Gwinnett County Physical Therapist License Defense

Physical Therapist License Defense Attorney in Gwinnett County, Georgia

Physical Therapist License Defense Attorney in Gwinnett County Georgia

If you’ve studied physical therapy for years and then gained experience and become established in the field, it can be devastating to face the prospect of losing your physical therapist license.

But that could happen if you’re accused of professional misconduct or wrong doing or get landed with a criminal charge in Georgia.

The state’s physical therapy licensing board aims to protect the profession, and so comes down hard on anybody deemed to be unfit to practice.

But if you’re accused of wrongdoing, you’re entitled to a defense. Often, the accusations are unfounded or the proposed action taken by the licensing board is excessively harsh.

Adam D. Brown is a physical therapist license defense attorney based in Gwinnett County. He can help protect your professional right to practice by presenting you at your disciplinary hearing before the Board.

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What constitutes unprofessional conduct for physical therapists in Georgia?

The state government recognizes that all medical professionals, including physical therapists, should be regulated for the safety of the public.

To maintain one’s physical therapist’s license, therefore, every therapist is expected to follow the rules, regulations and licensing standards issued by the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy.

Unprofessional conduct means that these rules are violated and the therapist risks disciplinary measures that could involve a license suspension or even revocation.

Typical types of actions that could be deemed as professional misconduct include:

  • Chemical dependency
  • Incompetence
  • Negligence
  • Fraud
  • Sexual misconduct

Other types of unprofessional conduct include:

  • Promoting sales, goods or drugs to exploit a patient/client for personal gain
  • Receive fees from third parties for patient/client referrals
  • Revealing confidential information about a patient/client without approval
  • Practicing beyond the requirements permitted by law
  • Delegating professional responsibilities to an unqualified person
  • Failing to appropriately supervise people authorized to practice
  • Continuing treatment beyond the patient’s benefit
  • Deliberately making misrepresentations or claims
  • Overcharging for professional services
  • Failing to keep records for each patient
  • Fraudulent advertising

The Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy may seek disciplinary measures against anyone accused of such actions.

If the Board becomes aware of a criminal conviction or that you were found guilty of misconduct in another jurisdiction, action against you is also likely to be taken.

What happens during the Board’s disciplinary process?

If the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy receives a complaint against a licensed and certified physical therapist, it is duty-bound to investigate it.

The state legislature has authorized the Board to investigate complaints, enforce applicable laws and regulations and impose disciplinary sanctions at its discretion.

So, when a complaint is received, the Board first determines whether it has jurisdiction over the case. If so, it must decide whether the allegations, if true, would violate its rules and regulations.

If so, the Board assigns a case number to the matter, sends a copy of the complaint to the licensee, and waits up to 30 days for the licensee to respond.

The Board will usually investigate the matter by conducting interviews with the necessary parties and, if necessary, reviewing patient records or any other documentation relevant to the allegations.

After the Board has completed its initial investigation, the matter will be discussed at the next Board meeting (i.e., in public).

Either the complainant or the licensee (or both) can address the Board at this stage. The Board will then consider the next action required:

  • Dismiss the complaint,
  • Keep it open for further investigation or
  • Move to a formal or informal hearing.

What’s the difference between a formal and informal hearing?

An informal hearing is usually an interview with the full Board. The accused licensee will likely be asked to be a witness.

A formal hearing is more like a court trial. The licensee will be informed of the hearing through a formal complaint and notice of hearing and will likely be called as a witness.

The hearing is held in front of either the Board or an administrative law judge with the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings. It is more adversarial than an informal hearing and many licensees find the process intimidating.

Having the support of an experienced professional license defense attorney at your side can help you through the process and settle the nerves.

If Adam D. Brown represents you at your hearing, he will present evidence in your defense that can bring the complainant’s version of events into doubt or help mitigate the consequences you face.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board has several options when ruling on the case:

  • Dismissal of the complaint
  • Public reprimand
  • Limitations placed on the practice in scope/place/supervisory requirements
  • Suspension of license
  • Revocation of license

If the Board finds no violation of the law but still has concerns regarding the licensee’s behavior, an advisory letter may be issued. This is considered a non-disciplinary action that is nevertheless part of the public record (and so it can lead to reputational damage for a physical therapist).

How long does the disciplinary process take?

After a complaint is filed, it can take several months until final resolution. These can be months of great uncertainty and stress for a physical therapist accused of wrongdoing.

Again, the support of a seasoned professional license defense attorney can provide not only legal protection but greater peace of mind.

How can I get my Georgia physical therapy license reinstated?

If your physical therapy license has been suspended by the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy, you can request reinstatement of your license providing you have served the minimum suspension.

However, if your license was suspended for more than three consecutive years, you must reapply as if you were applying for a license for the first time. You will also be expected to submit additional information and commit to certain extra requirements because of your suspension, such as:

  • Initially practicing with a temporary permit
  • Completing coursework
  • Passing an examination
  • Providing evidence of completing competency requirements during the licensed suspension period

Whether you’re applying for license reinstatement or a new license, Adam D. Brown can help with your application.

Contact the Law Office of Adam D. Brown Today

The Law Office of Adam D. Brown can help protect your physical therapist license and ensure that an accusation against you does not lead to unwarranted career damage.

Contact us to discuss your case with an experienced professional license defense lawyer in Gwinnett County.

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