BOARD DEFENSE & LICENSING ISSUES
RESPOND TO BOARD INQUIRES TIMELY
If you receive a written inquiry from the California Medical or Dental Board,, ("Board"), ensure that you promptly and timely respond. Engaging counsel and your malpractice carrier early is very important.
The Boards are sanctioned to review records and perform site visits. Generally, the Board will send an investigator to perform a site visit or inspection without prior notice. During these visits, many times, the investigator will ask for patient records without providing you with a signed HIPAA release. Do not fall victim to this trap! Never release patient records without receipt of a signed HIPAA release or a subpoena/court order. If you disclose records without a release, even if you pass your site inspection, you will likely face an action for unprofessional conduct due to the HIPAA violation.
DO NOT BE AFRAID TO WITHDRAW FROM PATIENT CARE
If a patient is causing problems, do not be afraid to withdraw from care. Many times, the problematic patient is the one who will instigate a Board action or malpractice complaint. Ensure that you are not mid-treatment before terminating the relationship. Do not document the relationship termination in the clinical notes, but do document it in another section of the patient's chart. The patient must receive a formal written dismissal that contains specific disclosures. Failure to follow the protocol is unprofessional conduct and can result in Board action.