Hearing Unit

The Medical Board’s Hearing Examiners conduct the administrative hearings for applicants and licensees who request a hearing based on a citation issued by the Medical Board.

 

Filing Documents (Including a Hearing Request)


Documents may be filed with the Board by mail, email, fax or hand delivery to the attention of the Hearing Unit. All documents filed after the hearing request must include a certificate of service showing that a copy was provided to the Assistant Attorney(s) General (“AAG”) assigned to the case. The case number must be placed on all filings. Documents received after 5:00 PM eastern time or on a weekend or holiday shall not be considered for filing until the next business day.

Mail:   State Medical Board of Ohio

    30 East Broad Street, 3rd Floor

    Attn: Hearing Unit

    Columbus, Ohio 43215

Email: med.hearingunit@med.ohio.gov

Fax:    (614) 728-5946

 

Continuances


Hearings will not be continued unless a showing of good cause and due diligence is made. Before granting a continuance, the Hearing Examiner will consider whether harm to the public may result from a delay in the proceedings. A motion for continuance received in the Board’s offices less than fourteen (14) days prior to the scheduled hearing will not be granted unless the party demonstrates that an extraordinary situation exists that could not have been anticipated and that would justify the granting of a continuance.

 

Exhibits


The Respondent must provide the Hearing Examiner and the AAG with a copy of their labeled exhibits at least three business days before the hearing. Otherwise, they must bring the original exhibit and 3 copies of the exhibit to the hearing. If the Hearing Examiner and the AAG are provided with a copy of all exhibits in advance of the hearing, the pre-hearing copies are sufficient and additional copies need not be provided at the hearing. If an exhibit will be used during the questioning of a witness, an additional copy should be provided for use by the witness. Each exhibit must be marked, with the State using numbers (e.g., State’s Exhibit 1) and the Respondent using letters (e.g., Respondent’s Exhibit A). If an exhibit consists of more than 10 pages, each page shall be numbered in the lower right‑hand corner.

 

Patient Confidentiality


Documents that contain patient‑identifying information are confidential. Patient‑identifying information includes but is not limited to:

  • Patient’s Name

  • Patient’s Contact Information (Address, Telephone Number, etc.)

  • Patient’s Date of Birth

  • Patient’s Relatives’ Names

 

Confidential documents presented as exhibits at hearing must either be sealed to protect patient confidentiality or have patient‑identifying information redacted. This is true even if the documents would be considered public records in another forum. Patient confidentiality must also be maintained during the hearing. Patients shall be referred to during hearing by patient number rather than by name. Relatives of patients shall be referred to by their relationship to the patient, (e.g., Spouse of Patient 1, Sister of Patient 1, etc.) However, if the patient is a relative of the Respondent, such as in a case where a physician is alleged to have prescribed medication to their spouse, then the patient shall be referred to as the “Respondent’s family member” to avoid identifying that patient.

 

Social Security Numbers


If an exhibit includes a Social Security number, unless that exhibit will be sealed, the Social Security Number shall be redacted before the exhibit is offered into evidence.

 

Settlement


The parties are expected to comply with the Board’s post‑citation settlement policy found in Ohio Administrative Code (“OAC”) 4731-13-17.

 

Hearing Rules


These proceedings are governed by Ohio Revised Code, Sections 119 and ORC 4731. For current hearing rules, please see OAC 4731-13.

 

Case Management Timeline


The following table depicts the number of calendar days to the administrative hearing based on the type of allegations contained in the Notice of Opportunity for Hearing. The hearing date is calculated from the date the written hearing request was received by the Medical Board and will be scheduled within the time period set forth. In scheduling the hearing date, the Hearing Examiner will make a reasonable effort to obtain input from the practitioner or his/her attorney and the AAG.

 

Hearing Schedule


For questions about the current hearing schedule, please contact med.hearingunit@med.ohio.gov.

 

FAQs


Q: Should I request a hearing? 

A: Whether you request a hearing is up to you, but there are things you may want to consider before you decide. In fact, you may want to consult with an attorney before deciding. Whatever you do, though, don’t accidentally miss the time limit set by law for requesting a hearing. A hearing request must be filed no later than 30 days after the notice of opportunity for hearing was mailed. If you do not request a hearing, or if you request a hearing after the time limit expires, you will lose your right to a hearing and will not be able to present any testimony or evidence on your own behalf concerning the allegations. Instead, the Board will enter an order based solely upon supporting evidence provided by the State. If there is any question in your mind whether to request a hearing, then you should go ahead and request one. You may withdraw your hearing request at a later time if you so wish.


Q: Do I need an attorney?

A: You are not required to have an attorney but you probably should have one, or at least consult with one, if you have questions about how to present your position at the hearing. Medical Board hearings are formal proceedings. The attorney who represents you at the hearing must be licensed to practice law in Ohio. You may not have someone represent you who is not an attorney. If you do decide to represent yourself at hearing, you should read and become familiar with the Board’s hearing rules, which are set forth in Chapter 4731-13 of the 

Ohio Administrative Code (available on the Board's website here), as well as any other provisions of law that may apply to your situation, including the ones mentioned in the Board’s notice letter. An attorney from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office will represent the State in this hearing.


