, always working to stay on top of medical innovations. In addition to keeping up with current science, modern medicine’s increasing adoption of new technologies, shifts in the insurance industry, and a global pandemic have turned delivering care into running a gauntlet. Regardless of the source, questions about your qualifications and care may threaten your license and livelihood. Protect your license and career by consulting the Indiana medical licensing defense lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP.
An Indiana medical board attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP will fight to protect your license and livelihood throughout the complaint process. Just as your patients rely on your experience and knowledge to help them, Indiana-licensed medical practitioners turn to us when they want skilled professional license lawyers to handle their defense.
Why Doctors Hire Keffer Hirschauer LLP’s Indiana Medical Licensing Defense Lawyers
The Indiana Medical Licensing Board oversees and evaluates claims that an Indiana-licensed doctor has violated certain standards of practice. These benchmarks for patient care as well as general standards applicable to licensed professionals generally. Violations of the standards of practice can result in the Board considering revocation of a physician’s license. If that is what you are facing, then choosing one of the Indiana medical licensing defense lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP is vital to helping protect your license and career.
Obtaining your Indiana medical license required years of study and sacrifice. When a complaint puts that license at risk, you need legal representation by counsel with a commensurate devotion and commitment litigating professional license defense cases. Keffer Hirschauer LLP is first and foremost a litigation firm, comprised of attorneys focused on fighting for their clients’ rights through a strategic approach and plan for arguing your case. Whether your focus is on settling to move forward quickly, litigating to the end, or appealing an adverse decision, the Indiana medical licensing defense lawyers in our firm have the experience and drive to see your case through, beside you every step of the way.
Indiana Physician Standards of Practice
Standards of practice can be found in various sections of state law as well as the Board’s administrative rules. All Indiana health professionals are governed by the Health Professions Standards of Practice found in Indiana Code chapter 25-1-9. These standards include some rather broad prohibitions from Indiana Code 25-1-9-4 against certain things like:
- Failure to keep abreast of current professional theory or practice
- Knowingly violating any state statute or rule or federal statute or regulation pertaining to the practice of medicine
- Engaging in fraud or material deception in the course of professional services or activities
- Fraudulent billing practices
- Using false or misleading advertising
- Undertaking professional activities that the physician is not qualified by training or experience to undertake
- Engaging in sexual contact with a patient
In addition to these provisions that apply to all health care professions, Indiana Code article 25-22.5 also prescribes standards of conduct for medical professionals and the consequences for their violation, items that can be tricky ground for practitioners. Finding the right Indiana medical license defense attorney to handle allegations you violated one of these standards can mean the difference between moving forward and the temporary or even permanent loss of your medical license.
Special Cases Where Indiana Medical Licensing Defense Lawyers Can Help
The Medical Licensing Board has established specific standards, found in the Indiana Administrative Code. Some of these areas impose duties on a physician beyond the normal patient care. For example, a physician who deems it medically necessary for a patient to be prescribed opioids must order drug monitoring testing to ascertain whether the patient is abusing the opioids and/or using other drugs that, when mixed with the prescribed opioid, could threaten the patient’s health. A physician who fails to recognize when it is time to engage in such monitoring runs the risk of continuing to prescribe opioids beyond reasonable medical necessity, thereby risking the physician’s medical license or even criminal charges.
Regulation of abortions is another area of the law that puts physicians in the hot seat and subject to complaints with severe consequences. A physician’s license can be revoked solely for failing to transmit a pregnancy termination report to the state health department.
Physicians performing procedures to terminate a pregnancy must also be vigilant to ensure a seemingly legal abortion is not rendered illegal by the intent of the pregnant woman seeking the abortion. Indiana law regarding abortion prohibits abortions based on the following list taken from a longer version in the Indiana Code chapter 16-34-4:
- Sex selection
- Presence of down syndrome
- Presence of another disability
- Race, color, national origin, or national ancestry
There is no deterrence for a woman seeking an abortion that is prohibited by law. Rather, the law specifically prohibits the prosecution of a pregnant woman who undergoes a prohibited abortion, leaving the physician who performs the procedure with all of the consequences.
