Jan 5

Health Professionals Completing Applications

Today health professionals are required to certify the accuracy of answers to many applications for licenses from state and federal government, applications for contracts with insurance companies, PBM’s, wholesalers, and various boards of specialty certifications, etc. Many of the key questions are poorly worded and sometimes ambiguous.

You cannot believe the number of health professionals seriously harmed when the answers to application questions—particularly those regarding prior disciplinary history or criminal record—are answered inaccurately. The consequences when a health professional misreads a question and in good faith answers it erroneously are enormous including: loss of license, loss of board certification, loss of Medicare certification, insurance contracts, and the list goes on and on. This situation becomes particularly burdensome when you are licensed in more than one state. If you have any complications in your professional history or you are not certain about how to answer a question, call me at (586) 598-4650 and we will complete the document together.

It is bad enough when the busy health professional skims through the questions and answers and makes declarations and certifications on his own but it is even more dangerous when you delegate the answering of the questions to other persons who may not complete the forms carefully enough. It is not a defense that someone else filled in the questions when the health professional signs that they have read and answered the questions truthfully and accurately.

Along the same lines, be certain that all of the boards in all of the states know your most reliable mailing address. Many times, the Board of Pharmacy or Medicine sends a formal complaint or other very serious document to the address they have on file. If it is an old address or the mail goes to a location where you don’t check your mail frequently, disasters occur. That disaster is you are defaulted on the complaint which leads most frequently to an immediate revocation of your license. Many times the default cannot be overturned. That means that whatever explanation or defense you have to the allegations will not be heard and they will be treated as the truth and you will be punished accordingly. All because you didn’t get your complaint on time in the mail or more recklessly, you decide to ignore it hoping…“it will go away if I ignore this”. They won’t ignore you and you will lose in a major fashion.

Like it or not, you have to stay on top of correspondence from various state boards and you have to address matters in a timely and professional manner. Despair and procrastination does not help. Ignoring problems always results in disasters.

In short and plain language, spending a few dollars on an attorney such as me to assist you with completing important applications and certifications is money extremely well spent. Additionally, if you get correspondence or a phone call from a state regarding your professional license, this is not amateur time and you really need an attorney with specialized knowledge. What you say or don’t say will be held against you. The ideal response is to contact me before you say or do anything. What you say to authorities will likely be exactly the wrong thing or it will be intentionally misconstrued or misrepresented in reports. Life does not give you rehearsals or do-overs.

It has always been thus but today it is more important than ever for you to use your constitutional right to an attorney and your right to silence. Remember that the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent protects the innocent as well as the guilty. Don’t hang yourself with your own tongue.