Michigan and Florida Healthcare Licensure Applications and Renewals

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Often, professional health care providers in Florida and Michigan come to us with unique issues in their license application status. These include criminal convictions, substance abuse and credentialing problems.

Here are frequently asked questions and answers about the licensure application and renewal process, including how criminal convictions and the likes are addressed.

Should I Contact an Attorney Upon Applying for the First Time?

In short, if you have no unique personal circumstances and are applying for the first time, you can complete the application process on your own without the advice of an attorney.

However, if you have a criminal conviction or unique personal circumstances which you believe may negatively impact your ability to be granted a license in your chosen health profession, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced licensing attorney. Your career or future depends on your ability to positively present yourself to the board.

What About Renewal?

If, since the time of your last renewal and your current renewal, you have been charged, convicted or investigated for an offense or a violation of the Public Health Code, it is important to seek the advice of an attorney. This way, you will know what you should report to the board, when you should report it and what that report should contain.

You also will have to supply information regarding your investigation, conviction or arrest in your renewal application. You must word this carefully so you can provide the board with the correct information, and avoid worsening your problems by providing incorrect, misleading, inaccurate, or information that will cause more questions than it answers. An attorney knowledgeable in professional licensing can assist you with this process.

What If I Was Disciplined in Another State and I am Applying or Renewing My Michigan or Florida License?

You must report all out-of-state convictions or final adverse administrative actions to your respective board within a certain timeline. Failure to do so is certain to result in adverse administrative action, emergency/summary suspension, or possible license revocation.

It is imperative you seek the assistance of a qualified attorney so you can properly report your adverse action to the board.

Must I Report a DUI or Criminal Offense to the Board?

Yes, for both Florida and Michigan.

For Florida health care practitioners: Pursuant to Section 456.072(1)(x) of the Florida Statutes, any licensed professional must self-report to the Florida Department of Health (“DOH”), in-writing, when they are either: 1) convicted; 2) have entered a plea of nolo contedere/no contest; or 3) have entered a plea of guilty — to any crime, in any jurisdiction, regardless of whether or not the adjudication is withheld. They must do so within 30 calendar days of the date of the conviction or the date of the plea. Failing to self-report is considered a violation of the Practice Act and is something that the DOH can investigate and prosecute. Practitioners who fail to self-report risk having discipline imposed on their license.

Any crime must be reported so long as there is a conviction, a no contests or a guilty plea. This includes DUIs. Additionally, if you were convicted of a crime, there are five questions you must be cognizant of when filling out your renewal application. If any of these questions require a “yes” answer, you should contact a professional licensing attorney prior to renewal so they can assist you with responding to the Board’s inquiries:

    1. Have you been treated for substance abuse, mental health disorders in the last five years?
    2. Have you ever been referred to an impaired practitioner program?
    3. Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor?
    4. Have you been convicted of a crime involving the illegal delivery, possession, or use of alcohol or a controlled substance?
    5. Have you been convicted or a crime which relates to fraud, including health care fraud and government assistance fraud.

For Michigan health care practitioners: Pursuant to MCL 333.16243(1)(c) and the Code of Criminal Procedure MCL 769.16a(7), any misdemeanor or felony conviction involving illegal delivery, possession or use of alcohol or a controlled substance, or any felony, must be reported by the court to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) within 21 days. If your crime involves substance use or possession (including DUI), the court has already reported your conviction. However, you must still report your conviction on your renewal application.

If you were convicted of a crime, there are three questions you must be cognizant of when filling out your renewal application. If any of these questions require a “yes” answer, you should contact a professional licensing attorney prior to renewal so they can assist you with responding to the Board’s inquiries:

    1. Have you been treated for substance abuse in the last year?
    2. Have you been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for two years or more?
    3. Have you been convicted of a crime involving the illegal delivery, possession, or use of alcohol or a controlled substance?

Robert Andretz, who handles criminal and regulatory matters at Chapman Law Group, talks about what happens when physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other licensed healthcare professionals are charged with DUI/DWI/OWI — and the possible solutions when you have a healthcare-based criminal law attorney on your side.

I am Unsure Whether My Conviction Will Show Up on a Criminal Background Check. Should I Report?

For Florida Health Care Providers: Unless your criminal record was expunged, chances are that it will show up in a background screening. This includes sealed records. When in doubt, you should contact a professional licensing attorney to review the circumstances of your conviction and determine if you are required to report.

For Michigan Health Care Providers:  If your offense is a juvenile offense, was set aside or expunged under MCL 780.621, or qualified for some other special sentencing program such as deferment under MCL 333.7411, Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (MCL 762.11), or the Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral under MCL 769.4a, you should contact a professional licensing attorney to review the circumstances of your conviction and determine if you are required to report.

What If I Was Denied a License After Applying?

If you did not retain an attorney to assist you with your application and you were denied a license, you may still have options.

Generally, if you are denied licensure by your professional board, you are permitted to request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. In nearly all cases, you should exercise this right. At the hearing, an Assistant Attorney General will be assigned to your case and will argue on behalf of the board that you should not be granted a license.

It is imperative that you retain an attorney to fight for you in the administrative hearing to improve your chances of being granted a license.

Where Do I Go to Fill Out My License or Renewal Application?

Here are links to all the Florida healthcare-related licensing departments:

Here are links to all the Michigan healthcare-related licensing departments:

How Can Chapman Law Help Me?

As health care attorneys, we at Chapman Law Group have assisted many health professionals with a broad range of licensing, student licensing, residency, general certification, fellowship certification and specialty certification issues, as well as professional licensing for nearly all health professions governed by the Public Health Code.

Among the professionals we help:

    • Athletic trainers
    • Audiologists
    • Chiropractors
    • Counselors
    • Dentists
    • Dietetics and nutrition experts
    • Marriage and family therapists
    • Massage therapists
    • Medical practitioners
    • Nursing practitioners
    • Occupational therapists
    • Optometrists
    • Osteopathic medicine and surgery
    • Pharmacists
    • Physical therapists
    • Podiatric medical professionals and surgeons
    • Psychologists
    • Respiratory care workers
    • Sanitarians
    • Social workers
    • Speech pathologists
    • Veterinary medicine practitioners

Our health care lawyers are experienced in dealing with all of the licensing bodies regulated by the Public Health Code. We know what the boards are looking for and what information you will need to prepare and present to them, so that you may put yourself in the best light possible.

We have a long, strong track record at administrative hearings and we have assisted a number of health care professionals obtain their licenses — even after convictions, professional misconduct, substance abuse issues and professional negligence.

Our Florida offices are in Sarasota and Miami. We serve the full state of Florida, including healthcare practitioners in Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, Gainesville, West Palm Beach, Sarasota, and Lakeland, as well as counties and regions including Miami-Dade County, Brevard County, Hillsborough County, Broward County, Pinellas County, Escambia County, Duval County, and Orange County.

Our Michigan office is in Troy. We represent health care practitioners in cities, counties, and communities including Detroit, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Troy, Lansing, Flint, Saginaw, Midland, Bay City, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Wayne County, Oakland County, Macomb County, Genesee County, St. Clair County, and Washtenaw County.

Remember, if you are denied licensure initially because of your criminal conviction or unique personal circumstance, it will be increasingly difficult to subsequently receive licensure. That’s why you should seek counsel of a qualified professional licensing attorney — a Chapman Law Group attorney. Call us today for a consultation.

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