Licensing and Discipline
For over two decades, the Law Office of Alexander W. Kirkpatrick has zealously defended health care professionals in license disciplinary actions resulting from investigations of reimbursement, audits, sanctions, and allegations of fraud and abuse. From Los Angeles County, we are able to assist medical providers located throughout Southern California, including doctors, psychologists, and pharmacists.
Our firm regularly counsels health care providers on how to remain in compliance with the statutes and regulations governing their specific licenses. In California, medical licenses are regulated by different practice-specific medical boards of the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs.Â These boards include:
- Medical Board of California
- Osteopathic Medical Board of California
- Board of Behavioral Sciences
- Board of Chiropractic Examiners
- Dental Board of California
- Dental Hygiene Committee of California
- California State Board of Pharmacy
- Physical Therapy Board of California
- California Board of Podiatric Medicine
- Board of Psychology
- Board of Registered Nursing
- Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board
- Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians
License Disciplinary Actions
When a health care professional is accused of fraud and abuse or other health care regulation violations, they may face formal disciplinary actions, such as license restriction, suspension, or revocation. In many instances, a licensed professional may first be audited or sanctioned by Medi-Cal, which then refers its findings to the Medical Board of California or other appropriate licensing board. Once the Medical Board is aware of Medi-Cal’s actions, it will often proceed to conduct its own disciplinary investigations, resulting in license restriction or termination.
If you are facing an audit, sanctions, or a disciplinary action, consult with an attorney who is familiar with Medi-Cal and Medicare program regulations and experienced in the specialized field of health care professional licensing and disciplinary proceedings. For over 25 years, Alexander W. Kirkpatrick has focused his practice exclusively on defending health care professionals, including physicians, pharmacists, clinical psychologists, and physical therapists. Mr. Kirkpatrick helps his clients minimize the negative effects potential disciplinary actions may have on their careers by aggressively contesting the decisions of the licensing board through filing writs of mandate to compel a judicial review.
Petitions for Reinstatement & Relief
After disciplinary proceedings, where a physician’s license has been placed on probation, surrendered, or revoked, a Petition for Penalty Relief may be filed with the Medical Board of California to request early termination of the probation, or, in the case of revocation or surrender, reinstatement of the license. However, once a petition is submitted, it cannot be amended or augmented. Therefore, it is of the utmost important to obtain assistance from an attorney who knows what is expected by the Medical Board and is experienced at organizing the necessary documentation, and developing and presenting the grounds justifying early termination of probation or reinstatement of the license.
Enrollment & Exclusions
In the field of Medi-Cal and Medicare enrollment and re-enrollment, providers frequently encounter pitfalls which, if not quickly corrected, can lead to lengthy and irreversible periods of exclusion from program participation, which can be financially devastating. Working with our expert consultant Dona Hall, president of ADEPT Management Systems, we have successfully organized, submitted, and negotiated Medicare and Medi-Cal program enrollment and re-enrollment in cases where the provider’s prior application or new application had errors that, if not corrected, would invariably lead to denial of the application. By coordinating his legal representation with Ms. Hall’s professional services, Mr. Kirkpatrick completes, submits, and secures prompt action on our clients’ applications.
Suspension for Fraud & Abuse
Frequently, the Department of Health Care Services imposes a “temporary” suspension and deactivation of a Medi-Cal provider’s number on the grounds that the provider is “under investigation” for fraud or abuse against the Medi-Cal program. Such suspensions are open-ended and frequently last more than a year. When this occurs, suspended providers may be entitled to an informal conference at which they, and their counsel, can set forth the reasons why the temporary suspension should be lifted. However, suspended providers must act quickly to compile all of the evidence that is necessary to dispute the fraud and abuse claims.
We have successfully represented numerous providers at informal conferences in Sacramento, and have obtained many immediate reinstatements. In addition, we regularly assist providers in the complicated process of applying for re-enrollment after an investigation is closed without an adverse action.
Seek Experienced Representation
Medi-Cal audits or Medical Board disciplinary actions can result in lasting consequences that may seriously damage your practice. For help minimizing or avoiding these potential repercussions, contact the Law Offices of Alexander W. Kirkpatrick to schedule a consultation.