A couple of years ago, I was helping a physician with medical licenses in Florida and California. The doctor had initially practiced for several years in California, and eventually moved his practice to Florida. After practicing in Florida for a couple of years, this physician had a patient issue which ultimately turned into an administrative complaint before Florida’s Board of Medicine. A settlement was reached and the doctor paid a nominal fine.
Now, years later, California is beginning to investigate based on the Florida settlement. Even though he has not practiced in California for over ten (10) years, never renewed his California license, never completed California continuing education, has no patients nor hospital privileges in California, this doctor must either attend a hearing in California to defend his license or voluntarily surrender it. Even though Florida has settled the matter, now California wants a piece of the action.
Since the doctor never plans on returning to California, surrender seems the obvious answer. However, what happens when the “surrender” gets back to the officials in Florida. Could another investigation begin in Florida regarding the surrender? Will there be more fines and penalties in Florida based on the new surrender investigation? There is no clear answer.
Whenever you are faced with a Department of Health action in Florida, it is essential that you consider the impact of that action on your licenses in other jurisdictions. Try to take action at the time of the disciplinary action while the issues are still open. By doing so, you can tailor your defense or any settlement agreement to your benefit based on the particular requirements of each jurisdiction.
Mark L. Rosen, Esquire is a partner at the law firm of Lubell & Rosen. Mr. Rosen is Board Certified in Health Law by the Florida Bar and primarily practices in the area of medical malpractice defense. Mr. Rosen can be contacted atwww.doctordefense.com.