Q: Should my attorney or I contact a Board member?

A: The Board members are not free to discuss your case with you. In order to assure due process of law, your only avenue for telling the Board your side of the matter is through the hearing process. At the hearing, you will be able to present testimony and evidence for the Board Members’ later review. The Board Members, who will be making a final decision about the allegation against you, will consider only information that is presented through the hearing process. So, even if you know a Board Member personally, don’t try to discuss your case with him or her. The result could be that the Board member you talk to will be disqualified from participating in the final decision concerning your case.


Q: Can my case be settled without a hearing?

A: It is possible to settle your case without going to hearing. If you are interested in settling your case, you (or your attorney if you are represented) should promptly contact the Assistant Attorney General assigned to your case to discuss the possibility of settlement. You should still submit a timely request for a hearing, though. The settlement process is likely to extend past the deadline for requesting a hearing. If you have requested a hearing, and if settlement is not achieved, you will still have an opportunity to present your testimony and evidence at a hearing for review by the full Board.

 

Q: Do I have to attend the hearing?

A: Unless you are subpoenaed, you are not required to attend the hearing. You can submit your contentions in writing or have your attorney appear for you. You may want to appear personally, though. Typically, you are the best person to present your position to the Board, especially if medical or surgical care is at issue. The Board is always interested in what you have to say about the allegations. However, it is up to you and/or your attorney to decide the best way to present your case.


Q: What happens at the hearing?

A: Hearings are relatively formal and proceed in a manner that is similar to a court trial. They are also public proceedings, which means that interested members of the public may attend. A court reporter is there to record and transcribe the entire proceeding. No Board members will be present. Instead, an Attorney Hearing Examiner presides at the hearing. The Board members later receive and review the complete transcript of the proceedings, as well as copies of all the documents that are admitted as exhibits at the hearing.

The State’s Assistant Attorney General presents witnesses and/or documents to support the Board’s allegations. The State is obligated to present reliable, probative, and substantial evidence to prove the allegations. You or your attorney are given the opportunity to cross-examine any witnesses presented by the State and to object to documents the State presents. The State is permitted to call you as a witness and cross-examine you as part of its case. After the State presents its case, you may present yours. The Assistant Attorney General may cross-examine your witnesses and object to any documents you present. The Hearing Examiner rules on any motions or objections made by either party. The Hearing Examiner may also question any witness or request additional evidence.

 

Q: What happens after the hearing?

A: After the hearing, the court reporter will provide the Hearing Examiner with the transcript of the hearing along with all the exhibits presented. The Hearing Examiner then prepares a report and recommendation that includes a summary of the evidence presented at the hearing along with recommended findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a proposed order. Once filed, a copy of the report and recommendation will be mailed to you and your attorney. It will include a cover letter advising you of the date and time of the Medical Board meeting when your matter will be considered by the Board. The cover letter will also tell you about your 10-day time limit for filling written objections to the report and recommendation. You and your attorney will have an opportunity at the meeting to offer a brief oral presentation concerning your case as long as you file a written request at least five days in advance of the meeting. You will not be allowed to present additional evidence at the meeting. If you address the Board, the Assistant Attorney General assigned to your case will also be given an opportunity to address the Board. The Board will then make a final decision on your matter. They can accept, reject, or modify the Hearing Examiner’s report and recommendation. It is not at all unusual for the Board to modify the Hearing Examiner’s report, especially the proposed order. Board meetings are open to the public and you are welcome to attend even if you do not wish to make an oral address to the Board. An entry and order that includes the Board’s final decision will be mailed to you after the meeting. 


Q: Who are the Board members?

A: The Medical Board is composed of twelve members who are appointed for five-year terms by the Governor. The twelve members include seven MDs, one DO, one DPM and three consumer members. One of the physician members serves as the Secretary of the Board, and another member serves as the Supervising Member. Because the Secretary and the Supervising Member are involved with Board investigations, they do not participate in the adjudication of cases. A listing of the current board Members is available on the Board’s website here. Neither you nor anyone acting on your behalf should contact any Board member about your case.


Q: What do Board members know about my case?

A: Before the Board makes a final decision about your case, each voting Board member will have reviewed everything that was presented at the hearing. They receive and review copies of the hearing transcripts and all documents that were admitted into evidence. They also receive and review copies of the Hearing Examiner’s report and recommendation and your written objections to the report and recommendation. If any Board member has knowledge about your case from a source outside of the hearing process, that Board member may be disqualified from deliberating or voting on the matter, depending on the nature of the knowledge. If the Board member believes that he or she could not be impartial or could not base his or her decision solely on the hearing record, then that Board Member must abstain from deliberating and voting.


Q: What if I don't agree with the Board's decision?

A: Once the Board has issued its final decision, you have the right to appeal that decision to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. The copy of the Board’s final order that is mailed to you will include a cover letter telling you about your 15-day time limit for filing an appeal with the court. The notice of your appeal must also be filed with the Medical Board during the 15-day time period. The requirements for filing an appeal are found in Section 119.12, Ohio Revised Code.

 

Helpful Links


Case Management Timeline

Current Hearing Rules and statutes: OAC 4731-13 and ORC 4731.22

 

If you need to contact us, please email: med.hearingunit@med.ohio.gov