New Florida Law Prohibits Massage Therapy Businesses from Operating Between Certain Hours: Should Remedy “Human Trafficking” in Florida

LOL Blog Label 2By Lance O. Leider, J.D., The Health Law Firm and George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

The operation of massage therapy establishments between certain late night and early morning hours will be prohibited under a new Florida law. Section 480.0475, Florida Statutes, becomes effective on October 1, 2013. The new Florida law restricts massage therapy businesses from being open for business between midnight and 5:00 A.M., with limited exceptions.

Click here to read Section 480.0475, Florida Statutes.

This law represents a significant curtailment of an establishment owner’s right to operate his/her business. The law states that it does not matter if an establishment is operating legitimately. The Florida Legislature and the Attorney General (AG) have cast a wide net to end what they refer to as a “human trafficking epidemic” in Florida massage establishments.

From our perspective, this will do nothing to help resolve any “human trafficking” problem that exists and is merely an invalid rationalization for this law. We have represented many massage therapists in Florida and have counseled many more. So far we have never encountered any that have been involved in any “human trafficking,” whether they are licensed massage therapists working in spas and salons or whether they are the owners of message therapy establishments.

Exceptions to the Law.

The law does not apply to massage establishments located on the premises of health care facilities, health care clinics, hotels, motels and public airports. It similarly does not apply to massages performed by a massage therapist under a medical prescription from a licensed physician, physician assistant, osteopathic physician, chiropractic physician, podiatric physician, advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) or dentist.

Also, the law does not restrict massage therapists from operating between midnight and 5:00 A.M., during a special event if the county or municipality in which the establishment operates has approved such operation during the event.

Massage Therapy Businesses as Primary Residence.

Section 480.0475, Florida Statutes, also states that a massage establishment cannot be used as a primary residence unless it is zoned for residential use.

The Florida rules define “massage establishment” as “a site or premises, or portion thereof, wherein a licensed massage therapist practices massage for compensation.”

Penalties for Not Complying with the Law Include Fines and Jail Time.

A person who violates any provision of this statute is subject to criminal penalties.

The first violation is considered a misdemeanor of the second degree. The offender could face jail time of up to sixty (60) days and a $500 fine. The second violation is considered a misdemeanor of the first degree. The offender could spend up to a year in jail and have to pay a $1,000 fine. For someone who commits a third or subsequent violations, that person could be charged with a felony of the third degree. That offender faces imprisonment of up to five (5) years and a $5,000 fine.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in the Representation of Massage Therapists.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to massage therapists in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, licensing matters and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.

We have represented a number of Chinese massage therapists who have had summary actions initiated against their massage therapy licenses by the Department of Health (DOH). Many of these have confided in us that they believe there may be discrimination involved in the way they were targeted. We are looking into such allegations for several clients.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

Did you know about this Florida Statue? Does your massage therapy business comply with this law already? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Have you been the subject of any discrimination or harassment from investigators based on your race or national origin? We’d like to hear from you if you have.

About the Authors: Lance O. Leider is an attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

Florida Statute on Massage Therapy Establishments: Employees Must Present Documentation to Department of Health and Law Enforcement Agencies

LOL Blog Label 2By Lance O. Leider, J.D., The Health Law Firm and George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

Currently there is a fight in Florida, headed by the Attorney General (AG), to stop human trafficking. AG Pam Bondi has worked to make Florida a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking. During the 2012 legislative session, she advocated for legislation that was supposed to crack down on human trafficking.

Section 480.0535, Florida Statutes, is one result of her efforts. The statute contains details on the documentation required for employees working in a massage therapy establishment. These requirements provide the Department of Health (DOH) and law enforcement agencies the means to forcibly identify, investigate and arrest people who are supposedly involved in human trafficking.

Click here to read Section 480.0535, Florida Statutes.

This statute became effective on July 1, 2012.

Documents Required While Working in a Massage Therapy Establishment.

Under Section 480.0535, Florida Statutes, a person employed by a massage therapy establishment and any person performing massage therapy must immediately present, upon the request of a DOH investigator or a law enforcement officer, a form of valid government identification.

Valid identification includes:

- A valid driver’s license;
- A valid identification card;
- A valid United States passport;
- A naturalized certificate issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security;
- A valid alien registration receipt card (green card); or
- A valid employment authorization card issued by the United States Department of              Homeland Security.

A person operating a massage therapy establishment must immediately present upon the request of a DOH investigator or law enforcement officer:

- Valid government identification while in the establishment; and
- A copy of the documentation specified above for each employee and any person              performing massage therapy in the establishment.

Penalties for Not Complying.

A person who violates any provision of this statute is subject to criminal penalties for failure to comply with the documentation requirements.

The first violation is considered a misdemeanor of the second degree. The offender could face jail time of up to sixty (60) days and a $500 fine. The second violation is considered a misdemeanor of the first degree. The offender could spend up to a year in jail and have to pay a $1,000 fine. For someone who commits a third or subsequent violations, that person could be charged with a felony of the third degree. That offender faces imprisonment of up to five (5) years and a $5,000 fine.

This statute criminalized the act of not having identification on you during work as a massage therapist.

Previous Investigation of Massage Therapy Businesses Led to Emergency Suspension Orders.

You may remember back in September 2012, an investigation into several massage therapy businesses by the Florida DOH, Clearwater Human Trafficking Task Force and the South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force turned up more than 200 massage therapists who appeared to have obtained their massage therapy licenses by fraud. Subsequently, the Florida Surgeon General signed emergency suspension orders (ESOs) for more than 160 massage therapists in Florida.

Authorities said the ESOs were, in part, an effort to target Florida’s human trafficking problem. Authorities stated that massage parlors are a typical place for finding victims of human trafficking. Click here to read more from our previous blog.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in the Representation of Massage Therapists.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to massage therapists in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, licensing matters and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.

We have represented a number of Chinese massage therapists who have had summary actions initiated against their massage therapy licenses by the Department of Health (DOH). Many of these have confided in us that they believe there may be discrimination involved in the way they were targeted. We are looking into such allegations for several clients.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

Did you know about this Florida Statue? Does your massage therapy business comply with the statute? Do you think it will help in preventing human trafficking? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Have you been the subject of any discrimination or harassment from investigators based on your race or national origin? We’d like to hear from you if you have.

About the Authors: Lance O. Leider is an attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

Massage Therapists (LMTs) and Massage Therapy Assistants: What You Don’t Know About Legal Matters Can Hurt You

7 Indest-2008-4By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm represent Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs) and Massage Therapy Assistants in a number of different legal matters. We appear before the Board of Massage Therapy. We represent massage therapists and massage therapy assistants in disciplinary matters, in credential matters, in licensing matters and in defending against malpractice claims and suits.

If you receive a letter from the Department of Health (DOH) notifying you that you are being investigated, this is a very serious matter. Get an attorney who is experienced in such matters. If you do receive a letter from the DOH, finding correct information regarding the next steps in the process is vital. Read on the learn more, and hopefully help you fight to keep your license.

