Imagine a case where a licensed physician or nurse decides to stop practicing medicine but still wants to work in healthcare businesses and wants to surrender his or her license while an Accusation is pending. Another example is where the physician or nurse is not using their New York license and ends up on probation in New York due to being on probation in California and decides to surrender the New York license. What happens to their ability to work at a healthcare business that bills government programs?
Under California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 14043.6 if your healthcare license is suspended while an Accusation is pending (or revoked after a hearing), Medi-Cal will automatically put you on a "Suspended and Ineligible" List on the effective date of the suspension or revocation. If the individual is suspended from Medi-Cal, he or she cannot work, own or operate a business that receives Medi-Cal or Medicare funds in any capacity.
I am seeing more frequently people who surrendered their license and and did not understand that this is one of the harsh penalties of surrendering that is not set forth in the surrender agreement. It also seems some attorneys do not tell their clients that this will happen and the person finds out a year or more later of this consequence after they have been working in healthcare.
In sum, in analyzing whether it makes sense to surrender any healthcare license in California, the licensee should understand that a surrender will prevent the person from working in any healthcare facility that takes government funds (Medicare and Medi-Cal) even if the person is not working as a licensed health care provider. Make sure you look at all the angles in making these decisions.
Posted by Tracy Green, Esq.
Green and Associates