Losing a loved one can be devastating, and human nature may demand a place to lay blame. Medical care providers are often the easiest target for bereaved family members.
Standard-of-care complaints can result in sanctions, and even license revocation. The details of the case are also a matter of public record which could lead to a damaged reputation. With so much at stake, it is wise to understand ahead of time what happens when a health care professional faces the medical board.
The complaint process
The process begins when someone files a complaint, in writing, to the medical board. The board assigns an investigator to determine the facts of the case, and it informs the licensee of the complaint. The notice includes details about the initial settlement conference where the parties will review the case. If the evidence proves a code violation, the licensee receives appropriate sanctions.
The board dismisses some complaints immediately once the facts are clear. Others may need a more in-depth investigation. Even though the physician did everything right, the complainant still has the opportunity to request an investigation and review the results.
The possible results
The best-case scenario is a complete dismissal of the complaint. The most serious outcome is the revocation of a license to practice medicine. Between these extremes, outcomes may include probation, an order to attend training courses or oversight by a compliance officer from the board.
Even when complaints seem frivolous or vindictive, health care professionals should take their defense to the board seriously.