The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn

Philadelphia Healthcare Licensing Blog

Understanding various licensing board rulings

There are numerous situations that can cause a Pennsylvania doctor to face administrative licensing proceedings. For instance, it may occur if a patient accuses a physician of wrongdoing or if a doctor fails to adhere to protocol that governs his or her behavior in the workplace. A licensing board has the authority in appropriate circumstances to place a doctor on probation, suspend or even revoke his or her medical license.

Then again, the board may find that any charges have not been proved or otherwise do not warrant such actions. In those circumstances, the case could be dismissed with no disciplinary action against the doctor whatsoever. With regard to probation, suspension and revocation, each administrative action is unique and levied against a doctor for different reasons.

Licensing board suspends doctor until 2020

If a Pennsylvania doctor is placed on suspension, he or she is then prohibited from practicing medicine in the state unless and until such time that the suspension is officially lifted. A licensing board in another state has suspended a particular doctor there until 2020, following the death of one of his patients. The decedent's family is blaming the doctor for negligence, saying their loved one might still be alive if the doctor had not over-prescribed narcotics.

It is not uncommon for doctors to prescribe numerous types of narcotics. Each doctor is called upon to diagnose and treat every patient according to the circumstances of his or her condition. Some people take three, four or more prescription medications per day.

Licensing board temporarily suspends Pennsylvania doctor

A man who has been a practicing doctor in Pennsylvania for nearly 30 years is facing serious legal and administrative problems at this time. Any other physician in this state who is worried about licensing board sanctions may want follow this case. For the time being, the doctor in question has been suspended and asked to surrender his medical credentials.

The physician is facing charges for writing illegal prescriptions. Officials say that for several years,  he would fly back from the West Coast where he normally resides and spend time in his Pennsylvania office, writing prescriptions for cash. He supposedly sold more than 82,000 pills in approximately three years' time.

Protect your rights and career in a licensing board hearing

As a licensed professional in Pennsylvania, there are numerous personal or criminal issues that may have an immediate or long-term impact on your career. If something happens that results in you being called to a licensing board hearing, you may feel stressed and worried about your future. While it's possible to go it alone when appearing before the board, it is not necessary and, in fact, may not be the best choice possible.

Most physicians or other professionals who succeed in defending or restoring their licenses credit their successes to the type of support they sought before attending their hearings. An experienced medical license attorney is a great asset to have on hand. Knowledge of administrative and criminal law is an attribute that can be applied to help you try to avoid a license suspension or to regain your practice privileges if you've incurred a suspension.

Breaching patient confidentiality can bring serious consequences

The confidentiality of your patients is critical. In fact, it is so important that there are federal laws to protect it, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known widely as HIPAA. As a Pennsylvania nurse, you understand how seriously you must take the rules governing the privacy of your patients. They depend on you and others on their medical team to hear about their symptoms, their habits and their lifestyle, and to use that information only to build a plan for their care.

If patients thought you would tell their secrets to others who are not involved in their medical treatment, they may not trust you enough to reveal important details about their conditions. As a result, they may not get the care they need, which not only affects their well-being, but, in the case of infectious diseases, may affect the greater good. When someone accuses you of violating patient confidentiality, it is a serious charge.

Licensing board investigating situation involving psychologist

Pennsylvania psychologists, like all others throughout the nation, must adhere to certain regulations and protocol that set the accepted standards of practice for their profession. If a licensing board has reason to question the behavior of a licensed psychologist, it may issue a license suspension while an investigation takes place. A psychologist in another state is currently facing such circumstances.  

The situation not only involves the psychologist's co-workers but a private client as well. He reportedly shares office space with several other providers. Each provider apparently has a personal mailbox within the space. The psychologist in question is said to have accessed those mailboxes without permission on multiple occasions.  

The issue of drug use among nurses

Few Pennsylvania nurses would deny the fact that their jobs come with a significant amount of stress. The pressures of the job can quickly become overwhelming, and without proper coping mechanisms, nurses could turn to pharmaceuticals or alcohol for an escape.

Research indicates that around 10 percent of the nurses here in the country abuse alcohol or drugs. That sounds like good news, but those nurses put their and their patients' lives in danger, which they would never do if not for the addiction. They also risk losing their licenses and their livelihood.

Plastic surgeon suspended by medical licensing board

A woman who has come to be known as the "dancing doctor" has apparently surrendered her license indefinitely. Pennsylvania plastic surgeons may want to follow the case involving several patients coming forward to say they suffered serious injuries under her care. The plastic surgeon gained the nickname "dancing doctor" after videos of her dancing during surgeries appeared on YouTube. Due to those films and allegations of malpractice from several people, a medical licensing board stripped her of her professional title.  

The woman is no longer able to identify herself as a doctor. After two and a half years pass, she may file a petition to request that her suspension be lifted. In one of the dance videos, the doctor can reportedly be seen holding surgical instruments in her hands and dancing over a patient who is lying on an operating table.  

Attention Pennsylvania doctors: Bedside manner matters

Pennsylvania doctors may want to keep tabs on a recent situation in another state involving a doctor who has been penalized for her demeanor toward a patient. A medical licensing board has suspended the doctor's license. This administrative penalty was issued in connection to an exchange that occurred between the physician and a patient, who happens to be a college basketball player.

The athlete's father said his son has a history of suffering due to anxiety attacks. He reportedly takes medication to help him control his condition. However, he recently wound up in an emergency room several days after his prescription had run out because he apparently did not have time to refill it.

A variety of issues can put your health care license in jeopardy

Perhaps all you have ever wanted to do is help people. You figured out that the best way for you to do that is to work in the health care field. After spending a significant amount of time, money and effort getting the education you needed, working as an intern and going through your boards, the last thing you want is to put your hard-earned license in jeopardy.

Whether you have been working in the medical field for weeks, months or years, certain actions and behaviors could cost you your livelihood. Knowing what may bring you to the attention of a Pennsylvania medical board could help you avoid ending up in trouble. Some of the following issues may seem obvious, but that doesn't mean they aren't worth mentioning.


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