Here is what you didn’t know:

1.  You are not required to make any statement to the investigator, oral or written, and     you should not do so.

2.  You do not have to send the investigator a copy of your resume, and you should not     do so.

3.  You have a Fifth Amendment right to refuse to say or do anything that might incriminate yourself. This applies to administrative investigations.

4.  If you have malpractice insurance (professional liability insurance) it may pay for     your legal defense in an investigation. Use it!

5.  You have the right to obtain a copy of the investigation after it is completed and to file a rebuttal to it.

Other things about this that you probably don’t know:

1.  You should never agree to voluntarily relinquish your license if any investigation is pending. This will be treated the same as a disciplinary revocation and the consequences will be severe. (see below.)

2.  You should never request an informal hearing. An informal hearing means you are admitting all of the allegations against you are true (pleading guilty), and you are not disputing them.

3.  If disciplinary action is taken against you (including a “voluntary” relinquishment) this will be reported to your national certification board and it will most probably revoke your national certification.

4.  If you have licenses in other states or in other health professions, this will be reported and they will commence investigations and disciplinary actions.

5. It will be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) and the Office of         the Inspector General (OIG). The OIG will then commence action to exclude you from the Medicare Program. If excluded, it is likely that you will not be able to work in health care or for any government contractor in any capacity.

Our attorneys have been very successful in representing massage therapists and massage therapy assistants. We may be able to have your case dismissed by the Probable Cause Panel of the Board. If not, we may be able to obtain a favorable result for you in a formal administrative hearing (like a trial) where the government has to prove the case against you and you are able to defend yourself.

You spent a great deal of time and money to get your professional education and your profession licenses. Don’t give it all up without getting advice from experienced attorneys.

Information Regarding Insurance Coverage.

Our recommendation is that every massage therapist and massage therapy assistant carry professional liability insurance that includes professional license defense coverage (sometimes called disciplinary defense, license defense, administrative hearing coverage or broad coverage). Most often this type of insurance coverage is included in most professional liability policies; however, if it is not, it can often be added as a rider to the insurance policy for a slight additional charge. You should be sure that your coverage for professional license defense is at least $25,000, and we recommend that you increase it to $50,000. You should also request and obtain “broad form coverage” that includes coverage of your legal fees for defense of all administrative or governmental proceedings, including Medicare audits, Medicaid audits, EEOC complaints and other types of governmental actions that could be initiated against you.

If you are required to defend yourself at a formal administrative hearing, this is similar to a medical malpractice trial in civil court. Attorney’s fees, court reporter costs, expert witness fees and other costs and fees can rapidly mount up to the point where most massage therapists and massage therapy assistants could not afford to defend themselves. If you are then required to appeal an adverse outcome, the appeal alone could cost $10,000.

Don’t wait to purchase this type of insurance until there is complaint filed against you, because then it is too late to purchase it. Complaints can be initiated against you based solely on anonymous calls to the Department of Health Hotline, newspaper reports, prior arrest reports, disgruntled patients, disgruntled insurance companies, competitors or other sources. Once and investigation is initiated, you should obtain legal representation right away. Without insurance, you probably will not be able to afford to hire a competent, experienced health lawyer to defend you. Always go to a board certified health lawyer experienced in representing massage therapists and massage therapy assistants.

For a chart depicting the Florida Department of Health investigation process, click here.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in the Representation of Massage Therapists.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to massage therapists in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, licensing matters and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

As a massage therapist or massage therapy assistant, how much of this blog did you already know? What are your biggest concerns as a health care professional? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved

Florida Board of Massage Therapy Revokes More Licenses

5 Indest-2008-2By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) Board of Massage Therapy met in Sunrise, Florida, on January 24 and 25, 2013. During the meeting the Board held disciplinary hearings to determine, among other matters, the fate of a number of Florida massage therapists. Many of these massage therapists were accused of obtaining their licenses to practice through a transcript-buying scandal centered on the Florida College of Natural Health.

The Health Law Firm had one of its attorneys present at this Board of Massage Therapy meeting to get first-hand information on what was going on.

You may remember back in September 2012, the Florida Surgeon General announced that he had signed 161 emergency suspension orders (ESOs) for massage therapists in Florida. Click here to read our blog on that story.

Results from the Board of Massage Therapy Meeting.

During the Board of Massage Therapy meeting, the Board voted to revoke 19 massage therapists’ licenses. It voted to accept the voluntary surrender of an additional 55 massage therapists’ licenses, according to an article in the Sun Sentinel. A majority of these cases involved massage therapists who were charged with obtaining their Florida licenses by submitting fake credentials from the Florida College of Natural Health.

A number of massage therapists have named a single “rogue employee” of the Florida College of Natural Health, one of its officials, as the main culprit behind the phony credentials. She allegedly issued these fake transcripts and certificates in exchange for cash payments.

To read the entire article from the Sun Sentinel, click here.

More Massage Therapists Might Be Under Investigation.

Recently, we’ve received some other reports about massage therapists who allegedly received their massage therapy courses from ASM Beauty World Academy, Inc., in Broward County, Florida. These people we spoke with say they received their credentials from a man who was also involved in the scheme in South Florida. Massage therapists from the ASM Beauty World Academy are allegedly now receiving letters of investigation from the DOH.

Again, we’ve only has a few reports. If you attended the ASM Beauty World Academy, Inc., or any other massage therapy school and received a letter from the DOH about your license being investigated, please call an experienced health law attorney.

To see a list of Florida board approved massage therapy schools, click here. Please note this list is from 2012. The 2013 list has not been released. We will update this list as soon as the new list of Florida board approved schools is released on the DOH website.

Buy Professional Liability Insurance Now.

As a massage therapists, your license may come under investigation. We always recommend buying professional liability insurance sooner rather than later. Not only can professional liability insurance protect you in the event of a lawsuit, but it may also pay your legal defenses in the event of a complaint against your license to practice or for other legal problems. It’s a small price to pay to protect your livelihood. But be sure it covers the investigation of your license. Click here to learn more on professional liability insurance for massage therapists.

What You Don’t Know About DOH Investigations Can Hurt You.

Massage therapists, I beseech you: please do not talk to a Department of Health (DOH) investigator until you have talked to a health lawyer who is experienced with DOH investigations and board licensing complaints. Do not answer or respond to even the most basic questions about where you work now, what your address is or if you know patient x, until consulting with counsel.

These are the biggest mistakes we see in the massage therapy cases we are called upon to defend after a DOH investigation has been initiated:

1. Failing to keep a current, valid address on file with the DOH (as required by law), which may seriously delay the receipt of the Uniform Complaint (notice of investigation), letters, and other important correspondence related to the investigation.

2. Contacting the DOH investigator and providing him/her an oral statement or oral interview. (Note: There is no legal requirement to do this.)

3. Making a written statement in response to the “invitation” extended by the DOH investigator to do so. (Note: There is no legal requirement to do this.)

4. Failing to carefully review the complaint to make sure it has been sent to the correct massage therapist. (Note: Check name and license number).

