If you work in the medical profession, you are governed by a strict code of ethics, along with some stringent state and federal laws. But in addition to this, healthcare professionals must also answer to administrative bodies that oversee their practice niche.
Finding yourself accused of wrongdoing can be a frightening experience as a medical professional, since you stand to lose your reputation, your medical license and the career that you’ve worked so hard to establish. But the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass are familiar with the complex administrative procedural laws, which means that our legal team is well-positioned to represent you at a state or federal administrative hearing.
Administrative hearings lawyers can provide assistance if you have been accused of violations of the law or professional practice standards. In addition to handling cases before the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH), defense attorneys with our firm will also represent you before the HIPDB or NPDB, amongst others. We also have many years of experience assisting to defend you from allegations of a controlled substances-related violation.
Based in Plano, Texas, the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass are here to provide you with a free and confidential case consultation session. We work with a broad range of medical professionals, including physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and many others. Call (469) 291-0940.
Questions and Concerns Regarding Administrative Hearings Defense for Medical Professionals
As a healthcare professional, you have invested a great deal of time and effort getting an education and refining the skills you need to provide exceptional care. An allegation or claim that results in an administrative hearing can threaten all of this, ultimately resulting in license suspension, revocation or even criminal charges.
It’s understandable that you may have lots of different questions and concerns, so our legal team has compiled an overview of a few common inquiries that we address.
How Do Administrative Hearing Work?
Administrative hearings are typically held via the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). At the SOAH, administrative law judges (ALJs) conduct hearings for cases that are referred by approximately 50 state agencies and governmental entities, including a number of different medical and healthcare-related boards.
The SOAH administrative hearing process begins when formal charges are filed. This may occur if an allegation has been leveled against a medical professional and a solution cannot be reached through an informal resolution process.
An attorney representing the board in question (such as the Texas Medical Board) will act in the role of a prosecutor. The case is heard by an administrative law judge (ALJ) at an SOAH proceeding.
The SOAH hearing is conducted in a manner that is similar to the procedure that would be used for a criminal trial, with both sides presenting witnesses and evidence. The primary difference is that there is no jury; just the ALJ.
In some cases, the ALJ has the authority to issue the final decision. But, in the majority of cases, the final decision is made by a person within the state agency or by the board or commission that referred the matter to SOAH. So in a case that’s referred by the Texas Medical Board, the matter may be referred back to the board to make the final ruling.
After the case is presented by both the medical professional (and your attorney) and the “prosecutor” representing the Board, the ALJ makes a proposed finding that either identifies a violation of the law or they may find that there is no evidence that a violation has occurred.
If the ALJ finds a violation, the State Board will decide what sanctions should be imposed. Depending upon the nature of the allegations, a number of different penalties or sanctions may be imposed, including but not limited to the suspension or revocation of the professional’s license.
Once the board enters a final order, the respondent may appeal the decision to a District Court.
Who is the Administrative Law Judge?
The administrative law judge is a seasoned attorney who will conduct pre-hearing conferences, issue pre-hearing orders, and the ALJ will serve in the role of a judge, moderating and overseeing the course of the hearing. The ALJ also serves as the jury, ultimately making a determination as to whether there has been a violation of the state law.
In SOAH proceedings, the ALJ presides and listens to the parties’ evidence. After the hearing, the ALJ will consider the evidence and write a Proposal for Decision that recommends an outcome or resolution for the matter at hand.
How Can an Administrative Hearings Defense Lawyer Help Me?
The administrative hearings defense attorney will work to present your case in a clear and compelling manner, maximizing your chances of seeing a positive outcome to the case.
In many cases, if you retain a medical defense lawyer’s services early in the process, your attorney can often help you to resolve the matter via an informal mediation session. Mediation is a cooperative process that gives parties an opportunity to seek an agreed resolution. It is important to have legal counsel help you negotiate a mediated settlement, because state laws and regulations determine what may or may not be decided in mediation. What’s more, your attorney is an experienced negotiator, giving you an edge in this regard as well.
Once the matter goes before the SOAH for an administrative hearing, a defense lawyer’s services become increasingly important because your medical license and the future of your career could quite literally be at stake! With so much on the line, it’s important that you have a professional and strategic defense attorney working hard on your side.
Our Medical Defense Lawyers Will Offer a Highly Strategic Defense at Administrative Hearings
Defense lawyers with the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass are available to assist healthcare professionals throughout the United States.
The Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass were founded by Attorney Jeffrey C. Grass, a well-respected attorney with over 20 years in practice. He is also a former U.S. Navy Judge Advocate (JAG) and he has received an AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®.
A member of the Health Law Section of the Texas State Bar, Attorney Grass can serve as your most important ally as you work to defend yourself, your reputation and your career.
Learn for yourself why the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass have earned a reputation as some of the most well-respected medical licensing defense attorneys in the United States. We invite you to contact us to schedule a confidential, no-cost case consultation by calling (469) 291-0940.