Health Professionals and Licensing Issues

Washington State Department of Health | WSDH | Health Professionals and Licensing Issues in Washington State | A Lawyer’s Perspective.

Tumwater Town Center, home of Washington State Department of Health in Olympia, WA

Tumwater Town Center, home of Washington State Department of Health in Olympia, WA

The Washington State Department of Health issues, manages, investigates and sanctions over 75 licensed, registered, and certified health professions either directly, or indirectly though a board, department, committee or commission.

As administrative attorneys | lawyers who field and argue the reports, investigations, and disciplinary proceedings related to health care professionals, it is important clients facing an administrative investigation or action understand that though boards and commissions may have different policies or sanction schedules, all disciplinary actions involving any health care profession in Washington state are litigated according to the Uniform Disciplinary Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. These Acts provide for uniformity of the disciplinary process and assure that any action against a health care professional is given due process while providing for the health and safety of the public. In Washington, the process any health professional license holder goes through is relatively predictable  and can be prepared for by your administrative law attorney and their team. In terms of who will be handling the prosecution of your case, it will either be the enforcement arm of the Department i.e. the Adjudicative Service Unit (ASU) or a specific profession’s board or commission if empowered to do so.  Remember, Criminal investigations are a different creature, run to different standards that raises completely different issues.  If you think your situation crosses into both these areas, call us immediately for a consultation.

In general, the Washington Secretary of Health directly licenses, manages and sanctions the following health professions (this is subject to change all the time but gives one a rough idea):

In general, the Washington Department of Health has empowered the following boards and commissions with the authority to administer and sanction licenses of the following professions with the exception of offenses involving sexual misconduct not involving clinical expertise or standard of care issues. Situations involving purely sexual misconduct are investigated and sanctioned solely and directly by the Secretary of the Department of Health via its attorneys and adjudicative department.

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