5. Failing to ascertain whether or not the investigation is on the “Fast Track” which may then result in an emergency suspension order (ESO) suspending the massage therapist’s license until all proceedings are concluded. (Note: This will usually be the case if there are allegations regarding drug abuse, alcohol abuse, sexual contact with a patient, mental health issues, or failure to comply with PRN instructions.)

Click here to read more on what not to do if you are contacted by a DOH investigator.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced with Department of Health (DOH) Investigations of Massage Therapists.


The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to massage therapists in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, licensing matters and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.


Comments?

As a massage therapists, have you received a letter of investigation from the DOH? What do you think about the rulings during the January 213 board meeting? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Sources:

Clarkson, Brett. “As Regulators Yank Licenses, Masseuses Blame Businessman, Former School Official.” Sun Sentinel. (January 24, 2013). From: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-01-24/health/fl-massage-board-meetings-20130124_1_massage-licenses-massage-therapists-massage-establishments

About the Authors: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

Massage Therapists: Beware of Nationwide Telephone Prescription Drug Scheme

10 Indest-2008-7By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is warning massage therapists to be aware of a prescription drug scam. This telephone scheme is extorting money from people all over the country. On November 28, 2012, the DEA released a press release explaining the details of the scam.

Don’t Give Money to Criminals Over the Phone.

The scam starts with criminals posing as DEA agents calling victims by telephone. Frequently the victims will have recently purchased prescription drugs over the internet or by phone. The imposters tell the victims that purchasing the drugs in that manner is illegal, and that they must pay a fine. If the victims refuse to send money, the phony DEA agents threaten to arrest the victims or search their property. Some of the victims have also reported unauthorized use of their credit cards after purchasing the prescription drugs.

Click here to read more on this scam from a DEA press release.

The DEA wants to remind massage therapists that no DEA agent will ever contact a person by telephone. They might show up at your house early in the morning or while you are eating dinner, however. Also, agents never request money or any other form of payment.

What Massage Therapists Need to Know About Purchasing Drugs Electronically or By Telephone.

Many times it may be illegal to purchase controlled drugs by phone or over the internet. That’s why you should go to Canada to do it. There are direct flights from Orlando. However, some pharmacies that meet stringent requirements and are registered by the DEA are allowed to sell drugs over the internet or by phone. So don’t be fooled by this telephone scam.

Where Does this Information Come From?

The scammers are counting on the fact that if you have done this, you, as a massage therapist, will get scared and believe their accusations. Many people have no idea whether such conduct is legal or illegal. These imposters are banking on your ignorance and fear of losing your license to practice. They are also banking on the fact you won’t report this to the real police.

Where do they get this information? Chances are, they are just “cold-calling” people. There are bound to be a certain number of people they reach who have done this. However, if they seem to have your personal information (or credit card number) report this to the police right away. Be sure to obtain a written police report. Also, you should file a HIPAA Privacy Complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to begin an investigation if you believe your personal information has been stolen by or given to someone else to use.

Why Patients Are Turning to the Internet to Buy Drugs.

It is no surprise that the DEA, along with other law enforcement agencies, has stepped up its efforts to cut down on overprescribing. To see examples of what I am talking about read my past blogs: Walgreens fights the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) immediate suspension order and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) pulls controlled substance licenses from two Sanford, Florida, CVS pharmacies.

If the largest, legitimate pharmacy chains in the state and nation are not allowed to fill these prescriptions, where will chronic-pain patients turn? Are these actions driving our citizens into the hands of shady pharmacies that have fewer safeguards and less accountability, such as online pharmacies? Are these actions driving our citizens to seek out illegal drug dealers and turn to illegal drugs to cope with their legitimate medical problems? That is just one opinion. Tell us yours below.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced with Investigations of Massage Therapists.


The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to massage therapists and other health providers in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigations, FBI investigations, Medicare investigations, Medicaid investigations and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

As a massage therapist, have you been contacted by these phony DEA agents? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Sources:

Pavuk, Amy. “DEA Warns of Prescription-Drug Scam.” Orlando Sentinel. (November 29,2012). From: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-dea-warns-scam-internet-20121128,0,5800536.story

Drug Enforcement Administration. “DEA Scam Alert – Extortion Scheme.” DEA. (November 28, 2012). From: http://www.justice.gov/dea/divisions/mia/2012/mia112812a.shtml

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

Massage Therapists Need Good Professional Liability Insurance with Broad Coverage

4 Indest-2009-3By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

Whether you’re an independent contractor, an employee of a chiropractor, physician or spa, or you travel to clients’ homes, insurance is essential for all massage therapists. Not only can professional liability insurance protect you in the event of a lawsuit, but it may also pay your legal defenses in the event of a complaint against your license to practice or for other legal problems. In Florida, it is not mandatory for a massage therapist to have professional liability insurance. However, since it is so cheap, we always recommend buying coverage. It’s a small price to pay to protect your livelihood. But be sure it covers investigation of your license.

It is now common to be able to find professional liability insurance that provides excellent coverage and excellent benefits, but costs less than a dollar a day. One policy I recently reviewed for a massage therapist included payment of all attorney’s fees and costs for defense of HIPAA privacy complaints, for defense of any complaints or investigations of the therapist’s license and for legal representation at any deposition.

The Best Reason for Coverage: To Provide Legal Defense for a Complaint Against the Massage Therapist’s License.

The primary reason a professional liability policy should be purchased is that this type of insurance usually includes coverage for legal defense of licensing and disciplinary action commenced against a massage therapist. It’s important to note that many massage therapists’ liability insurance includes this coverage automatically, but some policies may not. Some companies may offer this type of coverage separately to be purchased for a small additional premium.

License defense coverage pays the legal fees associated with defending a massage therapist when an investigation is initiated that may result in action against the massage therapist’s license or in administrative disciplinary action. Coverage is usually available from the time the massage therapist receives written notice that an investigation by a state agency has been initiated. It will also cover formal administrative hearings before an administrative law judge.

You should buy this coverage now, when you don’t need it. Otherwise, when you do need it, it will be too late after the problem arises.

Important Considerations When Purchasing Liability Protection.

When deciding on which professional liability insurance plan to purchase, the massage therapist should inquire as to the extent of coverage for licensing and disciplinary defense coverage. Some professional liability insurers have a “broad form” of coverage which may provide legal defense for the massage therapist in almost any type of administrative action. Other companies limit coverage to only actions that may result in disciplinary action against the massage therapist’s license. Still others provide no coverage at all except for lawsuits in professional negligence cases. The massage therapist should always attempt to get the broadest coverage available and be sure it covers disciplinary defense and licensure defense expenses.

The massage therapist should also question as to whether or not he or she will be allowed to select his or her own attorney. Many insurance companies have contracts with certain law firms to provide legal services for a reduced fee. The insurance company may require you to use one of its own contracted attorneys or in-house attorneys which it employs directly. Given the limited number of attorneys with experience in handling massage therapy law issues, it is advised to obtain coverage through a company which allows the massage therapist to choose his or her own attorney, especially for license defense.

