Indiana Behavioral Health Board Attorney

Indiana Behavioral Health Board Attorney

The job of the Indiana Behavioral Health Board is to protect and promote the welfare of the people of Indiana. They do this by ensuring each person who holds a license as a behavioral health professional in the State of Indiana is competent to practice safely. This means the Indiana Board of Behavioral Health Examiners has the authority to discipline the license of any behavioral health professional. Chelle Law’s Indiana Behavioral Health Board Attorneys have represented over 1000 health care professionals and have the experience needed to help behavioral health professionals with Indiana Board of Behavioral Health Examiners matters. We can assist all behavioral health professionals with Indiana Behavioral Health Board issues, including:

  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Social Worker
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Clinical Addiction Counselor
  • Marriage and Family Therapist

Indiana Behavioral Health Board Complaint

Who can file a complaint against a behavioral health professional? Patients, Health Care Facilities, other professionals, among others. When the Indiana Behavioral Health Board receives a complaint, the Board will initiate an investigation into the complaint (if the Board has jurisdiction and the Complaint isn’t dismissed). After this happens, the behavioral health professional will receive notice and the board assigns an investigator to the case. Please note, having an attorney during this step can be crucial for behavioral health professionals as they must submit a response, interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at an Indiana Behavioral Health Board Meeting. Complaints are taken very seriously by the Indiana Behavioral Health Board. They commonly investigate each complaint they receive. This is to protect the public and ensure the licensee is competent and ethical. Complaints are sometimes filed directly to the Office of the Indiana Attorney General Consumer Protection Division (referred to as the Division below) which investigates and prosecutes all complaints concerning regulated occupations such as nursing.

The Division will receive a complaint and will first make a determination as to its merit. If the behavioral health professional who is the subject of the complaint is registered with the Indiana Behavioral Health Board, then he or she will fall under the state’s jurisdiction and thus action will be taken by the Division. They will notify the licensee of the complaint including its nature and its ramifications and try to resolve the complaint through negotiation.

A thirty-day period then elapses before further investigation can occur. During this time the negotiation takes place. If an agreement is reached by the Division and the subject of the complaint signs a statement that it is resolved, no further action takes place at that time.

However, in that thirty days if no agreement is reached, the Division can proceed with the investigation. Witnesses can be called, documents can be collected and interviews with interested parties can be conducted. If discipline is to take place the attorney general receives this information and may, on behalf of the state of Indiana, prosecute and call for a public hearing.

Behavioral Health Board Application Denial

Applicants to the Indiana Behavioral Health Board who have a criminal history or previous discipline by the Indiana Behavioral Health Board (or any other Board) may be subject to denial of their application for licensure. Thus, those with a criminal or disciplinary history from other licensing boards will be investigated by the Board.

Reporting a Criminal Charge to the Behavioral Health Board

Indiana law (IC 25-1-1.1-1) holds that any licensed or certified individual who has been convicted of a misdemeanor (except traffic related convictions) or felony must notify their Indiana Licensing Board within 90 days after the order or judgment is entered.

Indiana Professionals Recovery Program

The Indiana Professionals Recovery Program (IPRP) is the Board’s non-disciplinary, confidential monitoring program for healthcare professionals in Indiana. The IPRP Program is designed for those with substance use disorders. Behavioral health professionals who are interested in IPRP must voluntarily request entry and meet the certain eligibility criteria or may be required to enter the program via mandatory regulatory admission.

Behavioral Health Administrative Appeal and Hearing

Any licensee may request an appeal of an Indiana Behavioral Health Board disciplinary action to an administrative law judge with the Indiana Office of Administrative Law Proceedings (OALP) within the Indiana State Personnel Department (SPD).  This OALP is scheduled to begin on July 1, 2020, but may be subject to change. In some instances, a case is sent automatically to hearing. The administrative hearing is conducted by OALP before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The hearing is not as formal as a trial, but is similar. Each party presents evidence using documents or sworn testimony. Each party also gives an opening and closing argument which should explain why the judge should rule one way or the other. A behavioral health professional’s attorney can cross examine witnesses and testify on his or her behalf. After the hearing, the ALJ reviews the transcripts, evidence and makes a recommendation. However, the Board makes the decision to either accept, reject or modify the ALJ’s decision. If an individuals feels there has been a mistake they can request a rehearing.

Indiana Disciplinary Actions

Indiana Behavioral Health Board disciplinary actions are given to behavioral health professionals with a license or certification in Indiana. If the Board determines formal disciplinary action is necessary it will happen after the completion of an investigation. It’s the job of the Board to review any complaint alleging a violation of the Indiana laws and regulations. Thus, at an Indiana Behavioral Health Board Meeting the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the behavioral health professional formal discipline. Disciplinary actions can include:

  • Censure – an official disapproval that is on the record but doesn’t affect the license
  • Letter of reprimand – on the official record but not affecting the license
  • Probation – the licensee must report to the board regularly
  • Limitations on practice
  • Cease and desist order
  • A fine assessed not to exceed $1,000
  • Suspension of license
  • Revocation of license

If you’re interested in setting up a consultation with our Indiana Behavioral Health Board Attorney at Chelle Law or learning more about any of the services we provide to Indiana behavioral health professionals we invite you to reach out to us today.