Posts Tagged ‘medical license’


Florida Medical License–Common Patient Complaints

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

At Matthews Law Firm, P.A., we practice health law and deal with medical licensing issues in Florida.  A common question we receive from those in the field is ‘What are the most common patient complaints filed with the department?’

Typically, when a patient files a complaint with the Department of Health, the reasons include one or more of the following (note: this is NOT an exhaustive list):


  • Quality of care
  • Misdiagnosis of condition
  • Substance abuse
  • Advertising violation
  • Unlicensed practice
  • Inappropriate prescribing
  • Sexual contact with patient
  • Insurance fraud
  • Misfilled prescription
  • Excessive test or treatment
  • Failure to release patient records
  • Impairment/medical condition
  • Patient abandonment or neglect

Usually, the department will not get involved with the following types of complaints:

  • Fee disputes
  • Billing disputes
  • Personality conflicts
  • Bedside manner or rudeness

Being aware of the most common patient complaints can help a health practitioner adhere to proper standards of care and better protect his or her medical license.

(Disclaimer: This post is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.)

Florida Medical License–Disciplinary Action in a Nutshell

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

If you practice medicine in Florida, then you know just how important your medical license is.  Your career and livelihood are attached to that medical license.

That is why doctors and physicians need to understand the regulatory process of what happens when the Department of Health receives a complaint.

The Regulatory Process in a Nutshell

Once a complaint has been lodged, the regulatory process begins.  Some parts of the process are confidential, while other parts are public record.  If a panel determines there is no probable cause to proceed, the complaint is dismissed.  However, if probable cause is found, then the licensee (the doctor/physician) will need to decide whether to contest the charges at an administrative hearing before the Board or to enter into a settlement agreement.  For a great flowchart of the process, go here.

Possible Disciplinary Action

Disciplinary action can include a reprimand, fine, restriction of practice, remedial education, administrative cost, probation, license suspension or license revocation.


DOH Complaint Forms (scroll over “Complaint Forms” to see the list.)

How Complaints are Investigated

How Complaints are Prosecuted

(Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship.  If you are having medical license issues, please contact a qualified attorney to assist you.)


Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Are you a physician’s assistant?  Ever wondered where the licensing rules come from?  In Florida, the licensing rules that apply to physician assistants can be found at 458.347 (7).  To read the full statute, go here.

Basically, a physician’s assistant must be at least 18 years of age.  Also, you must pass an exam.  Third, you must complete the application form and application fee.  This application form includes a certificate of completion of a physician assistant training program, a sworn statement of any prior felony convictions, a sworn statement of any previous revocation or denial of licensure or certification in any state, and two letters of recommendation.

The license must be renewed every 2 years.  The renewal requires paying a renewal fee and a including a statement of no felony convictions in the previous 2 years.

(Disclaimer:  This post does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.  If you are having licensure issues, please contact our office to discuss your situation.)

Insurance Fraud–What degree crime is it?

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

In Florida, the criminal statute on Insurance Fraud can be found at 817.234.

The seriousness of the charge depends on how much money is alleged to have been involved.  According to the insurance fraud statute, if the money or property involed:

Is less than $20,000, the offender commits a felony of the third degree.

Is $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000, the offender commits a felony of the second degree.

Is $100,000 or more, the offender commits a felony of the first degree.

These charges are often filed when a person or group of persons document or are reimbursed for services not rendered.  This charge frequently is used in the healthcare context, where it can also be used as a basis to prosecute upcoding.  If a physician or medical practitioner is adjudicated guilty of this crime, he or she may also have to go before the appropriate Medical Board for licensing/sanction issues in addition to any punishment imposed by the court.

(Disclaimer: This blog does not consitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.  If you have been charged with insurance fraud or organized fraud in Bartow or the central Florida area, please consult a qualified defense attorney.)