In addition to these murky regulatory waters that physicians must swim through, many other regulations not directly related to patient care can impact your medical license, such as the failure to pay child support or Indiana property taxes. Doctors must abide by strict requirements relating to the operation of a practice, from patient communication to the oversight of subordinate physician assistants and nurse practitioners to proper use of the Internet.
Discretion is required on the part of doctors every day, and potential complaints of having made the wrong decision are around every corner. When your license is at risk, representation by one of our Indiana medical licensing defense lawyers is an indispensable asset to physicians in any field of medicine.
Dealing with Complaints against a Medical License
Physicians face significant public exposure regarding some controversial issues in society, which can threaten their livelihoods. Some doctors are even criminally prosecuted for actions or behaviors that are defined by law as felonies or misdemeanors.
Lawsuits may also be filed for malpractice by aggrieved patients.
Indiana law regulating professional occupations, including physicians, establishes a procedure for investigating and litigating complaints against physicians licensed in the state. The complaints may come from patients, family members of a patient, or the Board itself. All such complaints are initially referred to the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Indiana Attorney General to investigate complaints against licensed professionals. After investigation, the attorney general may choose to prosecute the complaint before the Medical Licensing Board or its designee, which is typically an administrative law judge.
All complaints must be in writing. Once a written complaint is filed, the director of the Consumer Protection Division must make an initial determination whether it appears to have merit. If so, the Division formally notifies the Medical Licensing Board and the physician.
Do not wait too long to seek an Indiana medical license defense attorney once a complaint is under investigation, because seeking a professional license defense attorney early in the investigation, may help save your medical license.
Facing the Board with Indiana Medical Licensing Defense Lawyers Taking the Lead
The complaint process is lengthy, stressful, and may make things difficult for you if your complaint is ultimately referred to the Board. Upon receiving a complaint against an Indiana physician, the Consumer Protection Division waits 30 days to allow time for the Board to reach a settlement between the doctor who is the subject of the complaint and the person or entity making the complaint.
If no settlement is reached, either the Consumer Protection Division or the Board will investigate the allegations in the complaint. Under Indiana Code § 25-22.5-2-8, the Board conducts the investigation phase for certain alleged violations:
- Failing to perform the duties required for issuing death certificates or birth certificates
- Failing to complete or timely transmit a pregnancy termination form, with each failure constituting a separate violation
- Committing licensure renewal fraud
- Improperly terminating a physician and patient relationship
- Practicing with an expired medical license
- Providing office-based anesthesia without the proper accreditation
- Failing to disclose or the negligent omission of documentation requested for licensure renewal
Following an investigation, if the director of the Consumer Protection Division believes that the accused physician should be subjected to disciplinary action by the Board, the director will make that report to the attorney general. The attorney general will then decide whether to prosecute the complaint before the Board. However, the unanimous vote of the Board can require the attorney general to prosecute the complaint.
Disciplinary Actions Indiana Doctors May Face
In a hearing held before the Board or an administrative law judge, the physician is entitled to due process, including the calling and cross examination of witnesses and representation by counsel. If the Board ultimately finds the physician violated the standards of care or any of the other requirements for maintaining a medical license, the range of disciplinary consequences can include:
- Permanent revocation of the physician’s Indiana medical license
- Suspension of the Indiana medical license
- Written reprimand
- Assessment of a civil penalty of not more than $1,000
These consequences may be reduced or avoided altogether when the doctor is represented by qualified defense counsel before the Board.
Find Your Indiana Medical Licensing Defense Lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP
As a licensed professional, you know the importance of working with someone qualified through years of experience and training. When your license, career, and practice are on the line, you need Indiana medical licensing defense lawyers who can capably investigate, litigate, and negotiate settlements in medical license cases. If you’re facing a complaint that could impact your Indiana medical license, schedule a free consultation with one of the Indianapolis medical licensing defense lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP by calling (317) 857-0160 or by completing our online contact form.