The most important reason to purchase professional liability insurance is for the licensure defense coverage. A massage therapist does not want to risk losing his/her license because he/she was unsuccessful at defending in an investigation or did not have the resources to do so.

Ask About Your Coverage – Get Answers in Writing.

Since there are many different insurance companies out there selling professional liability insurance, it is important to be sure of exactly what is covered and what is not covered. Some companies provide “broad form” coverage, providing coverage for everything I discussed above, automatically. See Healthcare Provider’s Service Organization (HPSO) Insurance for example.

Other companies will provide this coverage as a “rider” for a small additional premium. Some insurers do not sell it at all, so you will have to buy it elsewhere. If you are in doubt as to your coverage, ask and get the answer in writing.

Insurance agents typically deal with a number of insurance companies. If you are using an insurance agent, be sure to specify exactly what you want. A good agent will be able to find it for you.

The Pricey Truth About Defending Your License.

Legal representation is costly. To defend a simple case involving a complaint made against you, whether valid or not, can range from $3,000 to $25,000 or more. A case involving a formal hearing (similar to a trial) can cost much more than you imagine. If you are not independently wealthy and cannot afford a legal defense, you may be forced to accept discipline from the Board of Massage Therapy, even if you are completely innocent.

The rules and procedures in administrative licensing cases are not the same as cases in civil and criminal courts. An insurance policy that provides licensure defense will help the massage therapist to have the financial resources to seek out a health law attorney experienced in disciplinary cases and to obtain a fair hearing.

Florida Suspends the Licenses of 161 Massage Therapists.

You may remember in September of 2012, the Florida Secretary of Health signed 161 emergency suspension orders (ESOs) for massage therapists in Florida. The suspension orders were aimed at massage therapists who allegedly obtained their licenses to practice through a transcript-buying scandal at the Florida College of Natural Health. Many of these massage therapists are still fighting to keep their licenses. This is just one instance where having professional liability insurance can help save a health care professional’s livelihood. You can read more on the suspension of the 161 massage therapists’ licenses by clicking here.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Massage Therapists.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to massage therapists in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, licensing matters and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

 

Comments?

As a massage therapist, do you have professional liability insurance? Why or why not? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.

Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

Please, Please, Please Do NOT Talk to the Department of Health (DOH) Investigator

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

Massage therapists, I beseech you: please do not talk to a Department of Health (DOH) investigator until you have talked to a health lawyer who is experienced with DOH investigations and board licensing complaints. Do not answer or respond to even the most basic questions about where you work now, what your address is or if you know patient x, until consulting with counsel.

Admitting to the Simplest Facts May Harm You.

We are routinely consulted by massage therapists and other healthcare providers for representation after they have discussed the case and after it is too late to undo the damage they have caused to themselves. Often they do not understand the seriousness of the matter or the possible consequences, until it is too late. Admitting to even the most basic facts causes damage to any possible defense.

Administrative Licensure Investigations are “Quasi-Criminal.”

The vast majority of massage therapists and even most attorneys do not realize that DOH investigations concerning complaints against a massage therapist’s license are considered to be “penal” or “quasi-criminal” proceedings. This means the same laws and constitutional rights apply to them as apply to criminal investigations. However, since they are also administrative proceedings and not strictly criminal proceedings, investigators do not need to advise you of your Miranda rights or tell you you have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, etc.

In any criminal investigation a good criminal defense attorney would always tell you “Do not talk to the investigator” and “Tell the investigator you have a lawyer.”

Investigators’ Techniques Try to Get You to Not Consult a Lawyer.

DOH investigators, police investigators, FBI investigators and other law enforcement officers, are well trained in investigative techniques and how to get information out of suspects. Often the approach used is to catch you by surprise before you even know there is an investigation and the investigation is of you. Another technique used is to lull you into a false sense of security that the investigation is about someone or something else and not you. Another investigative technique is to convince you that you need to “Tell your side of the story” so that the investigation is accurate. Yet another is that “Things will go much better for you if you cooperate.” None of these things are true.

However, if it is truly in your best interest to cooperate or to make a statement, after you consult with your attorney, your legal counsel will surely advise you to do this. The investigator should not mind waiting until you consult your attorney. However, many will go to extremes to convince you that you don’t need an attorney and shouldn’t get an attorney.

 

Consult an Experienced Health Law Attorney.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm are experienced in dealing with DOH investigators, AHCA surveyors, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents, FBI agents, police and sheriff’s office investigators, OIG special agents (S/As) and Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) investigators. To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

Disclaimer: Please note that this article represents our opinions based on our many years of practice and experience in this area of health law. You may have a different opinion; you are welcome to it. This one is mine.

Note: This article is for informational purposes only; it is not legal advice.

Suspended Florida Massage Therapists are Being Asked to Voluntarily Relinquish Their Licenses

暂停佛罗里达州的按摩治疗师,被要求自愿放弃他们的许可证

2012年9月19日,佛罗里达州当局宣布暂停超过80按摩治疗师的执照。他们被指控以欺诈手段获得佛罗里达大学的天然保健品,鲳参海滩,佛罗里达州的一名工作人员伪造文件的基础上获得他们的许可。 2012年9月20日,一名按摩治疗师,执照被吊销,采访了太阳哨兵报说她合法地完成了所有的要求取得许可证,目前正在要求卫生署(DOH)自愿放弃她许可证。

点击这里阅读原始博客文章,暂停81按摩治疗师的执照

 

所谓“流氓”雇员在佛罗里达大学的天然保健马上松手从学院。

据“太阳哨兵报,每一个按摩治疗师,他或她的驾照被吊销涉嫌伪造文件从一个”流氓“雇员在佛罗里达大学的天然保健。该文件据称它出现的人已经完成了必要的课程要求获得按摩治疗执照。与天然健康的佛罗里达大学的官员说,前工作人员被立即终止时的骗局揭发。

 

卫生署官方首次发现据称伪造文件。

卫生署官员发现一个申请人的欺诈凭据和实际的课业负担,在佛罗里达大学的天然保健品之间的区别,根据太阳哨兵。据称凭证表示,申请人已完成了500小时的按摩课程,但根据学校,学院提供的基本的按摩程序的时间为768小时。

 

一个暂停按摩治疗师谈有她的驾照被吊销。

南佛罗里达州的按摩治疗师谈到对她的停牌太阳哨兵报。她声称,调查对她的许可,没有任何可取之处,并表示她曾在三个不同的学校,包括佛罗里达自然健康学院。卫生署网站上的一个检查,结果显示,她在佛罗里达州自2008年以来已被授权。

读“太阳哨兵报文章,请点击这里

 

卫生署叫暂停的按摩治疗师,自愿放弃许可证。

根据现在暂停的按摩治疗师,她收到了协查函,通知卫生署。在信中包括许可证的形式是一个自愿放弃。

在我们的网站上有一个博客,会谈的按摩疗法被吊销牌照或放弃的调查通知后,许可证的后果。

点击这里阅读此之前的博客

根据以往的经验,我们知道,一次充电可提交调查,以打开对许多不同的来源和经常的按摩治疗师没有确凿的证据。挑战和辩护律师的知识和经验,在这类问题上,这些调查往往可能被解雇,无纪律处分的按摩治疗师的执照。

