If you’ve been in the delightful position to have your medical license suspended, you’ll be tasked with reporting this action to other states where you an active medical license. In this post I’ll only focus on reporting your medical license suspension to other states.
However, you’ll have to report it to several other entities including but not limited to CMS, malpractice insurers, and your employer.
Medical License Suspension
For those who don’t know about my medical license suspension, I got investigated by my Oregon’s medical board for ordering a test on someone who wasn’t my patient. After some back and forth, they agree to only suspend my license for 30 days, fine me $10,000, and have me take a professional boundaries course.
I have active medical licenses in 3 states and Oregon is the state which investigated me. I hired a lawyer and all the final terms were negotiated with the medical board.
Once we reached an agreement, it was on me to report the result of this investigation and suspension to other states. There wasn’t any information on how to do this so I had to wing it.
Reporting to Other States
In a recent post I wrote about how important it is to have multiple medical licenses in other states. Well, I still think it’s a good idea to diversify your earning abilities by having multiple state medical licenses but, shit, having more licenses means dealing with more governing bodies.
It’s your responsibility to report any adverse events to your state’s medical board. You have a 10-day window in most states to do so.
Transparency of the Process
The process isn’t transparent at all.
After I received the final word from Oregon’s medical board that my license suspension was in effect, I only had 10 days to report this to other states.
Except that I didn’t know this. If my lawyer didn’t inform me of this then I would have been screwed. I’m sure there is a way to make this process more transparent to prevent confusion but it’s meant to be punitive.
My lawyer informed me that the medical license suspension process is intentionally punitive. If it was straightforward then most physicians would just hire lawyers, pay the fines, serve the suspensions, and move on.
I don’t have a global opinion on this matter, yet. But I can tell you that it was a very unpleasant process and I learned my lesson long before I had to deal with my state’s medical board.
Having a lawyer was a blessing.
Legal Help with Reporting
After I got my final stipulated order from Oregon, my lawyer signed off on my case and recommended I get separate lawyers to deal with each particular state where I had to report my medical license suspension – California and Washington.
I wasn’t ready to shell out $400/hour, nor did I care to retell this convoluted story to another lawyer.
My lawyer mentioned that how you report it to other states makes a difference. I’m sure he’s right and I’m not trying to be hard-headed but I’ve moved on from this matter and won’t spend any more money to drag it on.
Process of Reporting
I had to report my medical license suspension to California and Washington which, as I mentioned, have a 10-day reporting window. I missed this window because Oregon never told me that they signed off on my stipulated order – but that’s another story, best told over shots of Cazadores.
I was out of the country when I had to deal with this mess so I started out by sending an email to both states with an attachment of the stipulated order.
From my research, some lawyers do recommend that you offer a separate letter explaining what exactly happened in your own words.
In fact, I do have such a letter which my lawyer and I drew up. But my story is so different from what Oregon published in the signed stipulated order that I decided to skip this step.
In the body of the email I wrote that I had entered into an agreed stipulated order with Oregon which included a 30-day medical license suspension and the monetary fine.
I waited 5 days and received no reply which was unusual for these medical boards. In the past when I’ve sent emails to California and Washington, I’ve received replies fairly quickly.
I was out of the country, as I mentioned, so I couldn’t walk over to the post office to send a certified mail in a timely manner. Since I was already behind on the reporting deadline, I needed to do this ASAP.
Fortunately, I found an online service which lets you send certified mail digitally, without ever touching paper.
OnlineCertifiedMail has a very nice interface and it was seamless.
There was no upselling; they didn’t try to nickel and dime me; and it all happened fast.
I wrote a brief letter similar to what I wrote in the body of the email from above. I downloaded that document as a pdf, digitally signed it, and uploaded it to OnlineCertifiedMail along with a copy of my stipulated order.
Once the letter was delivered, I received a letter-delivery confirmation via email from OCM. This whole time, still no reply from CA or WA regarding the emails I sent.
I don’t recommend sending an email since it appears that the medical boards prefer a written communication regarding such matters.
As for the mailing address, you can find this on your state’s medical license website. This might seem obvious to many but, as an example, I couldn’t find this information for the state of Oregon and had to contact them via email.
I sent my letter by certified mail to California and Washington on July 25th and on August 15th I received an email – not a letter, an email – from California stating that they had updated my online license profile to reflect my medical license suspension.
I still haven’t heard back from Washington’s medical license board.