Health Professional Recovery Program General Information


What is the HPRP?

The Health Professional Recovery Program (HPRP) was established by the Legislature in 1993 in order to meet the needs of the health professions for a confidential, non-disciplinary approach to support recovery from substance use or mental health disorders. The program is designed to encourage impaired health professionals to seek a recovery program before their impairment harms a patient or damages their careers through disciplinary action. The program is supported by the licensing boards as well as professional societies and associations throughout the State of Michigan.

The HPRP is administered by a private contractor under the direction of the Health Professional Recovery Committee (a multi-disciplinary committee) and the Health Professions Licensing Division within the Bureau of Health Care Services in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

How does the HPRP work?

The HPRP is a caring, supportive program that promotes recovery through evaluation for the presence of a substance use and/or mental health disorder, designs a recovery program that is specific for the individual, and actively monitors the individual's progress.

The typical steps involved for participation in the HPRP are:

  • Intake: This involves gathering information and descriptions of the possible problem. If there is reason to believe there may be a problem which could result in impaired practice and the individual refuses evaluation or subsequent treatment, the individual will be referred to the Health Professions Licensing Division within the Bureau of Health Care Services in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
  • Referral: If the individual may be qualified for the HPRP, he or she is then referred to a qualified evaluator. The purpose of this evaluation is to determine the nature of the problem and to help the HPRP contractor to design a recovery plan.
  • Treatment: If the evaluation indicates substance use or a mental health disorder that represents a possible impairment, the HPRP makes referrals for treatment services. These referrals will be for a level of care which is appropriate to the severity of the problem. The treatment approach will generally involve a multi-disciplinary approach to treat the whole person.
  • Recovery Monitoring Agreement: At the same time, the HPRP will work with the person to establish a recovery plan which is defined by a written agreement. This recovery monitoring agreement may include elements such as limitations on practice or employment, random drug screening, various monitoring and progress reports, meetings with self-help and/or peer support groups, evaluation and treatment.
  • Completion of the HPRP: A HPRP participant will be released from the HPRP upon successful completion of the recovery monitoring agreement. By law all records are destroyed five years after the date of successful completion of the program. However, once a health professional is accepted into the program, he or she may be terminated for failure to comply with the agreement. These terminations are reported to the Health Professions Licensing Division within the Bureau of Health Care Services in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and could result in subsequent disciplinary actions.

Who pays for the HPRP?

The HPRP participants or their insurers pay for evaluation, treatment, drug testing and other services. Many service providers accept a reduced payment, a sliding scale, or a delayed payment plan for certain services. The HPRP provides referrals, works with the participants to develop appropriate recovery monitoring agreements and provides monitoring of the participant at no cost to the health professional.

What are the benefits of HPRP?

It is the philosophy of the HPRP that substance use and mental illness disorders are treatable conditions. By providing health professionals an opportunity to enter into treatment and to recover from their diseases early in the disease process, the HPRP can serve to minimize negative impacts on licensees/registrants, patients and their families and friends.

The HPRP is a confidential program. Once licensees/registrants or applicants are accepted into the HPRP, their participation and records are not subject to subpoena or the Freedom of Information Act.

What professions are covered by HPRP?

Michigan's Health Professional Recovery Program is unique because it includes so many professions. Under the legislation, members of these occupations may take advantage of the HPRP:

  • Acupuncturist
  • Allopathic Physician (MD)
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Audiologist
  • Chiropractor
  • Dentist, Registered Dental Hygienist and Registered Dental Assistant
  • Marriage & Family Therapist
  • Nursing Home Administrator
  • Occupational Therapist and Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Optometrist
  • Osteopathic Physician & Surgeon (DO)
  • Pharmacist
  • Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Physician's Assistant
  • Podiatric Physician
  • Professional Counselor
  • Psychologist
  • Registered Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Registered Sanitarian
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Social Worker and Social Service Technician
  • Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Veterinarian and Veterinary Technician
  • What are the signs or symptoms of impairment?

    The following are typical symptoms which are exhibited by someone who may be impaired:

    • Work Habits: Misses work or frequently is tardy because of illness or oversleeping; doesn't keep scheduled appointments; submits reports or assignments late; has an unacceptable error rate.
    • Emotions: Has become more irritable, defensive, jealous, easily angered, depressed, or moody and these behaviors affect work and relationships at work; more withdrawn socially or professionally.
    • Personal Care: Personal hygiene is deteriorating.
    • Observations: Smells of alcohol or appears to need drugs or alcohol to "jumpstart" their day; is observed taking drugs or exhibits inappropriate behavior with patients.
    • Defensive Behaviors: Becomes angry when someone else mentions their drinking, use of drugs or emotional instability; frequently expresses guilt about use of alcohol or drugs.
    • Behavioral Consequences: Continues to use drugs or alcohol or exhibit inappropriate behavior in spite of continuing negative personal, professional, family or financial consequences.


    Under Section 333.16223 of the Public Health Code, licensed/registered health professionals are required to make good faith reports of suspected violations of the Public Health Code to the Enforcement Division within the Bureau of Health Care Services in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. However, for purposes of substance abuse or mental illness, a report to the HPRP meets the legal reporting requirement. If you suspect impairment, please call the HPRP at: