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Philadelphia Healthcare Licensing Blog

Doctor faces medical licensing issues re criminal investigation

Investigators in a state adjacent to Pennsylvania have been working for years to solve a murder. A woman who was married to an endocrinologist, and was also a popular radio show host in her own right, was slain. Recently, the woman's husband found himself facing a criminal investigation and medical licensing issues after police showed up at his office.

The officers say they arrived at the doctor's office with a search warrant that was unrelated to the woman's death. They claim when they attempted to serve the warrant, the physician drew a gun and threatened to commit suicide rather than go to jail. The incident culminated with the doctor's arrest and various weapons charges filed against him. The reasons for the search warrant were not further explained other than indicating that it was part of an investigation involving a number of jurisdictions and not connected to the murder case.

Pain management doctor facing medical licensing problem

Doctors in Pennsylvania, like many others throughout the nation, often carry licenses to practice medicine in multiple states. If a situation develops where disciplinary action takes place that affects a doctor's license in a particular state, it doesn't necessarily mean the same doctor can't continue to practice medicine in whatever other states he or she holds a license. There are various reasons a doctor's medical licensing may be called into question. For one woman, a problem stemmed from reported complaints against her.

The doctor in this case primarily focused on pain management and anesthesiology for adults, as well as pediatric anesthesiology. No details were provided as to who exactly filed the complaints against her; however, it was enough to pique the medical review board's concern, prompting them to take a closer look at the situation. This ultimately led to a hearing, which the doctor herself did not attend.

What can I expect from the nursing board complaint process?

If your hands are shaky lately and your stomach feels queasy, it is understandable, especially if you have received notification that the State Board of Nursing is examining a complaint against you. You may be losing sleep and feeling impatient with others. This is not the best frame of mind for someone in the nursing profession.

You probably felt caught off guard by the summons to appear before the board, or you may have been expecting it for some time. Perhaps you are looking forward to telling your side of the story. However, you may need to know some things before your hearing.

Doctor in another state is seeking medical license defense

There are many situations that can threaten a Pennsylvania doctor's professional license. One of them is being arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. In fact, a doctor in another state is preparing a medical license defense due to a similar situation that occurred last year.

The doctor, who was convicted of DUI in criminal court, has worked under contracts for a pathology lab in several counties on the West Coast. The doctor is also one of seven others appointed to an executive advisory committee, in which the appointment process has been called into question. In 2016, the same doctor was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

Professional license defense is neither civil nor criminal law

What do physician assistants, doctors, and athletic trainers have in common? The Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine regulates the licensure, registration and certification of each of these professionals. The Board also responds to complaints and may take disciplinary action, such as suspending a health care worker’s professional license.

Professional License Defense is Different Than Civil Or Criminal Law

#whataday: Social media and your nursing license

Like many of your friends on social media, you probably share your reflections of your day, your family or your job. A stressful day with a co-worker may compel you to vent on Facebook, and an emotional encounter with a patient may inspire you to tweet a message of hope.

However, as a nurse, sharing your on-the-job experiences may quickly cross the line into inappropriate behavior. If you are under fire because of your social media activity, you may be concerned that your career is at risk.

Error or fraud? The importance of accurate patient charts

The nursing profession brings opportunities for joy and heartache. Daily, you meet people who are in need, and you provide comfort and reassurance in addition to medical assistance. Even though many days you go home feeling exhausted and defeated, you may still agree that choosing a career as a nurse was a good decision.

However, the pace of the medical facility where you work may be demanding, and sometimes you may not be able to complete your documentation in a timely manner. While this may never have caused you trouble in the past, now you are facing accusations of fraud for intentionally falsifying patient records. You may have concerns about your future.

PA SENATE PASSES A BILL REQUIRING PHYSICIANS AND OTHER LICENSEES TO REPORT ARREST

The PA State Senate passed a Bill that would require physicians, accountants, and others who hold a license, certificate or registration from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs to report arrests or professional disciplinary sanctions against them within thirty (30) days. This Bill would also set guidelines for the Bureau in suspending and revoking licenses. Under SB 354, if an incident is not reported within thirty (30) days, the Licensing Board could take disciplinary action. SB 354 still needs to be approved by the House to become law.

What behaviors may trigger an inquiry before the medical board?

In an increasingly mobile and technological society, modern medicine follows suit. For example, a medical doctor may be licensed in multiple states. Although doctors have private lives, the reaches of social media are broad, possibly encroaching on those boundaries. These realities may also raise novel professional license concerns.

For example, being disciplined by a board in another state may trigger an Order to Show Cause from the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine. Unfortunately, the concept of double jeopardy does not apply in professional licensing, even if a doctor’s license in Pennsylvania is no longer active.

What disciplinary issues most threaten nursing licenses?

Like other licensed health professionals, nurses are subject to oversight by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs. The Bureau has 29 professional licensing boards, commissions or other entity forms with the authority to suspend or take other disciplinary actions against licensed workers. For nurses, the entity is the PA Board of Nursing.

The Bureau publishes its monthly disciplinary actions online. In terms of quantity, the Board of Nursing topped the list in March 2017. For each listed disciplinary action,the description includes the professional’s name and address, license number, the basis for the disciplinary action, and the specific sanction imposed.

If you are a licensed nurse, doctor, dentist, pharmacist or any other professional in Pennsylvania, call The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn for help. Based in Philadelphia, our attorneys have decades of experience in the fields of professional license defense, criminal defense and family law.

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