 

更多的自愿放弃的后果。

在这样的情况下被视为一个自愿放弃一样的纪律撤销。这是许多和持久的负面影响。这些措施包括:

1。全国从业者资料库(NPDB)(注:医疗保健完整性和最近保护数据银行或HIPDB的的折叠成NPDB),仍然有50年的强制性报告。
2。任何其他国家或司法管辖区中,客户端有一个执照也将采取行动,对他或她在该司法管辖区。 (注:我有两个客户在其他七个国家的许可证)。
3。卫生和人类服务部(HHS)监察长办公室(OIG)将采取行动,排除提供者的医疗保险计划。如果发生这种情况(这些罪行要求强制排除),供应商将被置于名单除外个人和实体(LEIE),HHS OIG维护。
4。如果上述情况发生,供应商也自动被取消资格或禁止以任何名义参与任何联邦合同中,并放置在美国总务管理局(GSA)的除名名单。
5。按摩治疗师的国家委员会或认证机构将采取行动,取消他或她的认证。在此之后,您将无法获发牌在美国的任何地方

 

联系卫生与健康(DOH)的按摩治疗师的调查经验丰富的律师。

生律师事务所的律师提供法律代表的按摩治疗师在卫生部(DOH)的调查,许可事项和其他类型的卫生专业人员和供应商的调查。

如要生律师事务所联系,请致电(407)331-6620或(850)439-1001,访问我们的网站www.TheHealthLawFirm.com。

 

作者简介:乔治·F. Indest III,法学博士,法学硕士,MPA,委员会认证的卫生法中的佛罗里达州的律师。他是总裁兼执行合伙人的生律师事务所,其中有一个国家的做法。其主要办公地点设在佛罗里达州奥兰多市,区。 http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com健康律师事务所,1101道格拉斯大道。,阿尔塔蒙特斯普林斯,FL 32714,电话:(407)331-6620。

克里斯托弗·布朗,JD,是与生律师事务所的律师,其中有一个国家的做法。其主要办公地点设在佛罗里达州奥兰多市,区。 http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com健康律师事务所,1101道格拉斯大道。,阿尔塔蒙特斯普林斯,FL 32714,电话:(407)331-6620。

The Collateral Effects of Voluntary Relinquishment with Investigation Pending or other Discipline on Your Massage Therapy License

当你的按摩执照在被调查或者有其它的纪律处分,你这时选择自动放弃你的执照随之带来的后果

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

作者:林达思.乔治. 佛州注册的健康法的律师。

Many massage therapists are unaware of the drastic long-term effects that discipline on their massage therapist license could have. This includes submitting a voluntary relinquishment of the massage therapist’s license while there is an investigation pending or while there are charges pending. Although this particular article is being prepared specifically for massage therapists, similar principles apply to physicians, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, dentists, mental health counselors and other licensed health professionals

很多按摩师可能没想到他们的按摩执照被纪律处分所带来的长期严重后果。期中包括他们的执照在被调查中或者其它的未决定的控诉,而他们却在此时选择放弃他们的执照,虽然这篇文章是专门为按摩师们而写的,但是同样适用于医生,护士,药剂师,牙医,精神健康咨询师和及其他持有健康卫生执照之类的专业人士。

A voluntary relinquishment of the license after notice of the opening of an investigation or while a charge is pending is treated the same as a disciplinary revocation of the license. It is reported out the same and is treated the same. In some cases it may even be worse, if the agreement to voluntarily relinquish also includes an agreement to never apply for another license again.

 

如果在收到调查你的执照通知或其它未决定的控诉,你选择放弃执照,这会被当作取消执照一样看待。有关部门会向上级部门汇报,并且处分也是一样的,在有些案例,情况可能会更严重,即如果你选择自动放弃执照,那同样意味着你选择放弃申请其它执照的机会。

Even discipline on the massage therapy license such as a suspension, probation, restrictions, etc., can have far-lasting adverse repercussions. Most people do not understand what else can happen as a result of a discipline, revocation or even voluntary relinquishment (under these circumstances).

即使仅给你的执照予纪律处分,如暂停、检验、或者限制等等。也将会带来长期严重的副作用。很多人不清楚按摩执照被处分,吊销或者自动放弃所带来什么样的后果,下面将详细介绍

Reports to National Organizations on the Discipline.

向全美有关医疗组织汇报。

First and foremost, the discipline (including voluntary relinquishment) will be a public record. It will also be reported out to national reporting agencies, including the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).

首先也是最主要的,纪律处分(包括自动放弃)将会成为公共的档案。它也会被上报给国家汇报机构。包括全美专业人员档案库和NCBTMB(全美考试中心)。

As a result of the report to the NPDB, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will probably start action to exclude the disciplined therapist from the Medicare Program and place him or her on the OIG’s List of Excluded Individual’s and Entities (LEIE). This will bar you from the Medicare Program or working for or contracting with anyone else who does (including insurer’s medical clinics and most health care providers). This by itself will also have many negative consequences. For example, if you are excluded from the Medicare Program you are automatically placed on the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) “debarred” list. You

are automatically excluded from working for or contracting with, in any capacity, any organization, individual or agency that has any government contracts or accepts any federal funding. This act can bar you from working for a public school, working as a real estate agent, or many other jobs.

汇报给全美专业人员资料库的后果是,美国人力资源总调查办公室可能就会采取行动把受过纪律处分的人员排除在申请medicare的范围之外,并且把这些人员放在总调查的名单上。这可能就会把你排除在medicare 范围之外或者把你排除在雇用或者签合同的范围之外(包括保险公司的门诊医疗和大多数的医生。同时它本身也还有很多其它的副作用,例如,如果你被排除在接受medicare的范围之外,也就是说、你会自动地被放置于美国总行政服务“禁止”名单上。而且你也会自动被拒绝申请政府方面或者与政府资金有关的工作,这也会阻止你申请学校、房地产代理人、及其它多方面的工作。

The NCBTMB will also take action to revoke your national certification given by the NCBTMB. This will exclude you from being licensed in any other state.

NCBTMB(全美考试中心)也会跟着采取行动取消你的全美证书,这就意味着你得不到任何州的执照。

Summary of Adverse Consequences of Revocation or Other Discipline.

吊销执照或其他纪律处分总结。

To summarize, the most important adverse problems that may be caused as a result of discipline on your license, may include the following:

下面总结了按摩执照收到处分的严重后果

1. May cause discipline to be commenced against any other health professional license you have, such as a nurse, acupuncture physician, chiropractic assistant, nurse’s aide, home health assistant, etc.

1按摩执照纪律处分可能会影响到你的其他方面的执照,如护士,针灸师,医生,正骨助理师,护士助理,家庭护理员等等

2. Will prevent you from obtaining any health professional license in the future.

将会影响你将来获取其它卫生专业方面的执照。

3. May cause discipline to be commenced against any massage therapy establishment license for a massage therapy establishment you own in whole or in part.

