Licensing is a common practice across most professions, and the medical field is no different. Doctors, nurses, surgeons, dentists, and others, need to carry a professional license to operate. Despite many years of studying and taking medical board exams, these professionals are often at risk of losing their professional licenses due to alleged malpractice or unethical conduct.
Licensing boards, the state government, or the federal government can perform investigations that may lead to disciplinary actions or criminal charges that trigger license suspension or revocation. Whenever you find yourself in that situation, it is more than your license that is on the line – you risk losing your livelihood as well.
At FBD Law, we believe that you deserve top-tier representation by a “trial-ready” Albuquerque medical license defense lawyer to protect your reputation and keep your medical license. If you face an investigation or disciplinary action by the New Mexico Medical Board, do not risk your medical license by going through the situation alone. Our attorneys are experts in medical license defense. Call us today at (505) 305-1263 so that we pair you with a medical license defense lawyer for your case.
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Reasons Doctors Can Lose Their Medical License in New Mexico
The New Mexico Medical Practice Act spells out what is expected of a medical licensee, and the grounds on which the medical board can discipline them. Forms of punishment may vary, but the greatest and the most dreaded is getting your medical license revoked. Here are some of the reasons why you can lose your medical license:
Unprofessional or Dishonorable Conduct
Most doctors who lose their medical licenses in New Mexico do so on the grounds of unprofessional or dishonorable conduct. Under the New Mexico Medical Practice Act, unprofessional or dishonorable conduct could mean many things, including:
- Aiding a criminal abortion
- Obtaining a fee by misrepresentation or fraud
- Gross negligence in medical practice
- Disciplinary action imposed by another state
- Prescribing or dispensing drugs for reasons other than their intended use
- Overprescribing controlled substances
- Failure to report to the board about any serious action taken against you by a licensing body, government agency, health care entity, peer review body, law enforcement agency, or court
- Abandonment of patients
- Fee splitting
- Drug diversion
Continued Substance Abuse
While the use of mind-altering substances may not necessarily amount to medical license revocation, the New Mexico Medical Board may decide to revoke your license in case of continued substance abuse. Normally, the board imposes a restriction on your license and expects you to seek help through a rehabilitation program. Failure to comply with the terms of probation may lead to the revocation of your medical license.
Inappropriate Sexual Conduct
Any intentional sexual contact or sexual relationship with a patient can result in the board revoking a doctor’s medical license. Any form of sexual harassment of a patient or staff could also be ground for a doctor to lose their medical license.
Doctors convicted of any offense punishable by incarceration in federal prison or a state penitentiary can easily lose their medical license. Conviction of a felony like domestic violence, or one associated with medical practice, may also be grounds for revoking a medical license.
Conduct Likely To Defraud or Deceive the Public
The use of a deceptive, false, or fraudulent statement in any document associated with medical practice can easily lead to the revocation of one’s medical license. You may be charged with insurance fraud if it is alleged that you charge uninsured patients differently from insured ones. The use of incorrect insurance codes and altering medical records are also forms of medical fraud that may lead to the revocation of a medical license if an investigation confirms it.
What Are Possible Outcomes of an Investigation by the New Mexico Medical Board?
An investigation over a doctor’s conduct by the New Mexico board may have several possible outcomes, including:
- The board may establish that the case does not violate the law and will therefore close the case.
- Through the investigation, the board may also have concerns over your competency or conduct. If the matter at hand does not amount to a violation of the law, then the board can issue an advisory letter.
- If the board establishes that there was a violation of the law, the board can take action against a doctor’s license. Actions may range from reprimand for minor violations, fines, license suspension, or even revocation of a license.
What Is the Standard of Proof for Medical Board Disciplinary Actions?
Whenever a licensed doctor is investigated over a disciplinary matter or alleged violation of law, the New Mexico Medical Board’s legal counsel must establish at a hearing that a violation has occurred by the legal standard of a preponderance of the evidence. Preponderance of the evidence is sometimes also referred to as the greater weight of the evidence. It means that something is “more likely true than not true.”
Under certain circumstances, the Board may summarily (or immediately) suspend a doctor’s medical license, such as when the Board finds that the doctor poses a clear and immediate danger to the public health and safety if he or she were to continue practicing medicine, or when the doctor has been convicted of a crime related to the practice of medicine or a violent criminal offense.
