When The Board Comes Knocking
By Zur Institute
This Clinical Update provides information that could be vital to your practice:
What you can do today to protect yourself!
How to respond to a board investigation!
How to protect your license and livelihood!
Nine rules of what NOT to do!
Five recommendations of what to do!
GENERAL POINTS TO REMEMBER:
- The probability of being investigated by a state licensing board is generally relatively small.
- Many board complaints are never investigated. You may not know that a complaint was ever levied against you.
- Obviously, licensing boards have a lot of power-authority over licensed psychologists, MFTs, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, nurses, etc.
- Remember, the duty of the boards is to protect the public and regulate the profession.
- While the board may be friendly and helpful, they are not your friends.
WHAT TO DO TODAY — Before You are Ever Investigated
Make sure that your malpractice insurance includes coverage for board investigations, as well as the standard malpractice coverage.
DON’TS: 12 Rules of What NOT to Do When You Hear From the Board
- Do NOT ever take a board investigation lightly.
- Do NOT ignore a board investigation.
- Do NOT assume that your innocence will soon be acknowledged.
- Do NOT respond to a letter from the board unless you have consulted with an attorney.
- Do NOT contact the client who files the board complaint.
- Do NOT turn any material or clinical records over to the board without getting legal advice first.
- Do NOT ever meet with a board investigator without legal representation.
- Do NOT alter the records or create new documents in the record.
- Do NOT ever discuss anything with a board investigator without legal representation EVEN IF they unexpectedly show up at your office.
- Do NOT assume that lack of harm to client or patient will end the board inquiry.
- Do NOT talk indiscriminately to anyone who would listen.
- Do NOT even think about trying to sue the person who complained against you.
DO’S: What to DO When You Are Notified That You Are Under Investigation
- DO contact your malpractice insurance carrier.
- DO contact a knowledgeable and experienced attorney immediately.
- DO help your attorney identify top experts. (For help in this, see my expert consulting page.
- DO be active in your defense. (See examples in dozens of free online articles.)
- DO prepare for the long run focus on self-care.
FOR THE FULL TEXT OF THIS CLINICAL UPDATE, SEE WHEN THE BOARD COMES KNOCKING.
- Consult with expert(s) on difficult cases before the board comes knocking on your door. (See Dr. Zur’s consulting services.)
- Keep good records. (See online course on Record Keeping.)
- Be extra careful with custody issues and borderline clients. (See online course on BDP.)
- Learn how to conduct ethical risk management. (See online course on Risk Management.)