可能会影响到你自己的或者与别人合伙的按摩生意的执照。

4. Any other states or jurisdictions in which you have a license will also initiate action against him or her in that jurisdiction.

4如果你有其他州的执照,其他州也可能会开始采取行动指控你的执照。

5. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) will also take action to revoke your national certification given by the NCBTMB. This will exclude you from being licensed in any other state and will cause any other state in which you are licensed to take action against you.

5.NCBTMB(全美考试中心)也可能会开始采取行动吊销你所获得的证书,这将意味着任何其他州都可能会采取行动指控你。

6. Mandatory report to the National Practitioner Data Base (NPDB)), which remains there for 50 years. (Note: Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank or HIPDB recently folded into NPDB.)

6.这个事件按规定必将回报给全美专业从业人员档案库,此档案将会跟随你50年。

7. The OIG of HHS will take action to exclude the provider from the Medicare Program. If this occurs, (and most of these offenses require mandatory exclusion) the provider will be placed on the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE) maintained by the OIG HHS.

7全美人力资源总调查办公室将会把你排除在“medicare”之外(这些人员是被强制排除的)如果真的是这样的话,这些人员将会被全美人力资源总调查办公室放在排除人员的名单上。

8. If the above occurs, the provider is also automatically “debarred” or prohibited from participating in any capacity in any federal contracting and is placed on the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) debarment list.

 

8. 如果以上发生了,这些从业人员将会自动被限制在申请政府合同一类的事情之外,而且他们也将会出现在政府服务“排除”在外的名单之上。

9. Third party payors (health insurance companies, HMOs, etc.) will terminate the professional’s contract or panel membership with that organization.

9.第3担保人(如健康保险公司,HMO等等)也将会终止你的专业合同,或者中止与那个机构的保险服务。

10. Regardless of any of the above, any facility licensed by AHCA (hospitals, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), public health clinics, group homes for the developmentally disabled, etc.) that are required to perform background screenings on their employees will result in AHCA notifying the facility and the professional that he or she is disqualified from employment.

10.除了以上提及的之外,任何被AHCA授予执照的部门(医院,老人院,公共医疗门诊,残疾人员之家等等) 这些部门都要求背景调查,那么雇佣人员如果被发现背景有污点,他们就会被汇报给雇主,那么他们就得不到工作机会。

What Can be Done?

 

应该怎么做呢?

If you have submitted a voluntary relinquishment without understanding the consequences, and the Board of Massage Therapy (“Board”) has not acted to accept it, you may withdraw it. What we do is submit a letter to the Executive Director of the Board stating it was submitted by mistake without fully understanding the consequences, and the massage therapist desires to withdraw the voluntary relinquishment. We submit this immediately (keeping a copy, of course) and by certified mail, return receipt requested, so we have proof of sending and proof of receipt.

如果你不清楚后果就填写了放弃的表,按摩委员会还没有受理的话,你可以要求撤回,那么我们就可以写信给委员会的负责人表明你不清楚此事的后果就错误的填写了放弃表,现在按摩师要求撤回此表。我们将会立即寄一封挂号信(保留复印件,表明我们有证据我们寄了信。

However, you must also ask for a formal hearing to dispute the facts in your case, as well. We usually do this at the same time and by the same method. If you fail to request a formal hearing, then you are waiving your rights to challenge your guilt or innocence.

同时,你也必须提出要求正式的听证去反驳对你的指控。我们通常在同一的时间和用同样的方法去做。如果你不要求正式听证,那么就等于你放弃了自己的权利去反驳自己是清白无辜的

 

If you have requested an informal hearing, you have made a big mistake. For an informal hearing, you admit that everything stated in the complaint against you is true. You have admitted that all of the charges against you are correct, so you are pleading guilty to the charges. You are then giving up the right to have a hearing to determine whether you are really guilty or innocent. All you are going to be arguing about is the punishment you will receive. You will not be allowed to testify on or introduce any evidence on your guilt or innocence.

如果你要求非正式的听证,那么你就犯了一个大错,因为非正式听证表明你承认了对你的指控的一切都是事实成立的。你承认你是有罪的,因为你已经放弃了去反驳你是无罪或清白的权利。在非正式听证会,你只不过与他们争辩怎么惩罚你而以,此时你是不再允许提供证据来证明你的清白无辜了。

If you have submitted a request for an informal hearing, not realizing this, then what we usually do is to submit an immediate request to have the hearing changed over to a formal administrative hearing where you are allowed to dispute the facts against you and prove your innocence. In such a case, it is necessary to submit a Petition for a Formal Administrative Hearing and to specify which facts are contested or disputed and why.

如果你已经寄交了非正式听证的申请,但是没有意识到,那你应该立即要求把非正式听证转换正式听证,那么你就可以有机会去证明你是清白的了,在此中情况下你很有必要呈交一份要求正式听证的请愿书,并且表明你要反驳什么和为什么要反驳。

The case is then sent to a neutral administrative law judge (ALJ) to hold a hearing on the case. The state Department of Health (DOH) (the parent agency over the Board of Massage Therapy) is then required to prove the facts against you by clear and convincing evidence. In fact, you do not even have to introduce any evidence or testimony, the burden of proof is on the DOH to prove the case against you.

案件将会被送到行政法官那里,卫生厅(按摩委员会主管部门)被要求呈交他们所拥有的大量的清楚的反对你的证据。事实上你用不着呈交任何证据,因为卫生局已经拥有大量的证据来指控你。

Emergency Suspension Orders (ESOs), Appeals and Election of Rights (EOR) Forms.

紧急停止命令,上诉和权利选择表。

In Florida, if you have an Emergency Suspension Order (ESO), you can appeal it to a court of appeal. The problem with this is that it is very technical to do so and is very costly. Call an attorney who specializes in appeals or appellate law and ask. Additionally, the court of appeal only rules on the law and not the facts. The appeal court will be required to accept everything that is stated in the ESO as true. There is no fact hearing, there are only legal arguments. Your basic case will be delayed while this takes place, and you will probably lose on appeal. This may not be the correct choice for you.

在佛州,如果你收到了紧急停止命令,你也可以到法院上诉。问题是上诉是有技巧的,并且是非常昂贵的,你可以打电话请教有经验的上诉律师。另外,上诉法庭只裁定法律,而不是事实,上诉法庭将会接受在紧急停止命令中所说的一切都是真实的,这不是一个事实的听证会,只是合法的辩论。如果以上所说的发生的话,你的案件将会被推迟,这样你的控诉可能失败。这不是你的正确选择。

However, if there is an ESO, you also have the right to an expedited fact hearing on it. This may be the best course of action if you have documents and facts to show you are not guilty of the charges.

