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IL defense attorneyBecoming a licensed physician takes years upon years of education, internships, residencies, fellowships and more hard work and discipline than you would ever imagine. For anyone, learning is a job that is never done and physicians are no exceptions. The medical field is always changing its guidelines and introducing new technologies to help serve patients better, which requires physicians to stay up to date on new happenings. In Illinois, physicians are required to have a specific amount of continuing education credits when they go to renew their licenses every three years. Not fulfilling those education requirements could jeopardize your ability to renew your medical license and your ability to practice medicine in the state of Illinois.

CME Requirements

According to the Illinois State Medical Society, physicians will be required to complete at least 150 hours of continuing medical education (CME) if they plan to renew their medical license in 2020. The only licensees who are exempt from that rule are those who are renewing their medical licenses for the first time.

Further, Illinois law requires that at least 40 percent (or 60 hours) of CME must be completed in formal CME programs that are permitted to designate an activity as eligible for Category 1 credit. A maximum of 60 percent (or 90 hours) of CME is permitted to be completed in informal CME programs or activities, which can include things such as medical teaching, participation in patient care review activities and the use of self-instructive materials.

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IL license defense lawyerMost people know that a person’s medical records and information are private information that is protected by law. If you are a medical professional, you must be familiar with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a law that was passed in 1996 to protect the privacy of patients’ health information in the United States. The law gives rules and procedures that you must follow in order to protect your patients’ privacy rights. If you fail to follow HIPAA procedures or rules, you could face expensive fines and your medical license could even be put into jeopardy. Here are a few of the most common ways HIPAA is violated.

Unauthorized Access of Healthcare Records

The HIPAA only gives certain reasons as to why you can access the healthcare records of a patient without gaining their consent. Unless you are accessing records for treatment, payment or healthcare operation, you are doing so illegally. This can result in disciplinary action and a fine to the organization is possible, though uncommon.

Not Performing a Risk Analysis

One of the most common HIPAA violations to result in a financial penalty is given to organizations that fail to perform a risk analysis. These analyses must be performed regularly in order to assess whether or not there are any vulnerabilities to the confidentiality and integrity of patient health records. To prevent this from happening, conducting a regular risk analysis is recommended.

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IL license defenseBecoming a physician is a long and difficult process. You go to school for nearly 10 years, hold internships, practice medicine as a resident and you might even further your career by specializing in a specific field, which takes even more training. The last thing you would want is for something small and unrelated to put your medical license in jeopardy. In the state of Illinois, physicians are held to a higher standard than is the general population. Physicians are expected to be upstanding citizens, which is why even a small and/or unrelated criminal charge can have a large impact on one’s medical career. If you are convicted of a crime, your license will probably be revoked, but there are things you can do to mitigate the situation.

Crimes and Your Medical License

Prior to 2017, any felony conviction meant an automatic denial for new medical license applicants or revocation for current medical license holders. Under the current law, any person who was convicted of a criminal charge may petition to have his or her license reinstated if five years have passed since the conviction or three years have passed since the individual was released from confinement, whichever is later.

Not all who petition to have their license reinstated will have that petition granted. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) will examine a variety of factors when making a determination of whether or not to reinstate a license. These factors include:

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IL license defense lawyerEach year, thousands of licensed professionals receive some sort of disciplinary action against them in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is the regulating body for many of Illinois’ professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, chiropractors and dentists. These professionals are held to a higher standard than other citizens and they each have certain rules they must follow. Breaking those rules could result in disciplinary action, which comes in a variety of forms. If you are a licensed professional and you are facing any of these actions, it is crucial you understand exactly what they mean.

Types of Disciplinary Actions

Once a complaint has been filed against you, the department may or may not launch an investigation into the complaint. The investigation could result in nothing happening, but it could also result in some form of discipline. Here are a few common ways the IDFPR could discipline a licensed professional:

  • Reprimand: Receiving a reprimand does not affect a licensee’s ability to practice, but it does create a public record of discipline for the professional. They may also be required to meet additional requirements or conditions.
  • Probation: Being placed on probation typically means a licensee is permitted to practice, but only under certain terms and conditions. Probation may result in monitoring by the Probation Compliance Unit and can be for a definite or indefinite period of time.
  • Suspension: Similar to probation, a suspension may require a licensee to follow certain terms and conditions, but the licensee is not permitted to continue to practice during the suspension period. Probation typically follows a suspension period.
  • Summary or Temporary Suspension: A summary or temporary suspension may be imposed on a licensee that is thought to pose an imminent danger to the public. The license could stay suspended throughout the hearing of the case.
  • Revocation: No licensee is permitted to practice while his or her license is revoked. Many licensees must wait a minimum of three years to file a Petition for Restoration.
  • Refuse to Renew: If the IDFPR refuses to renew a license, the licensee is prohibited from practicing after the expiration date of the license.
  • Relinquished, Surrendered or Permanent Inactive: These three terms are not necessarily disciplinary actions, though they can be. A license in one of these statuses is not permitted to practice.
  • Fines: Fines can be imposed on licensees as a disciplinary action in itself or in conjunction with one of the above actions.

An Illinois Professional License Defense Attorney Can Help

If you are facing any of the above disciplinary actions, it is crucial to your career that you immediately contact an Illinois professional license defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Joseph J. Bogdan, LLC, we can help you defend your license against any of the above actions. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-310-1267.

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IL medical license defense attorneyAccording to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, there are around 3,000 complaints filed each year against doctors and other medical professionals. There are many reasons why a physician or medical professional could have a complaint lodged against him or her -- and there are 50 different actions specified in the Illinois Medical Practice Act of 1987 that could result in disciplinary action against a physician. Some of the most common complaints include unprofessional conduct and substandard care, but any complaint is a possible threat to your medical license. It is important to understand the process of a complaint if you have one filed against you.

Initial Claims Are Made

When an initial claim is made to the Board about allegations against a physician or other professional, the complaint process is started. The disciplinary board will provide the complainant with information about the complaint process and information on whether or not the claim has become a complaint and why. The claims are forwarded to the Chief of Medical Investigations to determine whether or not the claim will become a complaint.

Claims Are Examined

Once the Chief receives a claim, they will examine all information and determine if the claim becomes a complaint. If the claim does not become a complaint, the Chief will submit his or her findings on why the claim has not progressed and his or her recommendations for closure. If the claim does become a complaint, the Chief will work with a medical coordinator to determine if the complaint is ready for immediate consideration for prosecution potential.

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