Even then, the doctor is entitled to a hearing that must be held within 15 days. In most cases, the Board will issue a Notice of Contemplated Action following an investigation without immediately suspending the doctor’s license, allowing the doctor to continue working, both as a doctor and with his or her attorney, until a hearing is held. The Board has the authority to suspend or revoke a license or place a doctor on probation.
The hearing on the suspension or revocation of a doctor’s license will take place before a hearing officer or before the members of the Board. In either case, the Board has the ultimate decision-making authority, and the Board’s legal counsel has the burden of establishing a violation of the Medical Practice Act. A doctor has the right to appeal the Board’s final decision to a district court judge.
Licensing proceedings are serious and complicated and threaten a doctor’s livelihood. At FBD Law, our lawyers are experienced at handling medical license cases for medical professionals and will represent you before any of the New Mexico medical boards or agencies.
How Can A Medical License Defense Lawyer Help My Case?
Losing a medical license does not begin with the formal revocation. In most cases, the process starts with something minor or less serious, such as a routine audit or a letter seeking clarification. However, medical boards can launch an investigation in the case of a complaint or repeated offense.
It is important to have a medical license defense lawyer to advise and represent you in such circumstances. This ensures that your rights are upheld and that you retain your medical license. If you are facing potential disciplinary action by the New Mexico Medical Board, here’s how our lawyers can help you:
Sometimes, the New Mexico Medical Board may refuse your application for registration with a license to practice. Our medical license attorneys can help you appeal your case in a court of law and have the medical board’s decision reversed. Before the appeal, our lawyers will look at the reasons for the medical board’s refusal to issue a license to practice.
This enables them to build a strong case against the medical board and provide clear and convincing evidence that they are not justified to refuse your application.
Medical professionals often face the risk of losing their medical license over disciplinary issues. In some cases, medical professionals request emergency hearings to challenge the likely restriction or suspension of their medical license by the medical board. If the decision puts their medical license at risk, medical professionals may also appeal the decision of the board after a final hearing.
Our lawyers help medical professionals retain their licenses by representing them at all phases of disciplinary proceedings, such as the investigative process and hearings before the board. We understand that the investigations are important to show that discipline is unwarranted. While you may be confident in the facts, it is important to note that you are dealing with experienced investigators who want to build a case against you.
In disciplinary proceedings, our medical license lawyers first request a summary of the allegations made against you to determine the scope of the investigation. What follows is the preparation of a strong defense strategy and response to demonstrate why discipline is unwarranted. Depending on the allegations, our defense strategy generally involves:
- Careful review of facts to understand the evidentiary record
- Getting an expert review of the relevant records
- Consulting the relevant medical and forensic experts
- Thoroughly reviewing the laws governing the purported misconduct
- Hiring a defense investigator to obtain necessary evidence and witnesses’ accounts
- Assessing any likely criminal liability and how it affects your defense
- Meeting the board investigator to present your response to challenge the allegation or lessen the degree of the offense
Petitions for Reinstatement
Medical professionals who have had their license revoked may still have the chance to submit a petition for reinstatement after the disciplinary period has elapsed. Our medical license attorneys will guide you through the process of petitioning for reinstatement if you are denied the right. In reinstatement hearings, the licensee has the burden of proof, and our medical license attorneys will help prove your good conduct to obtain your medical license back.
Contact An Albuquerque Medical License Defense Lawyer Today
It is not uncommon for Albuquerque medical professionals to lose their medical licenses over misconduct allegations and other reasons. The prospect of having your medical license suspended or revoked is terrifying as it puts both your profession and livelihood at risk. Even after years of study and practice, you may find yourself on the brink of losing your license or having it suspended by the New Mexico Medical Board.
However, we believe that you should not go down without a fight. At FBD Law, our team of medical license lawyers can offer you counsel and legal representation in application appeals, discipline cases before the New Mexico Medical Board, and petitions for reinstatement. If you face an investigation or potential disciplinary action, don’t risk your medical license by going it alone. Call us today at (505) 305-1263 to find the perfect license defense attorney to defend your medical license.