Unfortunately, there are times when a physician or medical practitioner makes mistakes or is accused of malpractice during the course of practicing medicine. These mistakes or wrongdoings often result in grievances which are filed with the Florida Department of Health as formal complaints. These complaints can result in serious problems for healthcare practitioners such as fines, restrictions on their practice and even medical license suspension or revocation.
It is important for medical professionals to understand the laws and rules surrounding the complaint process in order to prevent unnecessary hardship on their practice and careers. Often, it is wise to consult a healthcare law attorney that’s experienced in Florida medical board complaints in order take advantage of their skills and expertise.
Details Surrounding Complaints
In Florida, complaints can be filed against medical practitioners for wrongdoing committed during their practice of medicine, or against the practices of their office. These complaints can result in the regulatory board taking the following actions being against a doctor, physician or other medical professional:
- Imposition of fines
- Restriction of practice
- Remedial education
- Medical license suspension or revocation
These administrative actions can seriously limit a medical professionals ability to perform their job and their ability to run their practice. In certain circumstances, they can even force a practice to close down and terminate a doctors ability to practice medicine permanently. It should be noted that disputes involving fees, issues of manners or rudeness of practitioners and personality conflicts are not covered under this complaint process and will not be investigated.
Time Period for Filing
In order to successfully file a complaint against a medical practitioner, the complaint must be submitted within the time period allotted in statute of limitations (SOL). If the incident was after July 1, 2006, the SOL is six years from the last date of treatment. Because of this limited time period, it is essential that the investigation and finding of probable cause be completed prior to the expiration of the SOL. For incidents before July 1, 2006 there’s no limit. There are exceptions to this SOL under special circumstances, which are outlined under section 456.073(13).
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the costs to file a complaint?
- There are no costs for filing a complaint, however the person who files the complaint may be required to cover the costs associated with copies of medical records.
Do complaints remain confidential?
- A complaint made against a medical practitioner is confidential until ten days after the finding of probable cause. In situations where probable cause is not found, the complaint will remain confidential indefinitely. Patient identity and records are always confidential regardless of whether probable cause is found or not.
Can complaints be filed over the phone?
- No, complaints cannot be filed over the phone. Per Florida law, these complaints must be signed in order to be filed.
How a Lawyer For Healthcare Law Can Help
Handling a Florida Board of Medicine Complaint is a difficult and time consuming process for most practitioners and healthcare facilities. An experienced lawyer specializing in malpractice and healthcare law can help medical professionals navigate this complicated process and ensure that they receive the best outcome possible. In certain cases the assistance provided by an attorney can mean the difference between the success or failure of their practice and medical careers.
Di Pietro Partners specializes in healthcare law, and has the knowledge and experience necessary to make sure you and your practice have the best possible outcome from a complaint. Our team of talented attorneys and legal professionals have years of experience on both sides of healthcare law issues and will ensure that you are treated fairly during a Department of Health investigation. Please reach out today to ensure your practice and healthcare career is protected.