» State Board Licensing FAQ's

How can I proactively protect my license?

You should be familiar with the laws and regulations governing your practice. You can also read guidance documents relevant to each Board, which are all posted on the relevant Board website. On a regular basis, you should search for Board newsletters and new information posted on the website to stay abreast of regulatory changes and updates to your practice.

My employer has accused me of unprofessional conduct and is threatening to report me to my licensing Board. What should I do?

Do not speak to hospital or facility staff or provide a written statement to anyone, including the police, without first consulting legal counsel. An attorney can help advise you on the next steps, such as guiding you through employer interviews and participating in your employer’s grievance process if available.

I am licensed in states other than Virginia. What will happen to those licenses if I am investigated or disciplined in Virginia?

Every state is different. While some state health professional boards require prompt disclosure of any investigations, most states only require the disclosure of any disciplinary action taken in another state. Mellette PC attorneys work with attorneys in other states to coordinate an appropriate response for licensees with multiple state licenses.

I have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. How would a conviction affect my license?

A conviction for any felony leads to the mandatory suspension of any license and is a basis for additional discipline. A provider with a license suspended following a felony conviction may apply for reinstatement. A misdemeanor conviction is also a basis for discipline if the conviction involves a crime of “moral turpitude.” Moral turpitude means convictions related to lying, cheating, or stealing. Alcohol or drug-related convictions can also be a basis for an investigation into possible impairment. Mellette PC attorneys frequently coordinate with criminal defense attorneys to advise on the potential licensure ramifications of specific convictions or plea agreement.

What is the Health Practitioners Monitoring Program (HPMP)?

The Health Practitioners’ Monitoring Program is intended to help healthcare professionals with substance use disorders, mental health conditions, or physical conditions that may be impairing their ability to effectively practice. HPMP refers practitioners for treatment and provides ongoing monitoring of treatment progress.

In order to be eligible, a practitioner must hold a current, active license, certification, or registration issued by a health regulatory board in Virginia or a multistate licensure privilege.

Mellette PC attorneys work with clients who may need assistance due to an impairment because of chemical dependency, physical, or mental disability. On your behalf, we may seek a stay of disciplinary action or resolution of an investigation with no action if you complete the terms of your HPMP contract.

HPMP is not right for everyone. You should be sure you understand all requirements of participation in HPMP prior to joining.  

Providers should promptly seek any health care they need and work with their health care providers and a professional licensing attorney to determine if HPMP is right for them, or if other options would be a better fit for their specific situation.

The Board has offered me a Consent Order. I agree that I made the mistakes listed in the proposed Consent Order. Is it worth disputing?

A Consent Order is a public document that stays on the practitioner’s record for the rest of their career and can carry significant collateral consequences. Even in cases where a practitioner may agree that they made a mistake, Mellette PC attorneys have been successful in negotiating revisions to proposed Consent Orders that reduce the sanction, correct inaccurate factual findings, add mitigating information, and potentially minimize future consequences. The attorneys of Mellette PC can help you review an offered Consent Order and decide whether to ask for revisions or proceed to an Informal Conference.

If I don’t agree with the Board’s decision following an Informal Conference, what can I do?

Following the Board’s decision at an informal conference, you may request a formal hearing in writing within the appeal deadlines set forth in the Board’s decision. A Formal Hearing is similar to a courtroom trial.

If you disagree with the Board’s decision following the Formal Hearing, you may appeal the decision to the circuit court. The appeal must be in writing and conform to the appeal deadlines contained in the Board’s decision and the requirements of Virginia Supreme Court Rules.

Additional information regarding the informal and formal hearing process can be found at: http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/PractitionerResources/Enforcement/FAQ/

The allegations against me involve my personal medical and/or mental health records. Will the public hear this information?

As all meetings and hearings of the Boards are open to the public, individuals attending might hear this personal information. However, you may request a closed meeting to discuss personal medical and/or mental health records. All other evidence and testimony relevant to your case will be heard in an open meeting.

What if I cannot attend the informal conference on the scheduled date?

You may immediately request a continuance in writing. You should provide a reason the continuance=, such as needing more time to find legal counsel. The Board will then decide whether to grant or deny your request. If you have an attorney, your attorney should make the request for you.