Allegations of Misconduct have Wide-Ranging Consequences

Physicians and other medical licensees who are the subject of misconduct complaints at a hospital may face licensing discipline based on the outcome of the complaint. Physicians must appreciate that their way of life depends on their commitment to acting appropriately in all circumstances, including when practicing medicine under the privileges at a hospital. Even one small and seemingly insignificant misstep could result in disciplinary action from the medical facility and at the licensing board. Therefore, physicians who are under suspicion or investigation for a violation of hospital by-laws must retain a professional licensing attorney.

Danielle Sanger, Esq. is a professional licensing attorney who practices administrative law in Kansas and Missouri. Attorney Sanger is well-versed in the nuances of the laws invoked during disciplinary hearings in both states through her vast experience representing physicians, nurses, and other medical licensees, in addition to representing licensees from a variety of other professions. Attorney Sanger does not dabble in this area of the law. Instead, she dedicated her entire law practice to representing professional licensees facing professional discipline.

Based on her family members’ travails with regulatory boards and boards of professional registration, Attorney Sanger understands all-too-well how people can get lost in the administrative process, which deprives them of their capacity to earn a living, care for their family, or have a career in the profession they selected. Consequently, Attorney Sanger embarked upon her career as a private attorney to help people fight through the administrative law process in Kansas and Missouri.

Hospitals have a legal obligation to prevent immediate harm to their employees. Typically, physicians are not employees of a hospital, with the notable exception of hospitalists.  Concomitant with the duty prevent immediate injury is the hospital’s duty to investigate claims of wrongdoing, such as sexual harassment for example, and then work diligently to prevent future harm to its employees upon learning of the alleged transgression.

The remedial actions taken by the hospital must be limited to remediate the harm. However, corrective actions taken by hospitals can conflict with a physician’s due process rights and rights conveyed under the hospital’s by-laws. A physician suspected of misconduct has a constitutional due process right in his or her medical license as well as the privilege to practice in a hospital before the doctor’s rights, and privileges can be lawfully terminated. Additionally, the federal civil rights act grants physicians a statutory right to relief in court if a hospital interferes with the physician’s rights provided that the hospital is a public medical facility. Also, the U.S. Constitution guarantees that physicians have rights to due process before a public hospital revokes the doctor’s privileges.

The due process rights enjoyed by physicians as license holders guarantees the physician the opportunity for a fair hearing on the allegations, a right to be heard, a right to confront the physician’s accusers and cross-examine them along with the right to present evidence in support of the physician’s case. The due process rights of a physician are not as extensive as a criminal defendant’s rights to a trial by jury, but there is substantial congruency between the two.

Relatedly, there is a conflict between the hospital’s duty to prevent harm when the hospital employs a summary suspension process and the doctor’s rights to be heard in opposition. A summary suspension could lead to the impression that the doctor is not fully competent as a medical professional and irreparably damage the doctor’s right to earn a living. Additionally, a suspension or revocation of hospital privileges will result in an investigation conducted by the Board of Registration of Medicine and which could trigger attempts at disciplinary action.

Contact Attorney Sanger Immediately if You are Threatened with Discipline

Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a consultation if you are a physician threatened with losing your privileges to practice in a hospital due to allegations of misconduct to learn about your rights and how Attorney Sanger will fight to protect them.