The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn

Philadelphia Healthcare Licensing Blog

Philadelphia doctor suspended over "problematic use" of cannabis

The Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine suspended the license of a popular physician who held himself out as "America's Medical Marijuana Doctor." As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the 34-year-old doctor received a three-year suspension over concerns regarding his ability to practice due to "illness or addiction to drugs" and a "problematic use" of cannabis. While he is well-known through social media for his passionate advocacy of the medical marijuana industry, he is also one of Pennsylvania's first physicians to recommend patients for medicinal cannabis.

How do criminal charges affect your Pennsylvania nursing license?

Playing a vital role in private practices, clinics and hospitals, nurses care for patients, administer medications and other treatments, and serve as a go-between between physicians and patients. As a nurse, you must obtain a specialized license to legally practice your duties. Among other qualifications for such licensure, the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing requires nursing professionals to be of good moral character. As such, getting charged with a criminal offense could have serious repercussions on your professional license and employment.

Doctor pleads guilty to prescribing methadone and gets probation

While the opioid epidemic continues to sweep through Pennsylvania and across the nation, you may suddenly find yourself facing accusations of illegally prescribing controlled substances. At The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn, we understand how patients may attempt to deceptively acquire narcotics and other drugs for unintended purposes. Sometimes, a licensed medical practitioner may be accused of wrongdoing even while following the mandatory regulations and standards for treating a patient. Some other doctors, unfortunately, have also allowed themselves to become swayed by their patients' neediness and have bent the rules regarding controlled substances.

What you need to know about drug diversion

Addiction is a disease, and nurses may be more susceptible to it due to the access they have to controlled substances in the course of their work. If the temptation becomes too great to bear, they may co-opt pill bottles from a narcotic cabinet, dispensary or pharmacy. The term for this specific type of activity is drug diversion. In other words, the nurse diverts the medication from the patients who should receive them.

Chiropractor's license suspended over misleading advertisement

A Pennsylvania chiropractor lost his appeal after the State Chiropractic Board suspended his license for three years and imposed a $10,000 fine. According to The Patriot-News, the chiropractor's license was suspended over a misleading advertisement in which he promoted a "galvanic skin measurement" device. Allegedly, the chiropractor placed the ad in a newspaper specifically targeting the Amish, Anabaptist and Mennonite communities.

Your reputation as a medical professional accused of wrongdoing

From nurses to physicians, medical professionals may run into a number of challenges related to their career. Sometimes, these challenges can seriously affect medical professionals from a personal standpoint, such as a patient's allegations that they are responsible for wrongdoing. There are many different allegations that medical professionals may have to deal with, from alleged offenses which are sexual in nature to negligence that resulted in a patient's unnecessary suffering. It is imperative to understand the potential impact of these accusations, especially when it comes to your reputation.

Can I lose my license by accessing a patient's medical records?

If you are a doctor authorized to practice at a Pennsylvania hospital, and you access a patient's electronic medical records without consent, you may face disciplinary action. This might include license suspension, fines and possible jail time in situations that are in direct violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Recovery resources for nurses struggling with addiction

Substance abuse among nurses commonly arises through drug diversion. When a health care professional feels overwhelmed and has access to pain medication, he or she may use this opportunity to treat chronic pain and other physical and mental health conditions.

Steps to take after a DUI to protect your professional license

You may have spent years or decades building up your career to where you are now. Whether you work as a Pennsylvania physician, nurse, pharmacist or more, you dutifully protect your license and your years of hard work to achieve it.

However, a DUI arrest can happen suddenly after an evening out in Philadelphia. After the arrest, you may fear not only criminal penalties and possible effects to your driver's license, but also the potential consequences to your career and professional license. Should you report the offense to your governing board?

Why does the nurse, doctor or other healthcare professional need to consult an experienced healthcare licensing attorney after a DUI arrest

Yesterday, for the third time in the past month, I received a call from a doctor who was arrested for a DUI. He was informed by his criminal attorney that since this was a first offense, he was likely to get Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) and he should comply with any instructions or recommendations from the Medical Board. This is probably the worst advice the attorney could have given the doctor. First of all, the Medical Board and other Healthcare Boards have a contract with a company that notifies the Board when a licensee is charged with a crime. The duty of the Board is to protect the public, not the licensee. When the Board becomes aware of an arrest for DUI, the licensee will receive a letter requesting that he or she contact the Professional Health Monitoring Program (PHMP) to schedule an evaluation to see if the licensee qualifies for the Impaired Professionals Program. This evaluation usually results in the licensee being forced into the Voluntary Recovery Program (VRP) with stringent monitoring requirements including drug and alcohol testing, notification of the licensee's employer and, often times, job restrictions. A healthcare licensee has so much at stake, it is incumbent upon him or her to contact the skilled healthcare licensing attorney immediately upon arrest so they are aware of the serious consequences of the arrest. Even an ARD can have serious consequences for the healthcare professional. I have been representing healthcare professionals in licensing matters and criminal matters for over 30 years and am available to work with you to protect your license.

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