10 SHORT TIPS FOR
RESPONDING TO AN IDFPR INVESTIGATION
These tips are provided by
Illinois Health Care Attorney Michael V. Favia.
Sometimes IDFPR investigates a licensee and takes no action. Most
complaints are closed in an informal hearing. Only a small percentage of
complaints result in formal disciplinary action.
Donít ignore the
IDFPR letter. Respond to IDFPR's initial inquiry in a
timely manner with an appropriate response. Secure documents that
support your version of the facts and have copies available when
responding to an investigation. Failure to cooperate with IDFPR's
investigation is a separate ethical offense subject to discipline.
Donít abandon your
patient/client. You must not abandon a client or stop
treating a patient who has complained about you. If you wish to
withdraw, you must do so professionally and in accordance with the IDFPR
Rules, to avoid foreseeable prejudice to the patient/client.
Don't respond without
knowing the rules. Donít draft a response to the IDFPR
without familiarizing yourself with the statute or rules that you are
accused of violating.
Donít blame others.
You are responsible for ensuring that your employees' conduct complies
with your professional obligations.
Don't make excuses.
Your perception that "everyone else is doing it" is not a defense for
Collect documents to
support your position. The IDFPR inquiry may include
investigation of facts disputed by you. Have copies of documents that
support your version of the facts available when responding to an
Donít burn your
bridges. Anger, sarcasm, and verbal attacks make you
appear unprofessional and do nothing to clarify the issues; it can
backfire and reflect badly on you.
Consider calling your
insurance carrier. Many carriers offer assistance for
facing disciplinary inquiries but some carriers require that you give
the insurance company notice before responding.
Hire an attorney who
is familiar with IDFPR proceedings. IDFPR conducts
administrative hearings pursuant to the Administrative Procedures
Act and the rules outlined in the Licenseeís
Professional Licensing Act. It is prudent to hire an attorney
who is familiar with these Acts, laws pertaining to licensure issues and
the IDFPR's rules, regulations, policies and investigative process.
Written by Attorney Michael
V. Favia, former Assistant Attorney General and former Chief of Medical
Prosecutions for the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation
(1986-1996). He is now in private practice and counsel with the Regulatory
Law Division of the law firm of Goldberg & Frankenstein, Ltd. Call
Attorney Favia at (312) 930-5600 or (773) 631-4580.