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A complaint to a Medical Board can happen for a variety of reasons and is more serious than many licensed medical professionals realize. If not addressed immediately and properly, a minor complaint can lead to a formal hearing and, eventually, possible loss of a medical license. Fortunately, members of DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin's health care practice are available to help.

In June and July 2011, Susan Fruchtman, a partner at the firm and a member of its health care practice, helped two doctors fend off serious allegations at their starting point with well-documented arguments sent to the State Board of Medical Examiners. In one case, a medical doctor in mourning alleged that his recently-passed 93-year-old grandfather received substandard care from the firm's client, potentially causing his grandfather's death. In a letter to the State Board,  Fruchtman helped her client politely and professionally dismiss the grandson's claim by summarizing the doctor's long-standing professional achievements within the medical community, and by citing specific examples of how the physician acted properly and in the grandfather's best interest.

As medicine evolves, so do new forms of treatment. While many patients may benefit from non-traditional forms of treatment, these may not be covered by Medicare or private health insurance plans. Ms. Fruchtman helped an OBGYN who practices non-traditional "regenerative medicine" avoid the stress and costs of a formal medical hearing by outlining to the N.J. Medical Board how she repeatedly instructed a patient that her non-traditional medical services would not be reimbursed by Medicare and any treatments would result in out-of-pocket costs. Her patient filed a complaint to the Medical Board to protest  the costs of her treatment. Ms. Fruchtman described how the regenerative medical treatment significantly solved the patient's seemingly incurable chronic medical problem. In the letter, Ms. Fruchtman emphasized that the doctor and her staff repeatedly notified the patient that Medicare would not cover the doctor's non-traditional medical services.

"The second a doctor, nurse or other licensed healthcare professional receives a complaint, they should consider seeking an attorney who can help them address and refute the allegations in the complaint. Addressing a complaint to the Medical Board quickly, professionally and thoroughly can save healthcare professionals additional legal fees, added stress and prevent the possible loss of license," said Ms. Fruchtman.

To learn more about how DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin's Health Care Practice can help your medical career or practice, please contact Joseph DeCotiis, Managing Partner, at (201) 907-5203.

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