Facing Medical Board Discipline? Our Team Can Help.
At Sawan & Sawan, our team of Ohio Medical Board Defense Lawyers can help you navigate the disciplinary process. We know how difficult and expensive it is to obtain a medical license, so when allegations of professional indiscretions are leveled against you – the stakes could not be higher. We have trained litigators and negotiators standing by to help you understand the process and navigate the administrative and regulatory laws to help you maintain your professional capacity to practice medicine.
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The Ohio Medical Board Disciplinary Process
The State Medical Board of Ohio is an administrative body that oversees a wide range of medical licenses in the State of Ohio. In this role, the Board oversees more than 65,000 licenses throughout the State. Some of the types of medical practitioners that are subject to oversight by the State Medical Board include:
- Doctors of Medicine
- Physician Assistants
- Massage Therapists
- Cosmetic Therapists
- Radiologist Assistants
- Genetic Counselors
- Anesthesiologist Assistants
- Doctors of Osteopathy
The State Medical Board of Ohio is comprised of 12 members. These members are appointed by the Governor of Ohio. The make up of this board consists of nine physicians (which includes at least seven medical doctors), at least one Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, One Doctor of Osteopathy, and at least three consumer members of the general public.
While ongoing regulation and discipline is a routine part of the Board’s duties – it is far from the only thing the Board does. The Medical Board of Ohio is pivotal in the advancement of legislation and amendments to existing medical laws in the State. The Board consists of some 80 employees – from medical review officeers, lawyers and investigators.
Medical Board Complaints
The most common way that a complaint is lodged is by a member of the public. Whenever such a complaint is made, the Medical Board reviews the complaint to determine if the Board has the appropriate jurisdiction to act. If the Board determines that it has the appropriate authority, it begin an investigation into the complaint to determine what, if anything, the license holder did improperly. The most common reasons the Board takes disciplinary action against license holders in Ohio are as follows:
- Fraud, misrepresentation or deception
- Sexual misconduct involving patients
- Ethical violations
- Unauthorized practice of medicine
- Failure to conform to minimal standards of care
- Improperly prescribing, dispensing or administering controlled substances
Per disciplinary guidelines established and published by the Board, the Board has a minimum and maximum penalty for each disciplinary action based on the nature and severity of the allegations. These are rather fact specific, but discipline ranges from a public reprimand to permanent revocation of a license. The Medical Board takes any allegation of violations incredibly seriously. It’s vital that is you are under investigation, that you promptly speak to a qualified and experienced Ohio Medical Board Defense lawyer immediately. Understanding the process and possible outcomes, as well as securing an advocate for your rights before the board, can make the difference between managing the disciplinary fall out or losing your right to practice medicine forever.
Medical Board Hearings
Not all Medical Board cases go to a hearing. In fact, there are many different paths a disciplinary case can take. This flow chart published by the Ohio Medical Board helps to illustrate the variety of ways to resolve a medical disciplinary issue in Ohio.
One of the defining characteristics of the early steps (denoted in Blue) is that during this stage of the process, information is kept confidential. This is often the best chance to try to negotiate a consent agreement while controlling, to some extent, the nature of any public disclosure about the issues at hand. However, if the matter is ultimately sent for a hearing, a formal administrative process will occur and be held before the medical board hearing examiners. Depending on case volume, theses examiners may be employees of the board or contractors hired on a case by case basis. Administrative hearings are formal legal proceedings, and because of this, they often contain legal procedures such as:
- Direct and Cross-Examination of Witnesses
- Opening and Closing Arguments akin to Court
- Stipulations and Arguments about the Admissibility of Evidence
- Formal Admission of Evidence
- The Creation of a Formal Hearing Record
Due to these legal procedures, applicants and licensees unfamiliar with litigation can understandably find this process foreign and uncomfortable. Even seasoned litigators may find this process foreign, as there is no provision for discovery and rather relaxed rules for evidence and civil procedure.
How We Can Help
Our team of Ohio Medical Board Defense Lawyers can help you navigate the disciplinary process in a number of ways. From the outset, our team of lawyers can help to prevent any misunderstandings or issues in communication. Early intervention can also close an investigation early where the board lacks jurisdiction or the allegations do not warrant further discipline – keeping the investigation confidential.
Our team also counsels licensees and applicants as to their rights and responsibilities as to responding to board-issued subpoenas, investigatory interviews and other legal matters associated with professional medical discipline. In addition, our team may be able to assist in negotiating a consent agreement should the matter proceed to a hearing.
The lawyers at Sawan & Sawan are highly qualified to represent medical holders in disciplinary matters involving the State Medical Board of Ohio. Contact our team of Ohio Medical Board Defense Lawyers today at 419-900-0955, or use the online form below to request a free initial consultation with a lawyer.
Dennis E. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Florida
Dennis P. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Georgia
Christopher A. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Michigan
Contact an Attorney today to discuss your case.
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