While the cost for a professional license in Ohio is usually at most a few hundred dollars, the license itself represents the significant expenditures in time, energy, and money you made to meet the qualifications to obtain it. Losing your professional license, whether you are a physician, dentist, nurse, electrician, teacher, or other licensed professional, has devastating consequences that ripple out to other aspects of your life. Allegations that threaten your licensure must be taken very seriously as soon as they arise. Protect your professional reputation and future by engaging Joseph D. Lento and his experienced Professional License Defense Team to navigate this challenge to your career.
The Lento Law Firm: Professional License Defense in Ohio
Professional code violations that threaten your professional license range from violating patient/client confidentiality to sexual misconduct, mishandling medications, substance abuse, and more. Your licensure may even be threatened if you are convicted of a crime that has no direct connection to your profession, for example, driving while intoxicated. As soon as you know about the possibility of allegations of professional misconduct against you, it is crucial to speak with a skilled Professional License Defense Attorney.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team have the experience you need to respond to the allegations of professional misconduct in Ohio and in any other state in the country. They have helped healthcare professionals and other licensed professionals like you who were at risk of losing their licenses. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case.
The Disciplinary Process for Licensed Professionals in Ohio
The board that issued your professional license oversees the review of any accusations of wrongdoing or misconduct. Procedures and guidelines may vary a bit, but each board follows the process outlined below.
As is typical in other states, disciplinary proceedings against a licensed professional in Ohio usually begin when a complaint is filed with the relevant state agency. Complaints against doctors are filed with the State Medical Board of Ohio, which also handles complaints against physician assistants, massage therapists, radiologist assistants, respiratory care professionals, anesthesiologist assistants, genetic counselors, acupuncturists, and dieticians. There are several boards for other healthcare professions, including nursing, dentistry, and counseling. Agencies for other licensed professionals include the Ohio State Board of Education, the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board, and the Department of Insurance.
Anyone can file a complaint that may threaten your license; common complainants usually fall into one of these categories:
- patients or clients
- other practitioners
- insurers (usually in cases of suspected fraud)
- court clerks (i.e., reporting a recent criminal conviction to your licensing board)
When the relevant licensing agency receives a complaint against you, it launches an investigation. You should receive a written notice of the investigation, which may include an opportunity to respond to the complaint. The investigator may contact you to schedule an interview or may even show up unannounced at your office if, for example, the complaint includes allegations of drug or alcohol impairment. After the initial investigation, the investigator files a report, and the agency determines the next steps, which may include closing the complaint or moving forward and possibly interviewing the complainant and issuing a subpoena for relevant records. Given the potential risk to your professional license, you should immediately contact Joseph D. Lento and his experienced Professional License Defense Team soon as you receive notice of the investigation.
If the investigation results in support for disciplinary action, the licensing board or agency may try to negotiate a legally binding consent agreement in which you admit liability or guilt, but you may be able to avoid losing your professional license. The consent agreement may include penalties such as substance abuse treatment or mandatory classes. Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team have the experience to advise you on the best course to take when negotiating a consent agreement with the licensing board.
If a consent agreement is not offered or cannot be reached, there will be an administrative hearing; your attendance is mandatory. The licensing board will present its case, and you will be able to respond to the evidence against you and show cause why your professional license should not be suspended or revoked. The licensing board will then make a determination of your guilt or innocence and decide on what disciplinary actions to take against you.
Why You Need the Lento Law Firm to Help Protect Your License
Unlike with many other legal issues, the person bringing a complaint that could threaten your professional license does not need to incur any costs or hire legal representation. And for some professions—for example, those under the administration of the State Medical Board of Ohio—there is no statute of limitations on filing a complaint. All the risk lies heavily on the target of the complaint.
If you are facing allegations of professional misconduct, do not increase the risk by attempting to represent yourself at any phase of the action against you. Retaining the Lento Law Firm will dramatically improve your chances of a positive outcome, and the sooner in the process you retain one, the better. Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team can assist you in many ways, including with the following steps:
- Review the complaint against you and determine the best strategy for a strong defense, starting with evidence collection, witness procurement, and more.
- Serve as your official legal representative in all interactions with the administrative board reviewing the complaint against you.
- Draft a compelling written response to the complaint to improve your chances of having the complaint dismissed.
- Negotiate with the board at multiple points to have the complaint dismissed or to agree to more lenient penalties.
- Negotiate the most favorable terms possible in a consent agreement.
- Defend you in a formal hearing before the board, if necessary.
Areas the Lento Law Firm Serves in Ohio
Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team can provide professional license defense services to doctors, nurses, dentists, and other healthcare professionals, as well as to other licensed workers in every community in Ohio. Most of our clients live in the more densely populated areas and healthcare hubs across the Buckeye State; we are especially available to provide representation in the following areas.
