As a medical professional, learning that your license could be in danger because of a complaint is often devastating. In these situations, the things you do or do not do can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of an investigation, so it can be crucial to consider some helpful tips.
During an investigation: Dos
If the Board notifies you that they are investigating a complaint against you in Alaska, some of the most important things you can do include:
- Contacting an attorney to help you navigate the legal demands and process
- Providing documentation upon request
- Tracking prescriptions
- Responding in a timely manner to board inquiries
- Ensuring you are billing correctly
- Following privacy rules
Finally, it is crucial that you do take a complaint and investigation seriously. Depending on what the Board finds, you could face disciplinary measures, including fines, restrictions, suspension and revocation. Be prepared to have your actions be under a microscope and to defend yourself and your license.
During an investigation: Don’ts
You can damage your case considerably if you make some unfortunate missteps while the Board is investigating a complaint. Some of these mistakes include:
- Harassing or disparaging the person who made the complaint or others involved
- Engaging in questionable conduct, even if legal (e.g., prescribing medication to yourself or a family member)
- Breaking any rules or violating hospital policies
- Sharing details on social media or other spaces
- Responding to the Board with lies, hostility or anger
When you avoid these missteps, you make it easier for the details of the investigation to stay confidential. Further, you can demonstrate to the Board that you are reliable and responsible, which could impact their findings.
Another crucial thing to avoid is panicking. Not every complaint leads to an investigation, and again, you can have legal representation help you respond if necessary. If there is an investigation, panicking can make people act impulsively or out of fear, making a stressful situation worse.
Protecting your license
Whether the Board closes the case without action or you ultimately resolve the matter with a Consent Agreement or litigation, your actions can affect the outcome. Knowing what to do and not do can help you make informed decisions to protect your professional license.