March 2015 Archives

I Have Been Diverting Drugs from My Job and Was Just Confronted By My Employer, What Should I Say?

Absolutely nothing. Do not speak to your employer or anyone else or make any admissions of drug diversion. You should contact me immediately. Over the years, I have found that often times, nurses and other healthcare professionals when confronted about drug diversion, are so ashamed of their conduct that they admit these allegations to their employer. This will often result in losing your job and even worse, being arrested. Sometimes employers will tell healthcare workers that if they admit their conduct, it will be better for them. Do not believe this. If you are diverting drugs, your employer has a responsibility by law to report your conduct to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. Almost all the time, this will result in your being arrested.

As Pennsylvania considers medical cannabis, where do MDs fit in? p3

We are returning to the discussion about legalizing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania -- and we are just in time for the state House of Representatives' public hearings on March 24. The hearings will not decide anything, but lawmakers will listen to and consider the opinions of the public and experts on both sides of the issue.

At risk for losing your license? An attorney can help

Dealing with a licensing board on your own can be a difficult and frustrating process. Your medical license may be questioned by the licensing board if you are accused of a crime or misconduct or if you receive treatment for a substance abuse problem. 

What to do After a Criminal Arrest

This past year, I have been told that the Department of State, the agency that oversees the Healthcare Licensing Boards, has entered into a contract the Pennsylvania Justice Network (PJN) to provide records of arrest for all healthcare workers licensed in Pennsylvania. Prior to this, the Licensing Board would typically learn of an arrest when the healthcare professional renewed their license every two (2) years. It is standard for a Licensing Board to ask the licensee about any arrests since their last renewal; however, many licensees are now receiving letters from the Professional Health Monitoring Program (PHMP) within one week of the arrest. This may depend on the county in which you live. For instance, this past fall, an M.D. who is a client of mine received a letter from the PHMP six (6) days after he was arrested for a DUI. What this means is that it is in your best interest to contact a licensing attorney immediately after your arrest. For over twenty five years, I have represented individuals charged with crimes as well as healthcare professionals in matters involving their professional license. When you receive a letter from the PHMP, it is a mistake to call them until after you speak with a skilled licensing attorney. You can't take back what you disclose to PHMP personnel and anything you tell the PHMP can be used against you. Your statements to the PHMP could also be used in a criminal prosecution against you. You should also not rely on the advice a criminal lawyer gives you about your professional license unless that criminal lawyers is well versed in professional licensing law. Even a summary criminal offense, such as Disorderly Conduct or Public Drunkenness will trigger a letter from the PHMP. If the summary offense is not handled properly, it could result in your requirement that you enter the Voluntary Recovery Program (VRP) which will require you to get substance abuse treatment, undergo random urine screens for a three (3) year period, attend two or three AA/NA meetings per week and notify your employer of your participation in the VRP. For more information, please visit my website's page on PHMP.

As Pennsylvania considers medical cannabis, where do MDs fit in? p2

The statewide debate over legalizing medical marijuana continues, but now the governor has weighed in: Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf announced recently that he would sign a bill if it could pass both houses of the General Assembly. It may end up being a safer position for Pennsylvania's new governor: While public support is strong, it is by no means a sure thing that the bill will make it to his desk.

As Pennsylvania considers medical cannabis, where do MDs fit in?

The Pennsylvania General Assembly is considering legislation to make medical marijuana available to residents with certain health conditions. If the bill passes both houses, there is a good chance Gov. Tom Wolf will sign. The bill sets an effective date for 60 days from the governor's signature, but it could be a while before patients will get relief.

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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