然而,如果这是紧急停止命令,你就有要求紧急加快处理的权利。如果你有证据和事实,那末这将是证明你清白的你的最佳选择。

Furthermore, there will also be an additional document served on you, an administrative complaint (AC). When you receive the AC, it will probably say just about the same thing as the ESO. You will be given your hearing rights when this occurs (called an “Election of Rights” form or “EOR”). As we indicated above, you will almost always want to select a formal administrative hearing in which you dispute (challenge or contest) the allegations (charges) made against you. This is the only way you will have the right to have a full and fair hearing on your innocence of the charges. Make sure it is submitted in plenty of time to be received within the 21 days given. Seek legal advice in completing it. Do not admit to anything; you don’t have to as the state DOH has the burden of proof.

另外,你可能还会有另外的文件指控你,即行证控诉,当你收到行证控诉时,你可能认为与紧急停止命令是一回事。当此事发生时,你会给予听证的权力(即权力选择表)。上面以提到过,你应该要求正式听证来反驳对你的指控,这是唯一证明你是清白的途径。你要确定必须在21天之内寄出,最好要咨询有经验的律师。什么也不要承认,卫生局已经拥有大量的事实来指控你。

The Need for an Experienced Health Law Attorney.

 

你需要聘请有经验的律师。

 

It is very difficult to take the actions necessary yourself if you do not have any legal training. Nonlawyers make many stupid mistakes in these proceedings, including submitting written statements that can be used against them when they do not have to do so, talking to the DOH investigator or Board personnel, talking to the DOH prosecuting attorney, making admissions which can be used against them, and waiving their rights when they do not have to do so.

如果你没有受过专业合法的训练,你想为什么辩护是很困难的。非律师人员可能会犯下很愚蠢的错误,如包括呈交书面的陈述,这些陈述将被日后用来指控他们的材料,与卫生厅的调查人员或者办事员交谈,与卫生厅的律师交谈,并且放弃他们的权力等

Most attorneys are not familiar with these types of procedures if they do not practice health law. They do not realize that the same rights which apply in criminal cases also apply to professional licensure cases. You need to find and hire an attorney experienced in this type of case. That would be a health law attorney, and preferably one who is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Health Law.

很多不是健康专业法的律师,可能不清楚其中的过程。他们不明白类似刑事犯罪方面的申诉权力同样适用于健康法律方面。因此你需要聘请有经验的健康法律方面的律师。尤其是在佛州注册的健康法法律方面的律师。

What You Should Do.

你应该怎样做呢?

So the bottom line is that if you are innocent and want to dispute any charges against you, you should:

你的底线是你是无辜的,你要反驳对你的指控,你应该这样做:

1. If you have professional insurance coverage, such as HPSO Insurance, see if your insurance will cover your legal defense expenses in this type of case. Many will. We know H PSO will.

如果你拥有专业执照保险,如HPSO保险,那末了解一下他们是否包括了合法的执照反驳的费用。许多保险包括此项,我们知道HPSO包括。

2. Act right away to request all of your rights in any matter. Make sure that anything you submit is actually received (not mailed, received) before the deadline given.

立即行动起来,好好的运动你的权力,确保每一样你收到的文件都在截止日期以前寄出。

 

3. Do not call, write or speak to the DOH investigator, Board personnel, DOH personnel or the DOH attorney.

不要打电话给卫生厅调查人员,办事员,卫生厅的律师或委员会成员。

4. Do not make a statement, written or oral, to the DOH investigator, Board personnel, DOH personnel or the DOH attorney.

不要与卫生厅的调查员,委员会成员,卫生厅的办事员或卫生厅的律师有任何的书面或口头的交流。

5. Contest (dispute or fight) every action that might be stated against you, including one by the NCBTMB or OIG.

反驳任何可能对你的指控,包括NCBTMB(全美考试中心)或者总调查办公室

6. Do not admit to anything you don’t have to as the state DOH has the burden of proof.

不要承认任何事情,因为卫生厅已经拥有大量的证据来指控你。

7. Keep copies of all forms or letters submitted, along with proof of mailing and proof of receipt (send via certified mail, return receipt requested).

保留你所有寄出的文件的复印件及邮寄的证据(如挂号信的收据)。

8. Retain the services of a health lawyer who has experience in Board of Massage Therapy/Department of Health (DOH) cases (ask him or her how many he or she has actually done). DO THIS FIRST, NOT LAST!

聘请在按摩方面或有与卫生局打交道有经验的律师(咨询律师真正做过什么)

这是首要任务,不要等到最后。

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced with Department of Health (DOH) Investigations of Massage Therapists.


联系在按摩执照方面与卫生局打交道有丰富经验的律师。
The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to massage therapists in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, licensing matters and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.
健康法律师楼的资深律师提供代表按摩师在执照调查,其他执照方面问题及另外的一些专业执照的问题方面的服务,我们有着与卫生局打交道的丰富经验。

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

 

联系健康法律律师楼,请打电话(407)331-6620或者(850)439-1001请浏览我们的网站www.TheHealthLawFirm.com

 

 

25 Mistakes Massage Therapists Make After Being Informed of a Department of Health (DOH) Complaint

按摩师在收到卫生局的投诉后所犯的25个最大的错误

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

作者:林达思.乔治-佛州注册的健康卫生法方面的律师

The investigation of a complaint which could lead to the revocation of a massage therapist’s license to practice and the assessment of tens of thousands of dollars in fines, usually starts with a simple letter from the Department of Health (DOH). This is a very serious legal matter and it should be treated as such by the massage therapist who receives it. Yet, in many cases, attorneys are consulted by massage therapists after the entire investigation is over, and they have attempted to represent themselves throughout the case. Often, the mistakes that have been made severely compromise an attorney‘s ability to achieve a favorable result for the massage therapist.

从投诉案件的调查导致按摩执照吊销以及到可能上万元的罚款,这些往往从你收到卫生厅一封简单的信件开始。这是一个很严肃的法律问题。收到信件的按摩师一定要严肃对待,在很多案例中,在调查结束后,按摩师会咨询律师。但是其中很多人试图去自我辩解。通常按摩师所犯的这些错误严重的大大折衷了律师对按摩师提供的辩护。


These are the 25 biggest mistakes we see in the massage therapy cases we are called upon to defend after a DOH investigation has been initiated:

以下是按摩师从开始就犯的25个最大的错误:

  1. Failing to keep a current, valid address on file with the DOH (as required by law), which may seriously delay the receipt of the Uniform Complaint (notice of investigation), letters, and other important correspondence related to the investigation.

 

没有在卫生厅档案中保持你最新的有效地址(这是法律要求的),这就严重延误了你收到正式的投诉信(调查通知),或者其他重要有关回复。

2. Contacting the DOH investigator and providing him/her an oral statement or oral interview. (Note: There is no legal requirement to do this.)

 

联系卫生局的调查人员并提供口头采访(法律没有要求必须这样做)。

3. Making a written statement in response to the “invitation” extended by the DOH investigator to do so. (Note: There is no legal requirement to do this.)

在卫生局调查人员的要求下呈交卫生局书面材料(法律没有要求你必须这样做)。

4. Failing to carefully review the complaint to make sure it has been sent to the correct massage therapist. (Note: Check name and license number).

