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Philadelphia Healthcare Licensing Blog

Too many prescriptions may raise medical licensing questions

It's normal for most Pennsylvania doctors to write prescriptions on a daily basis. However, a situation in another state makes it evident that if authorities think a particular doctor has written too many prescriptions in one year it may lead to medical licensing trouble. The doctor in this case apparently wrote thousands of opioid prescriptions in a single year's time.

He is psychiatrist, not a medical doctor, and the medical board has suspended his license while it investigates the situation. The board seems to be especially concerned with the fact that many of the prescriptions were filled in a city other than the two where the psychiatrist's practices are located. A spokesperson for the medical board said the fact that the doctor holds no registration for a pain management clinic raised the board's interest in the case and prompted investigation.

Licensing board suspends doctor's license amid murder charges

A physician in a state next to Pennsylvania is facing murder charges. It all started a number of years ago when his wife accused him of operating an illegal drug ring. She reportedly wanted a specific settlement in their divorce, one to which he would not agree. The man is now on trial, accused of arranging his wife's murder, and the state's medical licensing board has also suspended his license.  

The woman supposedly threatened to report her husband's illegal drug activities to authorities if he refused to agree to her proposed divorce settlement. Prosecutors claim the doctor, conspiring with a member of  then a biker gang, hired someone to kill her. She was found shot to death at the couple's home on May 10, 2012.

Keeping your career healthy can protect your nursing license

Often, the mistakes a nurse makes that lead to disciplinary action or loss of licensure arise from moments of carelessness or distraction. They may also occur when a nurse is feeling stressed or using ill-advised means to cope with the stress.

Without question, your job as a nurse is a heavy responsibility, and you face life-and-death situations while dealing with miserable patients and a maze of regulations. Nevertheless, if nursing is important to you, both as a means to provide for your family and a part of your identity, you would do well to keep yourself and your career healthy and vibrant.

Protecting your medical license

Obtaining a license to practice medicine is a long and arduous process. You can vouch for the fact that years of your life and hundreds of thousands of dollars went into preparing you for the title of doctor and the responsibilities and rewards that accompany it.

Whether you have only recently become a licensed physician or you have been practicing for years, you have likely planned that you would be a doctor for the rest of your life, building a solid, well-respected practice and retiring comfortably in your old age. One critical thing that could wreck that dream for you is losing your license.

Licensing board suspension precedes federal drug indictment

There are any number of reasons the Pennsylvania Medical Licensing Board would suspend or otherwise threaten revocation of a license. Regardless, there are typically several options available for defending oneself in such situations. A doctor in another state is facing serious professional and legal trouble in connection with allegations of illegal drug sales.

Officials have accused the physician of writing prescriptions for approximately $18 million worth of drugs that allegedly wound up being sold on the illegal drug market. He and several others were recently indicted in federal court on conspiring to distribute prescription drugs illegally. In addition to overprescribing controlled substances, the doctor in question was also charged with health care fraud.

Doctors risk medical licensing censures when accused of crimes

If a Pennsylvania doctor were to be accused of a crime, as a doctor in another state has been, it could definitely place his or her license at risk for suspension. Medical licensing issues are often complex, and there is no predicting which doctors will be stripped of their privileges to practice medicine and who be able to successfully defend their licenses. It all depends on individual circumstances and what support is obtained.

A doctor in another state is accused of sexual offenses against two of his patients. The 54-year-old physician was arrested on a recent Thursday. One of the charges against him involves a minor.

Patient boundaries protect your nursing license

You can probably do without the paperwork and the long hours on your feet. However, if you are like many other Pennsylvania nurses, the most rewarding part of your job is the rapport you build with your patients. In some cases, they may slip in and out of your life, and you barely remember their names. Some patients, though, touch your heart and seem to draw you to them.

Of course, you know it is unprofessional to become too involved with a patient. You have undoubtedly heard cautionary tales of others in the medical profession who made the mistake of developing personal or even physical relationships with patients. Few things can jeopardize your nursing license more than stepping over that line.

Doctor relinquishes privilege to practice to licensing board

If a Pennsylvania medical patient accuses a doctor of wrongdoing, the process that unfolds thereafter may intersect both administrative and civil court jurisdictions. Such a situation may prompt a licensing board to take action with respect to a physician's license to practice. In fact, a doctor in another state recently handed over his license, and it has been reported that multiple civil lawsuits are expected to be filed against him in the near future.

The doctor in this case is an elderly gentleman who, apparently, has been officially diagnosed with dementia. The diagnosis comes in the aftermath of several allegations that the doctor inappropriately touched female patients who came to see him. The doctor himself reportedly admitted that he may, at some point, have touched women's breasts but only within the context of medical examination.

Reasons a licensing board may stop a doctor from practicing

In most Pennsylvania industries, there is some type of governing body that oversees the conduct and actions of employed personnel. For instance, the state Department of Education makes decisions regarding the licensing of teachers, while the State Board of Medicine regulates licensing issues for doctors, physician assistants and a number of other health care professionals. In that regard, there are certain types of behavior that would definitely cause a doctor to be at risk for license removal.

At the top of the list of common reasons medical licenses are revoked or suspended is inappropriate sexual conduct. Alcohol or illegal drug abuse is also a main factor that would possibly cost a doctor to lose his or her medical license. Physical abuse of a patient, improper record keeping and fraud are other reasons that doctors' licenses may be called into question.

Review of Pennsylvania Professional and Occupational Licensure Board Requirements and Processes

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recently signed an executive order to examine the state's professional licensing system. "Requiring a license to work in certain jobs helps to keep all of us safe, but those requirements should be fair relative to other states in our region and across the country," said Wolf. "Overly burdensome requirements and fees can block some workers - especially minorities or spouses in military families who move frequently - from starting a career and supporting their families."

The 29 professional and occupational licensing Boards and Commissions (Board of Dentistry, Board of Nursing, Board of Occupational Therapy, Board of Psychology, etc.) will prepare reports outlining training requirements and fees. According to the executive order, "if the requirement or fee in Pennsylvania is above the national or regional average for that license, the report shall include justification for the requirement."

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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