Philadelphia Healthcare Licensing Blog

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.


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the concept of double jeopardy does not apply in professional licensing, even if a doctor’s license in Pennsylvania is no longer active.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.

Could a misdiagnosis constitute professional misconduct?

Our professional license defense blog has discussed various allegations that may give rise to an ethical investigation. Today’s post discusses the issue of misdiagnoses.

Diagnostic error may be more common that readers realize. An analysis of 286 cases involving patients that sought second opinions found that 20 percent received a distinctly different second diagnosis. Only 12 percent received the same diagnosis, and the remaining cases involved second opinions that better defined the initial diagnosis.

Do Pennsylvania construction workers face unnecessary risks?

Construction work is a relatively dangerous way to earn a living, and the men and women who work in this industry know that they face certain risks every time they show up for work. Despite the inherent dangers of working on a construction site, every employee has the right to a reasonably safe work environment.

One of the ways that Pennsylvania employers can make construction work safer for everyone is to recognize and prepare for the most common hazards present on work sites. Proper training and a concerted effort to eliminate unnecessary risks can greatly reduce the number of accidents on Pennsylvania job sites.

Do ethical gray areas endanger your medical license?

According to a 2016 survey, several common issues top the list of ethical challenges commonly encountered by Americans. In light of the increased scrutiny afforded to opioid pain medications, many doctors worry about overprescribing pain medication.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, others worry about undertreating pain simply, perhaps withholding medications from deserving patients for fear of inviting oversight. For doctor compensation schemes that are increasingly tied to patient satisfaction, under treating may also pose a financial risk. For the more than 65 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain, a physician’s prescribing habits may very inform where they seek treatment.

Doctor's license is suspended over drug prescribing practices

The recent suspension of a doctor’s medical license may raise larger concerns among health professionals about keeping their medical licenses in good standing.

According to officials, the state licensing authority concluded that the doctor had over-prescribed prescription drugs to his osteopathic patients. The drugs included several controlled substances, such as carisoprodol, hydrocodone, oxycodone and oxymorphone.

Are you unable to work after a car accident? You have options.

The aftermath of a car accident can be physically painful and financially draining. In an instant, you may be dealing with serious injuries, a totaled car and expenses that you cannot begin to manage on your own. On top of that, catastrophic or very serious damage may leave you unable to work for an extended period of time.

Could a difference of opinion endanger your medical license?

Could divergent medical opinions give way to an ethical complaint? A recent article raises concerns.

Specifically, a recent study examined procedures that are common to the medical industry, yet discouraged by research. The researchers reviewed 363 studies of clinical practices described in articles published in The New England Journal of Medicine between 2001 and 2010. Around 40 percent of the studies indicated that a current clinical practice provided no benefit, and another 21 percent of the studies were inconclusive. Only 138 studies, or about 38 percent of the total, supported the effectiveness of current clinical practices.

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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