TT&H Attorney Matt Ridley Successfully Represents Professionals in Licensure Investigations, Credentialing Reviews, Medicare Reinstatement, and Appeals Court
November 23, 2022
Over the past few months, TT&H Attorney Matt Ridley has had a string of victories in professional licensure matters. Those victories including the following:
Licensure Investigation – Board of Optometry; Credentialing Board
Matt represented an optometrist under investigation by the Pennsylvania Board of Optometry in light of a malpractice settlement in the doctor’s name. Matt defended the client during an investigator’s interview and submitted an argument on her behalf, which included a detailed defense of the treatment at issue, bolstered by experts from two of the top eye care institutes in the country, Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute and Wills Eye Hospital. As a result, the Commonwealth declined to prosecute the case. Matt then represented the optometrist before a credentialing board, who re-credentialed the doctor despite the settlement in light of the strength of the medical defense.
Licensure Investigation – Board of Psychology
Matt defended a nationally-renowned, former President/CEO of drug and alcohol treatment facilities in an investigation by the Board of Psychology. The investigation was based on allegations that the client had practiced psychology without a license. Following a DOS interview of the client, which was defended by Matt, it became clear that the client operated in an executive (rather than clinical) role, and the Commonwealth opted not to prosecute the case.
Medicare Program Reinstatement
Matt represented a physician in petitioning the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) of the Department of Health and Human Services to reinstate the doctor’s eligibility to participate in Medicare. The doctor had been excluded from the program for more than a decade due to a felony prescription drug conviction. Following a carefully-crafted application demonstrating that the physician had been fully rehabilitated, had no further criminal involvement, and was otherwise qualified for reinstatement, OIG approved the request and reinstated the physician.
Court Appeal – Board of Veterinary Medicine
The Board of Veterinary Medicine disciplined a veterinarian upon concluding that the doctor improperly declined to recommend chest x-rays and blood testing for an ill dog. Matt appealed the decision to the Commonwealth Court. Ultimately, the Court held that sufficient evidence supported the Board’s decision regarding the failure to order x-rays, but vacated the Board’s ruling regarding blood testing. The Court accepted Matt’s argument that the Board unfairly failed to identify the blood testing averment in the pleading, despite a timely request for clarification. The Court remanded the matter to the Board for reconsideration of penalties as to x-rays only. The Court’s opinion, although non-precedential, supports the proposition that a licensing board must specifically identify a licensee’s alleged violations in order to provide the licensee with the fair notice necessary to defend a disciplinary prosecution. This ruling should prove useful to future clients.
Questions about these matters can be directed to Matt Ridley at (717) 255-7239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.