Located in the middle of Ohio, the state capital is also its most populous city, with nearly 906,000 residents. The greater Columbus area has more than 2.1 million residents. Columbus is home to Ohio State University (OSU), a research university that employs many medical and healthcare professionals. The OSU College of Medicine includes the teaching hospitals Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children's Hospital. Cardinal Health, a multinational healthcare services company, is headquartered in suburban Dublin.
Nestled in the southwest corner of Ohio, Cincinnati lies along the state line, with Indiana on the west and Kentucky on the south. Cincinnati has more than 309,000 residents, making it Ohio's third-largest city; the greater Cincinnati metropolitan area is Ohio's largest, with more than 2.25 million residents. Mercy Health, UC Health, BrightView, Chemed, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and TriHealth are the healthcare and medical organizations among Cincinnati's top employers.
Cleveland and Akron are part of the Cleveland-Akron-Canton Combined Statistical Area in northeast Ohio; Cleveland sits on the shore of Lake Erie, fourth largest of the five Great Lakes. The area has more than 3.6 million residents across its five counties. Tennova Healthcare and Care Alliance Health Center are among the healthcare providers in Cleveland, while the Cleveland Clinic draws patients from across the United States and around the world. Akron healthcare providers include Summa Health and Akron Health Care. The area also has several universities with medical research facilities, including Case Western Reserve University.
Toledo is a busy port city and major midwestern trade center that sits along the southeast edge of Lake Erie; it is also along the state line with Michigan, which lies to the north. It has a population of more than 270,000. The University of Toledo Medical Center is a teaching hospital that serves more than 300,000 people each year. Other healthcare providers in the Toledo area include Toledo Healthcare and Maxim Healthcare.
Dayton, a city of more than 137,000, sits about midway between Cincinnati to the south and Columbus to the northeast. Dayton has had a strong aviation industry going back to the early twentieth century; it was the home and workplace of the Wright Brothers. Healthcare is another important part of the Dayton economy, with organizations like Kettering Health Network, Premier Health Partners, and the Center for Tissue Regeneration and Engineering at Dayton part of the sector.
Offenses or Allegations that Might Jeopardize Your Professional License
Professional licensing boards emphasize the responsibility of licensees to honor the public trust, and they will investigate if anyone files a complaint against a licensee. For example, if the State Medical Board of Ohio finds that a licensee has violated the Medical Practices Act, it can impose disciplinary actions, including reprimanding the practitioner or placing them on probation, or restricting, suspending, or revoking their license. Examples of accusations that could trigger disciplinary action include the following:
In the healthcare field, examples of fraud include these actions:
- overbilling of patients or upcoding insurance providers, i.e., using a code for a more expensive service than the one provided
- billing patients or insurance providers for services not rendered
- collecting kickbacks for referrals
- falsifying patient diagnoses to collect more reimbursement from insurance providers
providing services outside the scope of your license
Abuse, Gross Negligence
This category covers actions that could jeopardize a patient or their safety, health, or well-being. Examples include:
- physical abuse, such as hitting or sexual assault
- emotional abuse, such as threatening or berating a patient
- violating patient confidentiality
- medical errors, including prescription errors
Sexual Misconduct/Inappropriate Relationships
Among the most serious ethical violations for healthcare professionals are sexual or romantic relationships with patients. Other forms of sexual misconduct include unwanted sexual advances toward patients or coworkers, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.
Inappropriate Handling of Medications
A practitioner can also receive harsh penalties if the administrative board finds they are guilty of prescribing or dispensing medications irresponsibly or outside the scope of their license. Other infractions include incorrect tracking of medications or stealing medications for personal use.
Inaccurate Record Keeping
Accurate and thorough record-keeping is part of conscientious, ethical patient care. Your license may be at risk if you are found guilty of maintaining sloppy or incomplete patient records or if records contain falsified information.
Given the effects of substance abuse on a practitioner's judgment and capacity to treat patients safely, you may lose your license if you are found guilty of abusing drugs or alcohol.
If the administrative board receives information that you have a criminal conviction for driving while intoxicated, crimes of moral turpitude, or crimes related to your profession, your license could be at risk.
The Lento Law Firm: Professional License Defense for Licensed Professionals in Ohio
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team have extensive experience representing the interests of licensed professionals in Ohio and across the country. If you are licensed to practice in any of these roles, The Lento Law Firm can assist you.
- physician assistant
- mental health professional
- physical therapist
- real estate agent
- K-12 educator
- insurance agent
- other licensed professions
Allegations of professional misconduct could develop into a potentially devastating threat to your professional license and, by extension, your livelihood, your professional reputation, and your financial stability. It is critical to retain an attorney who has experience in the system you are now caught up in and who can help you make the best choices as you proceed.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team can provide the exceptional representation you deserve. Call (888) 535-3686 or go online to schedule a review of your case and start the process to restore your good name and protect your professional license.