Physicians with Disciplinary Complaints Before the Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts
Physicians who receive disciplinary complaints from the Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts (Board of Healing Arts) need representation from attorneys with legal knowledge and experience particular to medical professionals. The Law Office of Kevin J. Dolley regularly represents physicians in all areas of their profession, including complaints from the Board of Healing Arts and internal disciplinary procedures. See also Physician Employment Agreements. We have a dedicated team of attorneys with the knowledge and experience needed to protect your license to practice medicine—and your career.
Complaints to the Missouri Board of Healing Arts
When a complaint against a physician or surgeon is received by the Board of Healing Arts, it assigns it to an investigator. The ensuing investigation can be complex, time consuming and wide ranging. The practice of medicine often involves complicated procedures and complex decisions made during difficult situations. An attorney with extensive knowledge of the practice of medicine and its laws and regulations is crucial during the investigation to ensure relevant facts and defenses are presented to the Board. Our Firm has represented many health care professionals and has the medical and legal knowledge necessary to successfully defend physicians accused of misconduct.
Discipline for Missouri Physicians and Surgeons
If a complaint is not resolved at the conclusion of the investigation, the Board may file formal charges seeking discipline against a physician’s license under Chapter 334 RSMo. Allegations by which a physician may be subject to discipline under Missouri law include:
- Felony or misdemeanor criminal conviction or guilty plea;
- Medication diversion;
- Drug or alcohol use, unlawful possession, intoxication or impairment;
- Incompetency, gross negligence, or repeated negligence;
- Misconduct, fraud, misrepresentation, dishonesty, unprofessional conduct, or unethical conduct in the performance of medical duties;
- Discouraging the use of a second opinion;
- Willfully and continually performing inappropriate or unnecessary treatment;
- Delegating professional responsibilities to an unqualified or unlicensed person;
- Misrepresenting that disease or ailment can be cured;
- Performing medical services of no value;
- Signing a blank prescription form;
- False or misleading advertising;
- Failure to guard against infectious or communicable diseases or maintaining an unsanitary office;
- License application issues;
- Disciplinary action by another state board;
- Probation violations.
The Board of Healing Arts Disciplinary Process
Physicians and surgeons in Missouri face discipline for these and other violations listed in Section 334.100 RSMo. If the complaint is not resolved at the end of the disciplinary process, the Board files formal charges with the Administrative Hearing Commission (AHC). The AHC is an adjudicative body that hears and determines disciplinary allegations against Missouri licensed professionals. The AHC holds a trial-type hearing to determine if a physician’s license is subject to discipline. Each party calls and examines witnesses, cross examines the other party’s witnesses, introduces evidence, and makes legal objections. Parties may file motions before and during the hearing, which is similar to a trial before a judge. Following the hearing, the parties present oral and written legal arguments to the assigned Commissioner.
If the physician is successful in defending the complaint before the AHC, the AHC rules in the physician’s favor and there are no further proceedings. If the AHC finds the physician’s license is subject to discipline, the Board holds a second hearing to determine the appropriate discipline. This second hearing includes witness testimony and cross examination, admission of evidence, and arguments to the Board members. Potential forms of discipline include censure, probation, suspension, or revocation.
These cases often involve determination of complex medical issues beyond the knowledge or experience of most attorneys. Our Firm has both the medical and legal knowledge needed to apply complicated facts to Missouri law. Our extensive experience representing health care professionals in all aspects of their careers gives us the ability to understand and apply medical testimony and documentation to the statutes and regulations governing discipline of Missouri physicians and surgeons. We also possesses a deep understanding of evidentiary rules, trial procedures and substantive law that can make the difference when defending physicians in court.
Immediate Discipline Against Physicians
In certain situations, the Board may seek emergency discipline against a physician, including license revocation, license suspension, or practice restrictions. These situations include engaging in sexual conduct with a patient or minor, possession or use of a controlled substance without a prescription, habitual intoxication, or being found to be unfit to practice. Time is of the essence in these situations. Once the Board files its emergency complaint, the AHC must decide whether probable cause exists within five days. The AHC must then hold a hearing within 45 days. The same trial-type procedures described above are followed, but on an expedited basis. The AHC may later hold a second disciplinary hearing to resolve additional or non-emergency allegations.
Legal representation by an attorney with medical and legal knowledge is even more important in these emergency hearings. Physicians facing emergency license suspension or practice restrictions need an attorney who can quickly and competently analyze and defend against the Board’s allegations. Contact the Law Offices of Kevin J. Dolley immediately if you are a Missouri physician or surgeon facing an emergency disciplinary complaint from the Board.
Criminal Convictions and Their Impact on Professional Licenses
Physicians faced with criminal charges must pay special attention to the impact a conviction or plea agreement will have on their licenses and privileges to practice. Misdemeanor or felony convictions and guilty pleas will frequently subject physicians to discipline from the Board. Criminal proceedings could result in license suspension or even automatic revocation. They often must be reported to the Board, so physicians must consider their licenses and careers when going through the criminal court process. Decisions made prior to pleading guilty or going to trial can impact physicians for the rest of their professional lives. Physicians who have been charged with a crime need to consult the Law Offices of Kevin J. Dolley before deciding how to resolve their criminal charges.
Multiple State Licensing Issues
Our attorneys understand the effect disciplinary actions can have on your license, particularly if you are licensed in multiple states. Certain issues can follow you from state to state so it is important to know and evaluate your options.
Physicians whose applications to practice medicine have been denied by the Board have the right to appeal under Missouri law. After receiving written notice of denial from the Board, a physician may file a complaint with the AHC. A trial-type hearing then occurs and the AHC can overturn the Board’s decision to deny licensure. These proceedings are similar to those described above for disciplinary complaints. Legal representation is important during this process in order to ensure the proper procedures are followed and legal standards are met.
Missouri law provides physicians with revoked license an opportunity to apply for reinstatement provided certain conditions are met. The Law Offices of Kevin J. Dolley can help navigate this process and ensure you meet the Board’s requirements for reinstatement.
If you are facing a matter that relates to or threatens to negatively impact your Missouri physician’s license, contact the Law Offices of Kevin J. Dolley to address the situation by calling (314) 645-4100 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.