Medical License Investigation Against Orthopedic Surgeon Closed with a Finding of No Probable Cause

Posted on Firm News, Professional Licensure Investigations by Parker Eastin

 Nicholson & Eastin, LLP Jacksonville defense lawyers

In connection with an investigation by the Florida Department of Health (DOH), the Firm successfully defended an Orthopedic Surgeon against allegations that he: (1) knowingly ordered and intentionally injected “counterfeit” drugs into certain patients, and (2) ordered a type of physical therapy treatment for all of his patients without regard to diagnosis or medical necessity, a treatment which was allegedly medically worthless.

The Firm investigated the allegations at issue and prepared a rebuttal statement that highlighted evidence that demonstrated that the complainant was actually a disgruntled former employee whose allegations were not credible; alleged issue (1) was a good faith, isolated, and unintentional purchasing incident that had already been transparently addressed and resolved with the FDA, with no negative patient outcomes whatsoever; and alleged issue (2) was patently absurd, as the treatment at issue was a FDA-approved and highly-effective physical therapy treatment modality employed by many physical therapists across the country, and used only on a small segment of the physician’s patients.  After consideration of the rebuttal statement prepared by the Firm, the Probable Cause Panel for the licensing board agreed and determined that probable cause did not exist and directed that the case against the physician be closed by the Florida Department of Health with a finding of No Probable Cause.

Medical License Investigations in Florida 

According to the Florida Department of Health, the Investigation Services Unit (ISU) is in charge of processing and investigating complaints against health care workers and establishments. The investigation is handled by an experienced team who conduct further interviews and documentations form the involved parties.

In most cases, the investigative steps include the following:

  • Obtaining medical records, documentation and evidence related to the complaint.
  • Locating and interviewing the complainant, the patient, the subject and any witnesses.
  • Drafting and serving subpoenas for necessary information.

Once this information is reviewed and forwarded to the department’s attorney for legal review. The process involves very technical and specific jargon, making it critical for the defendant to hire the right type of attorney for the cases defense.

Medical License Defense in Florida 

The attorneys of Nicholson & Eastin have had success defending healthcare workers’ licenses with continued success. Our attorneys are committed to defending medical professionals before the Florida Department of Health and the professional licensing boards. Any medical practitioner that faces a licensure action should be seeking out the assistance of an experienced counsel that has expertise in the field. In similar case, the law firm  successfully defended a physician client against allegations that the physician had practiced below the standard of care and had failed to keep adequate records in connection with a medical marijuana patient.  The case against the physician was closed with a finding of no probable cause. In another example, the firm successfully defended an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN/CRNA) against allegations that the APRN was impaired on the job, was diverting anesthesia drugs for the APRN’s own use, and was altering drug counts to cover up the diversion.

Contact Nicholson & Eastin

The law firm of Nicholson & Eastin, LLP regularly represents physicians, chiropractors, physician assistants, nurses, and other medical practitioners before the Florida Department of Health and the professional licensing boards.  If you are applying for the first time to become a licensed healthcare professional and have questions about what health, discipline, and/or criminal history must be disclosed, our lawyers can assist you. In addition, if you have received a notice of an investigation, or you are otherwise concerned about the possible existence of a licensure matter, please do not hesitate to contact us to evaluate your case.