Defense Attorneys for New York Dental License Holders
Being faced with an investigation into your New York dental practice can be frightening, as your and your very livelihood can be under threat. This is why it is paramount for you to locate the most experienced New York dental license defense attorneys you can get at the earliest stages of an investigation.
You should have a legal team on your side that has experience successfully representing dentists and dental hygienists before the New York board of Dentistry and the state Department of Education Office of Professional Discipline (OPD). At Spodek Law Group our lawyers are at your disposal, with more than a decade of solid expertise doing that very thing.
The New York Disciplinary Process
Largely, dentists and dental hygienists never have to face the New York disciplinary process, which is pretty complex. The dental industry in New York is regulated by the State Board Dentistry and the State Department of Education. These agencies are charged with the duty of regulating and disciplining all licensed dentists and dental hygienists in the entire state.
The state itself also has the authority to investigate and prosecute instances of professional misconduct. Professional misconduct can fall under a wide range of practices, a list of which can be found in New York State Education Law. While the list is extensive, detailing dozens of examples, some of the most common we’ve experienced with New York dentists include:
Negligence is the number one cause of complaints and disciplinary actions against New York dentists, and the most frequent include:
Disciplinary Investigations for Dentists
Dental disciplinary cases can generate from insurance companies, Medicaid authorities or other sources, although most start off with a patient filing a complaint with the OPD. The OPD then launches an investigation as a complaint is received, and the dentist typically receives notification in writing that an inquiry has commenced.
In the letter, the dentist is often asked to send in patient records for a case that involves patient care. The OPD may also request in the letter that the dentist schedule a time to meet with the case investigator for an interview. As a licensee, you are required to comply with any investigations into your practices. You may be required to submit any documents that the investigator requests from you for the purposes of the investigation. Nonetheless, you have no obligation to meet with or speak to the investigator. Our advice is that you refrain from doing so without first consulting your lawyer.
Any and all statements you make, no matter how casual, can and likely will be weighed against you and will characteristically be interpreted in a negative light. Attending an interview with investigators without first consulting with an experienced attorney is perilous, and it can often result in dentists unwittingly providing investigators with damaging evidence in their case.
Disciplinary Charges and Penalties Dentists Can Face
Upon completion of the investigation, the OPD prosecutor and board members determine if they have enough evidence to bring disciplinary charges against the dentist. If the answer is yes, the dentist has the option of negotiating a consent agreement with the state or going ahead and having the case decided in a hearing.
Whatever option you choose, your bet is to proceed under the auspices of an experienced healthcare lawyer who can assist you in navigating through the process. A consent agreement is very similar to a plea bargain in criminal cases. In this option, the dentist would admit misconduct in exchange for lower disciplinary penalties.
The choices for disciplinary penalties are set forth by the State Education Department, and they are numerous. The stiffest penalty is having your license revoked. You could opt to voluntarily surrender your dental license instead. Other options include license suspension, censure and reprimand, probation or fines. Dentists could also have specific restrictions placed upon their practice.
New York Dental License Defense
Regardless of what the accusations or penalties are in a dental disciplinary case, it’s imperative to have a qualified attorney in your corner. You want a lawyer with extensive experience defending dental licenses, as well as a solid track record of handling the OPD and the State Board of Dentistry. While there are numerous lawyers throughout New York State, the majority of them lack the specific qualifications that are important for acheiving a favorable outcome in dental disciplinary cases.
Our dental license defense team boast a long history of fighting for New York dentists and dental hygienists. We have fought all types of disciplinary cases and are well acquainted with every stage of the process. Don’t hold out until a disciplinary problem develops into an unwieldy circumstance. Call our offices to schedule your consultation with one of our attorneys today.