Indiana Physical Therapist License Lawyer
Physical therapists can play a significant and impactful role in a patient’s recovery. As health care practitioners, their education and training are lengthy and arduous, making the career investment in both time and money a significant one. If your license is at risk because of a professional complaint, you need a professional license defense lawyer to protect that investment and your future. You need the services of an Indiana physical therapist license lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP.
The Indiana physical therapist license lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP understand the significance of your professional license and have the experience protecting professional licensing interests needed to protect your livelihood.
The Significance of an Indiana Physical Therapist License Lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP
Working in the healthcare field means you are subject to regulation by both Federal and state law. At the federal level, HIPAA requires confidentiality regarding patient information, and Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement laws affect billing practices. At the state level, you must be licensed to practice as a physical therapist in Indiana, and state laws and regulations govern how you may practice. The Indiana Physical Therapy Board, under the oversight of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, handles licensure and complaint matters of Indiana physical therapists.
Just as you would not wish for a patient to “wing it” regarding his or her ongoing care, you need the help of experienced professionals when licensing issues or complaints arise. Keffer Hirschauer LLP has the depth of experience and overall litigation skills you need to protect the time and money you’ve invested in your profession demand counsel and protection by an Indiana physical therapist license lawyer.
Getting Your Indiana Physical Therapist License
After completing your formal education from an accredited institution, the next step toward working as a physical therapist in Indiana is successful examination and licensure. In addition, a physical therapist in Indiana must meet the requirements set out in Indiana Code § 25-27-1-6.1 to qualify for a license:
- Submit a completed application and related to the Board
- Provide proof of graduation from course of study on physical therapy course approved by the Board
- Pass a Board-approved examination on physical therapy
- Pass a criminal background check
- Meet any other requirements of the Board for licensure
Applicants may not be eligible for an Indiana physical therapist license if they have been disciplined by another state’s licensing agency after being found unable to practice as a therapist without endangering the public
Significantly, if your license is denied based on your criminal background check or relevant discipline in another state, Indiana Code § 25-27-1-6 gives you only 15 days to file an appeal from that decision.
Licensure can also be problematic if your physical therapy education was from an institution in a foreign country. In such cases, the Board evaluates the quality of the foreign program to determine whether it is equivalent to accredited US programs.
Seemingly small errors in the application process or larger issues in your background can delay or even block approval for an Indiana license. A physical therapist professional license lawyer in Indianapolis from Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help you anticipate and avoid problems and, if any arise, persuasively argue your case before the Board.
What the Indiana Code Says about Physical Therapists
Once licensed, you continue to be subject to federal and state regulations governing physical therapy practitioners. One of the most fundamental legal requirements involves your authority to practice. Under Indiana Code § 25-27-1-2.5, any physical therapy treatment exceeding 42 calendar days must be based on an order from a licensed medical care provider.
The Indiana Health Professions Standards of Practice found under Indiana Code chapter 25-1-9 governs physical therapists and several other medical professionals. These standards provide guidance on how to conduct yourself in the profession and prohibitions in the practice of physical therapy. If substantiated, violations of these standards can result in sanctions imposed by the Board.
Common Bases of Disciplinary Action Necessitating an Indiana Physical Therapist License Lawyer
You may be subject to discipline by the Board if you are charged with a crime or face a civil suit for insurance claim, Medicare, or Medicaid fraud. Your license may also be at risk after conviction for a crime that directly impacts your professional competence or that could be considered injurious to the public.
Your fitness to practice can be undermined by circumstances pertaining to and outside of your professional life. For example, you could be disciplined if the Board finds that you have continued practicing as a physical therapist despite unfitness because of one of the following:
- Failure to keep up-to-date on current professional practice or theory
- Professional incompetence
- Physical or mental disability
- Addiction to drugs or alcohol
Physical therapists are also prohibited from engaging in any behavior that might be considered lewd or immoral as well as sexual relations with a patient.
