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California Professional License Defense Blog

Are you under investigation by the California State Bar?

Relax. Take a deep breath. Clear your head. It may be startling to receive a letter of investigation from the California State Bar, but you want to keep perspective. You want to take the investigation seriously, but it doesn’t need to be cause for panic.

The State Bar exists to uphold the standards for justice throughout California. In accordance with that mission, it reviews all the complaints people file against the state’s attorneys. In 2018, the State Bar received nearly 16,000 complaints. Only 661 led to disciplinary action. That suggests the odds are in your favor. But you also want to respond the right way.

Did you receive a notice from the Board of Registered Nursing?

Nursing can be a rewarding profession. As much as it can wear you down, it can leave you knowing, each day, that you made a difference. There aren’t many other professions in which you might save so many lives or help so many people recover their health. Nor are there many professions that are more heavily regulated.

As a nurse, you assume responsibility for your patients’ health, and the State of California wants to make sure you live up to the standard. In some cases, that may mean investigating a complaint filed against you. These investigations are far more common than you might expect, and if you ever find yourself the subject of one, you’ll want to respond appropriately.

What gets a California lawyer disbarred?

Everyone makes mistakes. Even lawyers. But lawyers are held to higher standards than most other people. This is largely due to the trust their clients place in them and the expectation to repay that trust in good faith. As a result, there are standards for conduct that go beyond your ability to get results, and any failure to uphold these standards can lead to discipline—or getting yourself disbarred.

The good news is that very few complaints lead to disciplinary action. When the Los Angeles Sentinel looked at the matter, it found the State Bar received 15,973 complaints against lawyers in 2018. Of these, only 661 led to discipline. Only 131 attorneys were disbarred. But if you ever face a complaint that could lead to discipline, you want to take it seriously.

Coping with malpractice suits and medical board reviews

If you have ever been the target of a malpractice suit or medical board investigation, you’re not alone. You’re also not alone if it left you surprised, shocked, angered, stressed or depressed.

More physicians get sued for malpractice than don’t. According to Medscape’s 2019 malpractice report, 59% of physicians have been named in a suit, and these suits aren’t always responses to legitimate errors. In fact, physicians rarely feel the complaints are valid. The result is that the legal actions take most physicians by surprise.

Minor sanctions may now affect your Medicare eligibility

The CMS recently sent out the updated Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, and it could change everything. For starters, formerly benign Medical Board sanctions could now cost you your Medicare billing privileges.

As reported by Policy & Medicine, the changes all hinge on a single paragraph tucked deep into the 808-page document. This paragraph grants the CMS a new authority to revoke providers’ Medicare billing privileges. And it has already come under fire.

Three doctors must face the Medical Board for vaccine exemptions

Every health care professional understands the power and purpose of vaccinations. Since the world has started orchestrating large-scale vaccinations, we have nearly eradicated several diseases that used to plague our societies. That’s why California recently passed two new laws that limit vaccine exemptions for schoolchildren.

As CNN reported, the new laws will add more structure to the exemption process. Doctors will need to fill out standardized forms, and the state will review doctors who issue five or more exemptions per year. And those who issue 1,000 or more exemptions? They will likely need to defend their licenses before the Medical Board of California.

Some considerations relevant to the California Medical Board

We stress a noteworthy point on our website at the Century Law Group regarding the regulatory challenges that routinely face physicians and other health care workers practicing across California.

Those hurdles are many and exacting. We note that, “Doctors, surgeons, nurses and other medical specialists are held to rigorous standards of practice.”

What is license portability, and why is it important?

One think-tank principal notes that California’s professional licensing laws “have become so encrusted and bureaucratic that they often serve as an unnecessary barrier for skilled people who want to legally work in our state.”

State Senate Bill 679 directly addresses that obstacle. The legislation seeks to ease entry for badly needed professionals desiring to ply their credentialed talents in California.

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