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Medical Board Case Closed Against California Physician Offered Public Reprimand
A California physician who previously practiced in Ohio and held multiple state licenses, received a letter from the Medical Board of California advising that California was offering to impose a Public Letter of Reprimand in lieu of filing an Accusation. The letter alleged violation of Bus. & Prof. Code Sections 141(a) and 2305 [out-of-state discipline] based on the fact that another state had written a "public letter of concern" to the physician. The out-of-state letter stated specifically that it did not constitute disciplinary action and was not reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPCB). It was, however, shared with the Federation of State Medical Boards. The California board informed the physician that failure to accept the proposed Public Letter of Reprimand within thirty days would result in the filing of a formal Accusation.
The out-of-state "public letter of concern" was based on a reported settlement of a malpractice case in Ohio in which the physician was assigned a fraction of responsiblity where multiple physicians failed to detect a patient's medical condition through radiological examination. The State Medical Board of Ohio formally investigated the case and closed it, finding no basis on which to take disciplinary action against the physician. The uninvolved sister state wrote its letter to express concern that such matters not reoccur. It did not, however, find fault with nor impose discipline on the physician.
The physician contacted our office for assistance in responding to the Medical Board of California. After reviewing the documentary evidence and correspondence, we assisted the physician by submitting a detailed response to the Medical Board which provided clear evidence that the physician was not, in fact, in violation of California's Business & Professions Code. In addition, we offered our legal opinion that the Medical Board of California lacked jurisdiction with which to impose discipline. We requested that the Board withdraw its proposal for a Public Letter of Reprimand and that the case against the physician be closed.
On November 4, 2015, the Medical Board of California wrote to the physician and advised that:
"Upon further review of the documentation. . .the Medical Board of California has withdrawn its September 23, 2015 offer for Public Letter of Reprimand and closed the case against you. No further action will be taken in this matter."
We are pleased when our efforts result in such a clear and decisive victory for our client(s). It is a pleasure knowing that the client will be able to sleep better with the realization that there is no longer a shadow hanging over their professional standing.