Can Health Care Professionals Work During an IDFPR Investigation?

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As a health care professional, you are held to standards set by Illinois law and enforced by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). If you find yourself the subject of an IDFPR investigation or administrative action, you may wonder what that means for your ability to work.

The following are many of the most common questions professionals facing an administrative action ask. This information is provided as a general guideline and does not constitute or replace legal advice. Every case is unique, which is why you should consult an experienced administrative law attorney as soon as you receive any notice from IDFPR.

I received a notice of Complaint from the IDFPR. Does this mean I should stop working?

No. Unless you have received a document ordering you to stop working, you should continue to do your job. It is in your best interest to continue to practice your profession to the best of your ability.

What is an IDFPR notice of Complaint?

An IDFPR notice of Complaint is a letter that notifies you about a complaint that has been filed about you with IDFPR. It signifies the beginning of an investigation to determine whether the Complaint has merit or not.  The Complaint is not a final judgment but rather the beginning of the process. You may be contacted by a lead investigator and asked to provide documentation or other information. You can and should respond to any IDFPR notification letter in an appropriate and timely manner, ideally with the advice of counsel well-versed in IDFPR procedure.

I was fired from my job and have received an IDFPR notice of Complaint. Can I still look for a new job?

Yes. Unless you received a document stating you cannot work, you can look for and accept new employment. Finding new employment during an administrative action can help show the Department that you are a true professional.

Only if you receive an order temporarily or permanently suspending your professional license should you stop working until the matter is resolved. IDFPR typically only issues such orders if they feel someone poses an immediate danger to public safety and welfare.

My notice of Complaint is related to alleged drug and/or alcohol use. Can I seek treatment and still practice?

You may voluntarily seek treatment for drug or alcohol use and continue practicing as long as your employer is aware of and agrees to support your treatment plans. Depending on the severity of the situation, you may need to temporarily refrain from practice until treatment is complete and/or the Complaint against you has been resolved.

An IDFPR investigation resulted in a formal Complaint. Now what?

If you haven’t already, immediately retain an experienced attorney.  An IDFPR complaint must be taken very seriously.  Ignoring the Complaint or failing to respond appropriately could have long-lasting negative consequences for your license and your livelihood.

Jordan Matyas

Jordan Matyas

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Jordan Matyas is a lawyer, lobbyist, and Founder of 1818 Legal, an Illinois professional licensing defense law firm he created in 2014. With more than 18 years of experience practicing law, he represents clients in a wide range of legal matters, including professional license defense, administrative law, land use and zoning, and state, local, and municipal law.

Jordan received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois — Chicago School of Law and is a member of the Illinois Bar Association.