Washington State Department of Health | WSDH | Credentials and Licensing | Complaints against Credentialed Health Care Providers and Applicants | Stipulations to Informal Dispositions | A Lawyer’s Perspective
In Washington, from an administrative attorney’s perspective, a Stipulation to Informal Disposition is often the first thing a client sees when an investigation by the Department of Health or one of 26 boards that it oversees 75 licensed, registered, and certified health professionals believes a case is such that settlement may be appropriate.
A Stipulation to Informal Disposition with the attached Statement of Allegations is what the Department or one of the various boards of commission offers where the report and investigation produces a complaint and the harm is minimal. A Statement of Allegations is always accompanied with a Stipulation to Informal Disposition because a Washington State Health Professional license holder has the right to know the facts that are the basis of the investigation and report. The idea is if the complaint has merit or runs a risk of being provable, a health care professional may opt to resolve it “informally” by signing the Stipulation to Informal Disposition. In general, one has 28 days to respond.
- One positive in concluding a case by Stipulation to Informal Disposition is the health care professional does not admit to the unprofessional conduct, but does agree and must follow through with corrective action. If liability or criminal conduct is a concern, this can be a real boon. As lawyers and counselors at law, we are of the opinion these agreements are functionally a contract. They should be approached carefully like any other written contract as once you agree in writing, you are bound to the agreement.
- One negative is by agreeing to a Stipulation to Informal Disposition you are agreeing to a resolution that will be posted on the Health Systems Quality Assurance System and will be accompanied by the Statement of Allegations.
As allegations can and do affect professional licensing, one should seek legal counsel immediately as a wait and see approach is rarely wise. As attorneys who help clients solve a variety of problems in Washington, our value is in our ability to provide experienced, objective, confidential, fact specific advice. We make it our business to listen, serve and help clients objectively weigh the facts and circumstances surrounding an investigation. We make it our business to effectively advocate your point of view in formal litigation and informal negotiations. We make it our business to be a trusted advisor who knows what must be proved, to what standard it must be proved and help client’s weigh what route to take.
This firm of lawyers is a unique blend of litigation skills, experience, knowledge and temperament. Whether we are in the role of legal counsel, ambassador, negotiator, or litigator, we have years of experience resolving complex situations with our clients’ best interests in mind. Choosing incompetent, lazy or ineffective counsel can make your legal journey a long and difficult road. This firm is founded on a service, a blue-collar work ethic, teamwork and an intense dislike of losing. Call 206-708-7852 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.