As a Wisconsin licensed professional, you dedicated many hours and a lot of effort and money to obtain and maintain your license. You also know that having a professional license garners public trust in the services you provide, and you have a responsibility to maintain a professional reputation.
Whether you are a doctor, nurse, dentist, accountant, plumber, educator, or some other licensed professional in Wisconsin, you strive to be a consummate professional and conduct yourself to the highest standards. However, you always run the risk of someone filing a complaint against you and jeopardizing your license.
Complaints can come from just about anyone, from clients and patients to colleagues, students, and parents. Depending on the nature of the complaint, you could lose your professional license, and the whole ordeal could adversely affect your career, your livelihood, and your future.
Therefore, you need to consult an experienced professional license defense attorney in Wisconsin the moment you learn of a complaint against you and an impending investigation by the Wisconsin licensing board that governs your profession.
Contact Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his experienced Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm for a complete and confidential evaluation of your case and advice regarding your options.
Trust The Lento Law Firm to Help You Defend Your Professional License
You may think that once you obtain your professional license, you will have it forever. However, you can only keep your license if you maintain good standing by adhering to your licensing board's rules and regulations.
Your license can be threatened if you violate any professional codes of conduct the licensing board has set forth. Although licensed professionals work in different fields with their own sets of standards, many code of conduct violations are similar no matter the industry.
For example, teachers and physicians have vastly different job roles and licensing requirements, but either can face disciplinary action from the licensing board if they are convicted of a crime, such as DUI, or if they engage in prohibited sexual activity. Also, many licensed professionals can face serious repercussions if accused of fraud, negligence, or some other wrongdoing.
No matter your profession, you rely on your license to maintain your practice, and any allegations of code of conduct violations can prove detrimental to your career.
The Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm has helped many licensed professionals across Wisconsin with their serious licensing board matters. We can review your case and advise you of your options and help you defend yourself against any allegations. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation.
The Disciplinary Process for Licensed Professionals in Wisconsin
Wisconsin has several licensing boards that govern licensed professionals in their respective fields or industries. The Wisconsin Medical Examining Board (MEB) governs medical doctors and surgeons along with many other healthcare professionals, such as chiropractors, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, and anesthesiologists. The Wisconsin Board of Nursing governs registered nurses, and other boards govern licensed professionals like architects, engineers, social workers, and electricians.
Although each field's licensing board may use different guidelines or procedures that apply only to their industry, the administrative disciplinary process is similar among all licensing boards.
Virtually all of Wisconsin's licensing boards fall under the purview of the State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). DSPS offers an alphabetized list of all licensing boards in Wisconsin and allows users to research a licensed professional's credentials and discipline record. DSPS also provides resources to help people file complaints through the Division of Legal Services and Compliance (DLSC).
The initial action that occurs in most disciplinary processes in Wisconsin is someone filing a formal complaint with the DLSC. Although a person can file a complaint anonymously, the lack of identifying information may slow down the investigation or make corroborating their claim impossible. Also, the DSPS cannot guarantee a complaint will remain confidential.
Depending on your profession, you could receive a complaint from any of the following:
- Other doctors
- Other licensed practitioners in your profession
- Coworkers and colleagues
- Clients or customers
- Students or parents
Also, insurers can file claims against you if they suspect you of insurance fraud, and court clerks can report you were convicted of a crime.
After they receive your complaint, DLSC will review it. Some complaints prove frivolous or unsubstantiated and may be resolved shortly thereafter. Other complaints may warrant further investigation.
Investigators will examine all evidence pertinent to the case and may review your professional records and interview others who may have material evidence regarding the complaint.
Once you learn of the complaint or impending investigation, you need to consult an experienced professional license defense attorney immediately. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the experienced Professional License Defense Team at The Lento Law Firm can review your case and advise you on how best to handle the situation.
Possible Disciplinary Actions
The investigation may prove your innocence or further implicate you enough to require disciplinary action. However, the matter may not be serious enough to warrant harsh consequences or may have more appropriate resolutions.
The DLSC may also resolve the matter by issuing stipulated agreements or having you engage in informal settlement conferences with the other parties and their counsel. The case advisor may provide their professional opinion on the matter and suggest an appropriate resolution.
If parties can reach no satisfactory agreement, your case will progress to the fourth stage: a formal hearing. A DLSC attorney will present your case before an administrative law judge (ALJ). The judge will issue a proposed decision that the licensing board will review. The board will then decide on the appropriate disciplinary action.
If found guilty of violations, you could suffer a range of consequences, including reprimand or censure, practice limitations, or suspension or revocation of your license.
Why You Need the Lento Law Firm to Help Protect Your License
During all stages of the disciplinary process, you need an experienced attorney in your corner to advise you of your options and advocate for you when they can. A lot depends on your professional license, and you want to do all you can to increase your chances of resolving the matter efficiently with the least restrictive outcome possible.