Physical therapists also may not allow their name or license to be used by another who provides service that is outside the scope of the other’s experience, training, and competence. For example, allowing or causing a physical therapist assistant or aide to perform functions that should only be performed by a licensed physical therapist can result in a professional complaint and discipline.
Regardless of the basis of the complaint, your future is at risk if you cannot successfully defend yourself against the allegations. An Indiana physical therapist license lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help you identify the legal basis for the allegations, implement strategies for dismissal of legally meritless allegations, and protect your interests throughout the proceedings.
The Catch-All Provision that Demands an Indiana Physical Therapist License Lawyer
The standards also contain a catch-all provision at Indiana Code § 25-1-9-4, which subjects an Indiana-licensed physical therapist to sanctions for “knowingly violating any state statute or rule, or federal statute or rule that regulates the profession” of physical therapy. That is subject to varying interpretations, but the critical word here is “knowingly.” The issue is whether you knew or should have known you were in violation. Establishing a licensee’s state of mind—or defending against an allegation regarding the licensee’s state of mind—requires refined legal strategy and litigation skills best left to experienced Indiana physical therapist license lawyers.
These standards leave a lot of room for interpretation about behavior, intent, state of mind, and other factors when it comes to assessing whether you might have committed a violation that is subject to discipline. Given the one-sidedness of the Board’s authority over licensure in Indiana, you benefit significantly from help by an Indiana physical therapist professional license attorney.
The Process for Complaints Filed against Indiana Physical Therapists
Under Indiana Code chapter 25-1-7, the Indiana Physical Therapy Board and the Office of the Indiana Attorney General (AG) share responsibility for investigating and prosecuting professional complaints filed against a physical therapist. Anyone may file a complaint—either the Board or an individual. The complainant must sign and file with the AG’s Consumer Protection Division (Division) a written complaint.
The Consumer Protection Division reviews the complaint and makes a preliminary determination of whether it appears to have merit. If the Division finds potential merit in the allegations, it notifies the Board and the physical therapist named in the complaint. However, the Division then takes no further action for 30 days to allow the physical therapist and the complainant time to negotiate a settlement.
If the physical therapist and the complainant fail to agree on settlement terms, the Division proceeds to investigate the allegations in the complaint. Once completed, the Division’s director reviews the evidence to determine whether the physical therapist should be disciplined. If the director finds the evidence supports the imposition of discipline based on the allegations in the complaint, he or she reports that decision to the attorney general.
The attorney general has the final word on whether to prosecute the complaint unless the Board unanimously votes for prosecution. Prosecution of a complaint is before the Board or an administrative law judge (ALJ), and the physical therapist is entitled due process and representation by counsel.
Hiring experienced counsel as early in the process as possible is best, but it is never too late. The best way to protect your rights—and your future—is to employ an Indiana physical therapist license lawyer with the background and skills for successful professional license defense.
Possible Sanctions against Indiana Physical Therapists
If a hearing results in findings that the evidence supports the allegations against you, you may be subject to one or more disciplinary consequences. Indiana Code § 25-1-9-9 lists the possible sanctions you may face, which include:
- Permanent revocation of your Indiana physical therapy license
- Suspension of your Indiana physical therapy license
- Censure by the Board
- Receipt of a written reprimand by the Board
- Civil penalty of not more than $1,000
A Keffer Hirschauer Indiana physical therapist license lawyer can help you at the sanction phase of your proceeding, too, and can advise you whether you should consider an appeal, ably seeing you through that process as well.
Contact an Indiana Physical Therapist License Lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP Today
Just as patients put their recovery in your capable hands, so should you put the defense of your license and livelihood in the capable hands of an Indiana physical therapist license lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Whether you need help getting or renewing your license or you need to defend yourself against a complaint, our considerable litigation skills and deep experience in professional license defense are critical to protecting your license and career. For a free consultation about how we can help in your case, contact us at (317) 857-0160 or complete the form on our online contact page.