We represent a physician who pled guilty some years ago to health care fraud, a felony, in Federal Court. We filed the appropriate application after the required three-year waiting period and began the lengthy process of getting a decision after a Hearing. The application included affidavits from several physicians who supported the restoration request, and those physicians were interviewed by the Department of Education, as was our client. Then, after a very long waiting period, we were given a Hearing date of January 10, 2023. At the Hearing, we submitted the sworn testimony of two physicians, along with the testimony of our client. All three witnesses were cross-examined by the state’s prosecutor and the individual Panel members. On May 8, 2023, the decision was received by our office, and the recommendation was that the restoration of the client’s medical license be approved. This recommendation now must go to the Committee on the Professions for approval and then to the Board of Regents. We feel that the recommendation will be approved by the Board of Regents.
These types of issues are always difficult because the client has, by definition, lost his/her license for a very serious issue. To succeed, there has to be careful planning all along the line. One of the most important aspects is the quality of the witnesses who come to testify on behalf of the client. These witnesses must be very well acquainted with the client and, while knowing about the criminal conviction, they nonetheless wholeheartedly have to state that the license should be restored. We spent some time discussing the issues with the witnesses so that they understood what was important in this process, and what possible questions might be asked of them on cross-examination.
As to the client, he/she made certain that all of the required CMEs had been done over the few years prior to the Hearing and that payments were made regarding the restitution requirement of the criminal conviction. Moreover, we spent time with the client to ensure that there was an understanding of the questioning that might come from the Panel, especially concerning the facts of the underlying conviction. Our client made a convincing and sincere appearance which led to this result.
As is obvious with most things, careful planning and experience will give the best opportunity for a good result, as this case demonstrated.