 

收到信件后没有详细阅读,即没有仔细查看是否此信是寄给正确的按摩师的。(注:要检查你的名字和执照号码)。

5. Failing to ascertain whether or not the investigation is on the “Fast Track” which may then result in an emergency suspension order (ESO) suspending the massage therapist’s license until all proceedings are concluded. (Note: This will usually be the case if there are allegations regarding drug abuse, alcohol abuse, sexual contact with a patient, mental health issues, or failure to comply with PRN instructions.)

没有确定此调查是否在紧急情况下,因为这种情况可导致紧急停止你的按摩执照。(注:这通常涉及到有关药物滥用,酗酒,与病人发生性行为,精神发面的问题或者没有遵守PRN的指引)。

6. Providing a copy of the massage therapist’s curriculum vitae (CV) or resume to the investigator because the investigator requested them to do so. (Note: There is no legal requirement to do this.)

 

在调查人员的要求下呈交给调查员按摩师全部课程的大纲或者简历表(法律并没有要求你这样做)。

7. Believing that if they “just explain it,” the investigation will be closed and the case dropped.

 

相信只要“好好解释”调查就会被关闭,并且案件会被撤消。

8. Failing to submit a timely objection to a DOH subpoena when there are valid grounds to do so.

 

没有及时的呈交反对的传讯给卫生厅,这是法律要求的。
9. Failing to forward a complete copy of the patient record when subpoenaed by the DOH investigator as part of the investigation, when no objection is going to be filed.

 

作为调查的一部分,当卫生厅调查人员传讯你递交有关病人方面记录的复印件,你却没有呈交,而且也没有反对的记录档案。

10. Delegating the task of providing a complete copy of the patient record to office staff, resulting in an incomplete or partial copy being provided.

分配任务给办公室的其他人员,结果导致你呈交的复印件不完全或仅是其中的一部分。

11. Failing to keep an exact copy of any records, documents, letters or statements provided to the investigator.

没有保留调查人员所提供的记录文件信件或陈述文件的复印件。

12. Believing that the investigator has knowledge or experience in health care matters or procedures being investigated.

 

相信调查人员在健康管理或程序方面有相当的知识或者经验。

13. Believing that the investigator is merely attempting to ascertain the truth of the matter and this will result in the matter being dismissed.

 

相信调查人员只是企图确认事实并且最终会撤销控诉。

14. Failing to check to see if their medical malpractice insurance carrier will pay the legal fees to defend them in this investigation.

 

没有查看是否他们的医疗适当保险将会支付他们的辩护费,即在被调查时。

15. Talking to DOH investigators, staff or attorneys, in the mistaken belief that they are capable of doing so without providing information that can and will be used against them.

 

与卫生局的调查人员,办事人员或者律师交谈,并且盲目的认为他们有能力掌握不会提供任何有用的材料被日后用来指控他们。

16. Believing that because they haven’t heard anything for six months or more the matter has “gone away.” The matter does not ever just go away.

 

他们盲目地相信在六个月或者较长的时间内没有任何消息事情就可以过去了。事实上,事情绝对不会就此完结。

17. Failing to submit a written request to the investigator at the beginning of the investigation for a copy of the complete investigation report and file and then following up with additional requests until it is received.

在开始时没有呈交书面申请要求卫生厅递给你一份全面调查的报告和档案。此事要连续请求直到收到为止。

18. Failing to wisely use the time while the investigation is proceeding to interview witnesses, obtain witness statements, conduct research, obtain experts, and perform other tasks that may assist defending the case.

 

再你的案件辨护过程中没有正确的掌握时间,如在调查目击者时,获取目击证词,进行调查研究,获取专家和其他一些方面。

19. Failing to exercise the right of submitting documents, statements, and expert opinions to rebut the findings made in the investigation report before the case is submitted to the Probable Cause Panel of your licensing board for a decision.

 

在你的案件呈交给审查小组裁决之前,没有正确的运用你的权利去上交一些文件,陈述书,和专家的陈词去反驳调查人员对你的指控。

20. Taking legal advice from their colleagues regarding what they should do (or not do) in defending themselves in the investigation.

 

在调查进行中采取同事的建议关于应该如何(或不应如何)去为自己辩护。

21. Retaining “consultants” or other non-lawyer personnel to represent them.

 

聘请“顾问”或者非律师的人员来代表自己。

22. Believing that the case is indefensible so there is no reason to even try to have it dismissed by the Probable Cause Panel.

 

相信案件是无法辩驳的,从而认为没有任何理由去尝试要求审查小组撤销案件。

23. Attempting to defend themselves.

尝试为自己辩护。

24. Believing that because they know someone with the Department of Health or a state legislator, that influence can be exerted to have the case dismissed.

 

盲目的相信他们认识卫生厅的人或者是州立法委员,那么案件就可能会被撤销。

25. Failing to immediately retain the services of a health care attorney who is experienced in such matters to represent them, to communicate with the DOH investigator for them, and to prepare and submit materials to the Probable Cause Panel.

 

没有立即聘请有经验的律师来帮助你,并且由他门与卫生厅沟通,和准备材料呈交给审查团。

Bonus Point: 26. Communicating with the Department of Health about the pending case.

额外:26.与健康部门交流关于待定的案件。

Not every case will require submission of materials to the Probable Cause Panel after the investigation is received and reviewed. There will be a few where the allegations made are not “legally sufficient” and do not constitute an offense for which the massage therapist may be disciplined.

不是每个案件在审查过后还需呈交材料给审查小组。这里将会存在一些已做出的指控为不“充分的合法”,即对不能构成犯罪的按摩治疗师所可能作出纪律处分。

In other cases, an experienced health care attorney may be successful in obtaining a commitment from the DOH attorney to recommend a dismissal to the Probable Cause Panel. In other cases (usually the most serious ones), for tactical reasons, the experienced health care attorney may recommend that you waive your right to have the case submitted to the Probable Cause Panel and that you proceed directly to an administrative hearing. The key to a successful outcome in all of these cases is to obtain the assistance of a health care lawyer who is experienced in appearing before the Board of Medicine in such cases and does soon a regular basis.

在其他的案例中,一个资深的卫生法方面的律师可能会成功的从卫生局的律师方面得到许诺。从而解除在审查小组面前的控诉。其他案件中(通常重大案件中)出于策略的原因,律师会推荐你放弃把你的案件呈献给审查小组,并且直接要求一个正式的听证。成功的关键是在医学委员会面前要找一位有经验的律师帮助你。


Contact Health Law
Attorneys Experienced with Department of Health Investigations of Massage Therapists.

当按摩师被卫生厅调查时,请联系在健康法方面有经验的律师。

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to massage therapists in Department of Health (DOH) investigations and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.

 

健康法律师楼的律师们提供按摩师在卫生局调查案件中合法代理人的服务,以及其他形式的有关针对专业人员的调查。

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

 

联系健康法律师楼,请打电话至(407) 331-6620 或 (850) 439-1001 和访问我们的网站:www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.