A new client recently contacted me regarding a puzzling PHMP/VRP letter he received. After a first offense DUI, the VRP contacted him and scared him to attend an initial evaluation. The Initial Evaluation As I have said many times, the PHMP's "Letter of Concern" is a lie. The PHMP is not concerned. The Letter of Concern.
Though it can be exciting to encourage young or interested parties in practicing osteophatic medicine and surgery, there are major licensing penalties you could face for knowingly aiding, assisting or advising an unlicensed person to practice.
Whether you are with a student, relative or patient in the workplace, it’s important to ensure that any unlicensed person is not violating the law. Here are a few key principles to remember.
A Philadelphia resident can work their whole life to become the medical professional they dreamt of becoming when they were a child. After years of study, testing, paying for classes and books and struggling, they may finally receive the education that they need to get a medical license and begin practicing to care for others. It therefore seems hard to understand how an alleged DUI or drug crime may have the power to derail the individual's entire future and everything they worked hard to get.
The Pennsylvania Department of State's Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs is the entity responsible for investigating and deciding when a licensee's actions warrant disciplinary action. Under the laws of the state, this organization may investigate claims that licensees have acted unethically, immorally, below standards that have been accepted by their professions or acted out of the scopes of their professions.
I recently wrote a blog about the enforcement environment for Pennsylvania medical professionals. Pennsylvania's Disciplinary Environment -- PNAP Investigations Pennsylvania's medical related licensing boards are receiving a record number of reports accusing licensees of drug related diversion, DUI arrests for alcohol or drug intoxications (medical marijuanna), and other impairments that affect professionals' ability to practice safely. In almost every circumstance, licensees' alcohol and drug related conduct now generates Petitions for Mental and Physical Evaluations. I have written numerous blogs about the importance of preparing for these evaluations and promptly attending.
On October 4, 2018 Commonwealth Court issued a significant decision in King v. BPOA discussing the Criminal History Record Information Act ("CHRIA").This statute gives licensing boards a discretionary authority to discipline, suspend, revoke, grant, or deny licensure based upon a criminal conviction related to the practice of a license. CHRIA's general purpose, however, is to control the collection, maintenance, dissemination or receive a criminal history record information.
The scope of crimes covered in the federal laws of the nation is wide and inclusive. Federal charges can be based off of alleged drug use or possession, violent crimes involving assaults and murder and white collar crimes involving fraud and tax evasion. The crimes associated with these and many other federal laws have been deemed damaging to the public at large and therefore punishable by the courts of the nation.
Pennsylvanians can find themselves on the wrong side of these federal laws when law enforcement officials and federal prosecutors make cases against them and for their punishment due to their involvement in allegedly criminal undertakings. Aside from the many sanctions that a person can face when they are convicted of a federal crime, individuals who are licensed to work in the medical field can watch their hard-earned credential disappear in the blink of an eye.
PNAP case managers routinely contact nurses whom they think are impaired. Self reporting, DUI - ARD or convictions, or workplace complaints are the typical trigger. The goal is to secure PNAP/PHMP enrollment.
Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (A.R.I.D.E.) is the forefront of drunk driving enforcement in the age of legal and medical marijuana. State Troopers are trained to identify impaired drivers by substances other than alcohol. These officers receive training on Standard Field Sobriety ("FST") and other field tests, and eye tests involving the convergence, pupil size, and reaction to light as well as methods of determining ingestion of the substance and classification of drugs (illegal and legal) by the type of impairment.
A Pennsylvania resident may dedicate their life to pursuing a career in the medical field. Whether it is becoming a doctor or nurse or other medical professional that is their goal, they may commit themselves to not letting anything stop them from reaching their dream. However, in Pennsylvania, there is a law that may throw a serious wrench into their plan if they have a prior criminal record.
The Criminal History Record Information Act is a piece of Pennsylvania legislation that, generally, allows employers and other organizational bodies to look into the criminal records of those individuals who apply for work or seek affiliation with them. With regard to medical professionals, state licensing boards can investigate the criminal pasts of those individuals who seek to receive licensure to practice in the Commonwealth.
Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Act sets forth a very specific administrative appeal process addressing prescribers and card holders subjected to a disciplinary action. Within the Department of Health, Department Office of Medical Marijuana, violations of the Act shall be prosecuted by the Office of Legal Counsel. Evidentiary rules and administrative practice will be governed by the General Rules of Administrative Practice and Procedure. ("GRAPP")
An administrative appeal of any department action affecting your medical marijuana card or license to prescribe must be taken in writing within 30 days after the individual or person to whom the action of the offices directs or issues a notice of the action. An untimely appeal will be deemed an admission of the violation of the Act and may result in dismissal of any late appeal with prejudice. 28 Pa.Code § 1249.39.
Failure to answer a disciplinary action in a formal proceedings will result in a default judgment being entered and the allow the Department of Health to refuse to grant a late hearing request. All documents must be filed in writing with the clerk, with the license or permit number, as well as the identity of an individual filing the petition and their mailing address. Failure to comply with these simple pleading requirements may result in the Department rejecting any filing.
A party shall be represented by an attorney at all stages of the proceedings. A party includes a corporation. The attorney must be in good standing and admitted to practice before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court or upon motion having been admitted in another jurisdiction and admitted in Pennsylvnaia pro hac vice.Proper pleading practice includes filing formal answer within 30 days of receipt of the order to show cause, including legal objections and any denial of facts averred in the original order to show cause. Affirmative defenses, admissions or denials must be stated clearly and concisely. Please call me to discuss your medical marijuanna card and any displinary action you may face.