These tips are provided by Illinois Health Care Attorney Michael V. Favia.

  1. Donít panic! 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Donít blame others. You are responsible for ensuring that your employees' conduct complies with your professional obligations.

  6. Don't make excuses. Your perception that "everyone else is doing it" is not a defense for your actions.

  7. 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 investigation.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.


Law Offices of Michael V. Favia

5045 N. Harlem Avenue, Chicago, IL 60656
Phone (773) 631-4580 -- Fax (773) 631-7776
Additional office locations in Chicago Loop, Northwest Side, Northbrook and Hindsale
E-mail: favia@lawyer.com