The bureaucracy involved with the disciplinary process can be challenging, stressful, and time-consuming. You want to compile and present the strongest defense possible, and you can turn to Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team for help. We can:
- Review the complaint thoroughly and recommend a strong defense strategy
- Gather evidence and witness testimony
- Represent you in all interactions with the investigator and licensing board
- Create a convincing response to the complaint to resolve the matter quickly
- Negotiate with the licensing board to dismiss your case or lessen the consequences
- Advocate for you to help you get favorable terms in the stipulated agreement or settlement conferences
- Assert your rights and fight for you at the formal hearing
With all you have at stake, you don't want to tackle this matter on your own. Contact The Lento Law Firm for a comprehensive review of your case and advice on your best course of action.
Areas We Serve in Wisconsin
The Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm represents all types of licensed professionals throughout Wisconsin, including:
Wisconsin's largest city, Milwaukee has a population of 577,222. Although known for its brewing industries, Milwaukee is home to the corporate headquarters of many technology and engineering companies. It is also home to Froedtert Hospital. GE Healthcare and Diagnostic Imaging and Clinical Systems each have a major presence there.
Madison, Wisconsin, has a population of almost 270,000, and it serves as the seat of Dane County. Being the state's capital, Madison has a strong government labor presence, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison is an important research institution with more than 22,000 employees and staff. Additionally, the University's hospitals and clinics are renowned trauma and teaching centers. The city's other healthcare providers include Meriter Hospital, St. Mary's, and VA Medical Center.
Home to the Packers and more than 107,000 people, Green Bay has a rich history in the paper industry. It is also the seat of Brown County. According to most recent reports, the largest employer industry in Brown County was health services, and Bellin Health ranks among the top employers in the Green Bay area.
Located about midway between Milwaukee and Chicago, Illinois, Kenosha has a population of just under 100,000. Sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan, Kenosha has a big maritime industry, but it is also home to many light tech, textile, tool manufacturing, and retail and business companies. It is also home to Froedtert South Kenosha Medical Center Campus and the Aurora Medical Center.
Located in the western part of Wisconsin, Eau Claire is a beautiful city with a population of more than 69,000. The city's major industrial employers are Silver Spring Food and Menards. Eau Claire is also home to a Mayo Clinic Health System hospital, which has a Level 2 trauma center, and two other hospitals with Level 3 trauma centers: Marshfield Medical Center and HSHS Sacred Heart.
Offenses or Allegations that Might Jeopardize Your Professional License
To maintain public trust, Wisconsin's DSPS and the state's various licensing boards must hold their licensees to high standards. DSPS, DLSC, and all Wisconsin licensing agencies take complaints seriously and try to follow up and resolve every matter. Some common ethics and professional conduct violations that can result in formal complaints, investigations, and possible administrative consequences include:
Licensed healthcare professionals such as doctors and pharmacists could face allegations of fraud by:
- Billing patients or insurers for services they did not provide
- Overbilling patients
- Upcoding, or using a more expensive charge code for a low-charge service
- Providing services outside their practice's scope
- Accepting kickbacks or expensive gifts for referrals
- Submitting false patient diagnoses to collect a higher reimbursement from insurers
Other professionals can face accusations of fraud, such as accountants, financial advisors, real estate professionals, and appraisers.
Abuse, Gross Negligence
For doctors, a patient could accuse you of jeopardizing or violating their well-being or safety, such as:
- Physically striking them or sexually assaulting them
- Emotionally abusing them or threatening or berating them
- Making medical or prescription errors
- Violating their patient confidentiality
Sexual Misconduct/Inappropriate Relationships
Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals can face allegations of inappropriate sexual relationships with their patients. Unlawful sexual contact and sexual assault are also serious allegations that could have legal repercussions.
Inappropriate Handling of Medications
Doctors, pharmacists, and anesthesiologists can face disciplinary actions if they incorrectly prescribe, dispense, or track medications. You can also face serious consequences if found selling prescriptions or issuing prescriptions outside your practice area.
Inaccurate Record Keeping
Falsifying patient records or keeping messy or incomplete patient records can result in disciplinary action.
Licensed professionals who struggle with substance abuse or addiction could face disciplinary action. Many boards consider this a particularly serious offense.
Professionals can receive serious repercussions not only to their license but their freedom if convicted of a crime. Crimes related to your profession, DUI convictions, and crimes of moral turpitude are considered among the most serious offenses.
The Lento Law Firm: Professional License Defense for Licensed Professionals in Wisconsin
The Professional License Defense Team at The Lento Law Firm has many years of experience representing licensed professionals across Wisconsin and throughout the country. We routinely assist many different licensed professionals, including
- Doctors and physicians
- Physician assistants
- Physical therapists
- Mental health professionals
- K-12 educators
- Real estate agents
- Insurance agents
The Lento Law Firm also represents many other licensed professions, such as electricians, HVAC specialists, funeral directors and cemetery professionals, building contractors, and professionals charged with building system maintenance and fire safety.
No matter your profession or the allegations against you, you need to fight for your license to safeguard your career and livelihood. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team have extensive experience representing clients before the DSPS and licensing board throughout Wisconsin. We can advise you of your options and fight hard for your future.