Given the amount of education required by the state of Texas to earn licensure as an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist, it is no small thing to learn that a complaint has been filed against one’s license. After years of intensive education and clinical training that has been laser-focused on studying, diagnosing, and treating hearing disorders, loss of hearing, and other medical issues of an audiological bent, a professional earns their license from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
The Department, which oversees a large number of diverse types of professions, is charged with governing the profession of audiology and speech pathology. This means that it establishes the standards for licensing, issues licenses for professional practice, and accepts complaints from the public against licensees, which it investigates and, where it deems appropriate, applies discipline. Complaints are taken extremely seriously. The Department considers itself a protector of the public from the potential abuses that may be inherent in the practice of the profession otherwise. For our purposes, this often translates into a “the customer is always right” mindset, against which a licensee must battle when faced with a complaint alleging that they have behaved unprofessionally or unethically. When allegations are found by the investigating panel to be “true,” this may translate into severe punishment or even complete loss of the license to practice, which naturally affects a licensee’s career and livelihood.
Common among allegations against audiologists and speech pathologists are such claims as having engaged in reckless or negligent behavior in their practice, having engaged in inappropriate behavior, having used or sold defective equipment, having delayed diagnosis, or having misdiagnosed a condition (in a manner that would suggest incompetence).
When the Department determines that it has jurisdiction over a complaint, it sends the licensee a notice of the complaint, to which the licensee is invited to respond. This is an audiologist’s or speech pathologist’s first chance to begin establishing their defense. Composed poorly, this response may invite a broadened scope of the investigation—while if composed by an experienced professional license defense attorney, the scope may be contained, and an effective defense set in place.
When an audiologist or speech pathologist receives notice of a complaint, therefore, it is vital that they immediately seek our advice. Permitting our firm to engage in a thorough review of allegations gives medical professionals their best chance of achieving a favorable outcome in the case.
Our law firm helps health care facilities keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by the state.
BERTOLINO LLP proudly represents professionals and professional facilities across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. If you are facing disciplinary action, contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.