The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is charged with regulatory oversight of health service providers. In addition to issuing licenses and certifications to providers, the DPH has the authority to investigate and take disciplinary action against providers who are in violation of the law or otherwise pose a risk to public health and safety. Disciplinary proceedings can be lengthy and complex and may have devastating consequences on a licensee’s ability to practice. In particular, under Connecticut General Statutes §19a-17, the relevant regulatory authority may, after notice and a hearing, revoke or suspend a license, issue a letter of reprimand, censure a licensee, place a licensee on a period of probation or take other actions against providers where there is a substantial failure to comply with the Public Health Code, other licensing regulations or the Connecticut statutes. This article provides an overview of the process for disciplinary hearings and offers tips on navigating that process to present the most effective defense.

The Complaint: The process can start in a variety of ways. Under Section 19a-9-9 of the Regulations of the Department of Public Health, a petition may be filed by any person having cause to believe that a licensee has violated a statute or regulation. The DPH website has a form and telephone number that can be used to file a complaint. Patients, co-workers, employers and health care facilities are possible sources of a complaint. DPH may also learn of an issue due to the filing of an adverse event or other report by the hospital, from another governmental body, from a lawsuit or based on media reports.

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