Florida Informal Hearings (Board Hearings)
In Florida, when the Florida Department of Health (DOH) files an administrative complaint against a doctor, nurse or other health professional seeking to take action against their license, an Election of Rights form will accompany the copy of the complaint that is mailed to you. The form notifies the licensee of the right to a hearing and affords the licensee the option to select either an informal hearing or a formal hearing.
Informal hearings are held before the professional board (i.e. Board of Medicine, Board of Nursing, Board of Pharmacy), whereas formal hearings are held before an administrative law judge. The primary difference is that informal hearings cannot determine facts, so informal hearings are elected primarily when the licensee does not dispute the facts alleged in the complaint, but wishes to ask the board for mercy (settlement, suspension, sanctions, etc.).
Informal hearings, also known as board hearings, are not the best option for most as there is usually a dispute between the parties regarding the facts alleged. Formal hearings are used when the facts are in dispute and the licensee seeks justice, such as a dismissal.
Michigan Informal Hearings (Compliance Conference and a Board Conferee)
For Michigan, after your attorney responds to the administrative complaint, he/she will have the option of electing to request a “compliance conference” with a “board conferee.” This simply means that settlement negotiations will begin with an informal meeting with a member of the board’s disciplinary subcommittee.
This person has authority to extend an offer on behalf of the board for consideration at a “compliance conference.” Representation at a “compliance conference” is vital because this may be your only chance to get the board to dismiss your case or offer you an acceptable settlement prior to a formal administrative hearing.
It is important to note that, should you reach an agreement at a compliance conference, the board’s disciplinary subcommittee must still vote to accept the agreement between you and the conferee, which is called a “consent agreement.”
More about Florida and Michigan Board of Medicine hearings
More about Florida and Michigan Board of Nursing hearings