If you are a healthcare professional in Texas and receive a letter of investigation from a governing board, it is important to seek legal counsel right away. The board may be investigating allegations that you have violated the standard of care, which could lead to disciplinary action and the loss of your license.
Don’t try to face these types of situations alone. Let an experienced professional help you defend your case. In this blog post, we’ll discuss board investigations and when you should seek legal counsel.
These Are the Governing Bodies to Know
If you are a licensed healthcare professional in Texas, you may be regulated by one of the following boards:
– The Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP)
– The Texas Medical Board (TMB)
– The Texas Nurses Association (TNA)
Each of these governing bodies has an array of objectives and responsibilities, but chief among them are the licensure and registration of healthcare professionals. They can make you, and they can break you.
How Investigations Arise
In most cases, investigations arise from complaints filed by patients or other individuals. The board will review the allegations and decide whether to pursue an investigation. In some cases, the board may also launch its own investigation in addition to reviewing complaints.
What Happens in an Investigation?
If the board decides to pursue an investigation, it will likely send a letter of inquiry to the healthcare professional. This letter will ask for detailed information about the allegations and the professional’s response. The board may also request that the professional appears for a board hearing.
It is important to remember that you are not required to speak with the board or provide any information beyond what is requested in the letter of inquiry. You should seek legal counsel before doing anything else. John Teakell can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process.
What Are the Risks of Being Investigated?
If you are found to have violated the standard of care set forth by your licensing board, you could face disciplinary action. This could include a fine, suspension, or revocation of your license. It is, therefore, crucial to have an experienced attorney representing you during an investigation. Here are some things to look for when it comes to hiring the right representation for your case:
– Experience with your specific board: Not all attorneys have experience with every board, so be sure to ask about this.
– A track record of success: Ask the attorney about their past cases and whether they have experience defending against the specific allegations you are facing.
– Good communication: You should feel comfortable communicating with your attorney and confident that they will keep you posted on the updates and developments in your case.
– A solid understanding of the law: This one is self-explanatory. You want to be confident that your attorney knows the ins and outs of the law and will fight aggressively on your behalf.
What Happens With Your Job While the Case Is Pending?
In most cases, you will be able to continue working while the board conducts its investigation. However, if your employer is also under investigation or faces potential disciplinary action, that could impact your employment status.
Many employers may place you on paid administrative leave while the investigation proceeds. Sounds great, getting paid to stay at home, but it’s not. Your whole career could hang in the balance, so there are likely to be several restless nights. It’s hardly a vacation!
(All the more reason why you should discuss your case with an attorney to get a better understanding of how it may affect your job, and why you need an attorney who prioritizes your questions, phone calls, and emails.)
Need Legal Help?
In this article, you’ve learned to seek legal counsel immediately once you have received a letter of inquiry from a board investigating a complaint against you. Board investigations can result in disciplinary action that could include fines and suspension on the “light” end, or a complete loss of career via the revocation of your license on the “severe.”
John Teakell is an experienced attorney, who can help guide you through the process and protect your rights. Contact him any time by phone, fax, or email, and start building toward the defense that you and your career deserve.