Licensed Health Professionals: Keep Up with Your Continuing Education Requirements
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
Those who are licensed by the Department of Health (DOH) must be sure they are maintaining their continuing education requirements by taking the required courses in a timely manner. We have attended at least one professional board meeting recently where there was concern expressed about licensees failing to meet their continuing education requirements. One estimate was that approximately sixty percent (60%) were deficient of one profession.
Failing to obtain the required courses during the time period set forth by statute and by board regulation can result in disciplinary action being taken against a licensee. Disciplinary action in one state can lead to disciplinary action commenced against a license held in another state, if the licensee holds multiple licenses.
Issues we continuously see among licensed health professionals arising out of continuing education:
1. Failure to take courses from a continuing education provider properly approved by the state board. When in doubt, ask, in writing.
2. Failure to take and complete all required courses and hours within the period of time established by the board.
3. Failure to take the exact subject matter courses required by law (such as HIV awareness, domestic violence, prevention of medical errors, etc.).
4. Failing to maintain documents proving that the provider took the courses (such as registration, payment receipt, course attendance certificate, etc.).
5. Failing to apply for or request an exemption from continuing education requirements at the time the grounds for them first arise (e.g. hardship, medical problems, not practicing).
6. Failing to respond to an audit of continuing education completion requirements (you will then be assumed to have not completed them and a DOH investigation will be opened).
7. Failing to respond in a succinct, organized manner, by letter, with proper documentation, sent to the correct address that auditor states, via certified mail, return receipt requested.
8. Assuming that the office manager, practice manager or administrative secretary is going to take care of such matters so you do not have to be concerned with them.
9. Arguing with or being demeaning to the auditor who requests information or who advises you that you are short of hours or courses.
10. Failing to immediately make up any missing hours or courses from prior periods, in addition to fully meeting all current continuing education requirements.
11. Failing to respond to citations, complaints or letters sent to you by the department of health regarding this matter.
Often consulting an experienced health law attorney on such matters can save a great deal of turmoil, mental anguish, cost and damage to your professional license and professional reputation.
Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Health Care Professionals and Providers.
At the Health Law Firm we provide legal services for all health care providers and professionals. This includes physicians, nurses, dentists, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, Durable Medical Equipment suppliers, medical students and interns, hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, pain management clinics, nursing homes, and any other health care provider. We represent facilities, individuals, groups and institutions in contracts, sales, mergers and acquisitions.
The services we provide include reviewing and negotiating contracts, business transactions, professional license defense, representation in investigations, credential defense, representation in peer review and clinical privileges hearings, Medicare and Medicaid audits, commercial litigation, and administrative hearings.
To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.|
Are you guilty of failing to meet your continuing education requirements? Do you think the continuing education classes are worth the time invested in them? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.
“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
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