I have been contacted by the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) to come in for an interview?+
Notification from the OPMC is a serious situation that requires immediate attention. It is essential that the licensed professional receive legal consultation and guidance as soon as notification is received.
The OPMC is responsible for investigating complaints regarding unprofessional and negligent conduct by physicians and physician assistants. The OPMC’s duty is to promote the public healthcare safety. As an administrative body whose primary goal is to protect the public, the OPMC is not required to allow the licensee due process rights in disciplinary proceedings. The OPMC is not obligated to provide the licensee with the source of the investigative complaint. The OPMC investigates a broad repertoire of complaints involving patient care and professional conduct by physicians and physician assistants, that may compromise the safe delivery of healthcare. Physicians and physician assistants criminally charged and/or convicted are obligated to self-report to the OPMC. Thus, a criminal conviction or violation of moral turpitude, may subject the physician or physician assistant to scrutiny by the OPMC.
I am concerned that a recent clinical event may leave me vulnerable to consequences with my professional license. What should I do?+
Poor clinical outcomes may leave the professional vulnerable to negative peer review proceedings. Adverse peer review proceedings may lead to demands for educational or professional rehabilitation, restriction of privileges or loss of privileges. Preemptive legal counseling is essential for the healthcare professional anticipating or encountering negative peer review. At times, preemptive measures may be undertaken to avoid the loss or restriction of privileges. The practitioner who loses clinical privileges will be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank. Furthermore, subsequent licensing applications and insurer credentialing may be compromised. It is essential that the licensed professional obtain guidance from a knowledgeable attorney.
I am applying for a license and am encountering difficulty with questions on the application that I am unsure how to answer?+
Failure to respond appropriately on a licensing application may threaten not only licensure but a professional’s entire career. Denial of a license is a reportable event and will need to be disclosed for the remainder of the professional’s career. Often times, applicants are unsure what to disclose in response to questions on the applications and the breath of disclosure. Legal advice is paramount prior to sending in an application where there is any uncertainty about the need for disclosure. It is essential to see legal guidance before sending in your application.
I have a criminal conviction history. I am applying for professional licensure. Is it possible for me to become licensed as a healthcare professional?+
Not all criminal offenses necessarily bar an applicant from gaining licensure. It is essential that professionals with criminal convictions seek legal advice prior to filing an application. Such legal advice will guide the professional with the application process including the correct responses to questions asked. Additionally, when the possibility of licensure is unlikely, such advice may allow the professional to pursue other career avenues and not encounter further legal expenses.
I have been sanctioned by another state’s licensing board in the past and am now applying for licensure in New York State. What should I do?+
Applicants must disclose their personal history of licensure and attempts at licensure, including application withdrawal, in other states. All sanctions, suspensions or revocations must be affirmatively disclosed. Failure of disclose of information on an application is in itself an actionable offense in many jurisdictions. Additionally, professionals licensed in multiple states, encountering a sanction, suspension or revocation of licensure in one state, must report such information to all other states where licensed. Professionals must consult a legal professional for assistance to avoid further adversities with their professional licensure.
I was recently was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and am concerned that this may affect my professional license. What should I do?+
DWI is a serious charge for the healthcare professional. In addition to the criminal charge, the professional must report this information to the licensing board and the OPMC. The licensing board may require the licensee to undergo evaluation for alcohol and chemical dependency along with a mental and physical health evaluations. The professional must cooperate with hospitals and licensing boards requesting evaluation for a substance abuse disorder. Failure to cooperate will render the professional susceptible to licensure sanction, suspension or revocation. It is essential that the licensed healthcare professional receive guidance from a knowledgeable attorney before self reporting criminal offenses to a regulatory board.
I was recently fired for issues related to drug diversion in my professional capacity. I am concerned that I will lose my professional license and face criminal charges. What should I do?+
Substance abuse disorders (SUD) are widespread in the United States. The healthcare professional is not immune to SUD. The healthcare provider with untreated SUD may engage in behaviors that threaten the health of their patients as well as themselves. These behaviors may have stiff criminal as well as civil repercussions. It is imperative that the professional suffering from a SUD preemptively seek assistance. Fortunately, there are many venues available to assist the professional with a SUD in a supportive and non-judgmental manner. Such treatment can be gained in a confidential manner and with protection of Protected Health Information (PHI). Once a professional is caught engaging in behaviors associated with a SUD, deleterious consequences can be expected. In many cases, this includes loss of employment, licensure sanctioning or revocation and associated criminal or civil actions. It is imperative that the professional suffering from a SUD seek legal advice from a knowledgeable attorney.
I am currently abusing alcohol and/or other substances (SUD). I want to seek help and go into treatment. I am concerned that by doing so I will lose my job and my professional license. What should I do? +
Self-disclosure is essential for such professionals. Professionals suffering from SUD suffer from shame, guilt and fear. The professional fears loss of reputation and the ability to practice their profession. Self-disclosure will allow the professional to seek treatment in a non-judgmental and caring manner with complete confidentiality. Most employers encourage employees to come forward with SUD for immediate evaluation and treatment. Furthermore, employers who discriminate against professionals with SUD preemptively seeking assistance where no job related infractions have occurred may face deleterious consequences. The professional suffering from a SUD must seek advice of legal counsel prior to disclosure for adequate reputational and licensure protections.
I have been notified by an insurer that I am under investigation for fraud and compliance violations. What should I do? +
A provider who is expelled from an insurance roster or fails to gain admission often is left with an inability to practice in their designated area. Furthermore, any attempts to move to other venues will likely fail as such events must be affirmatively disclosed. It is imperative that professionals facing credentialing issues with an insurer seek immediately legal advice for assistance.
I am a student. My professional school has accused me of cheating and other unprofessional behavior. The school has ordered me to appear in front of a university tribunal regarding these charges. What should I do? +
The educational pathway for a licensed healthcare professional is arduous physically, emotionally and financially. Students may make mistakes that will threaten their ability to complete their education and ultimately gain admission into post-graduate training programs and licensure. It is tragic for a student to invest tremendous time, energy and finances into an educational process to subsequently face suspension or expulsion from an educational institution prior to embarking on their chosen career. It is essential for the student to immediately engage the advice of legal counsel for preparation in disciplinary matters. Adverse outcomes from the disciplinary tribunal may necessitate further intramural hearings prior to commencing extramural proceedings. These processes are complicated and demand the advice and assistance of knowledgeable legal counsel.
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