PHMP’s NEW TRICK – License Inactive Documents

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2016 | Firm News |

Pennsylvania’s monitoring program, PHMP has instituted a new trick in their playbook. Now, with every PHMP questionnaire and data sheet, PHMP/PNAP caseworkers are including a voluntary license inactivation document. WHAT IS THIS? DON’T SIGN IT.This a new attempt to limit voluntary recovery program (“VRP”) participants from changing their mind before the Board enters a consent agreement formally accepting them into the VRP. In essence, most potential monitoring program targets/enrollees are actually INeligible for the VRP. Most do not suffer from any drug or alcohol addiction that renders them unable to perform their profession.  The caseworkers just pressure them to admit this.These VRP participants, however, mistakenly sign the contract, get stuck with a false bills of goods, contact counsel and seek to change their minds. I TELL ALMOST EVERYONE TO WITHDRAW FROM THE PROGRAM, DO NOT ADMIT TO ANY IMPAIRMENT AND FIGHT FOR THEIR MEAL TICKET.  NEVER ADMIT ANY IMPAIRMENT.If the licensee signs this new form, voluntarily rendering their license inactive, there is no point in changing their mind to go back to work. They can’t because their license is now inactive.  Formal Board action is required to reactivate that license. While the same PHMP Mental and Physical evaluation (SEE MY OTHER BLOGS) will take place, the licensee now cannot work during this 3-7 MONTH process. This compared to not signing the form, not going into the program, fighting the case, and working pending the PHMP evaluation with an expert, not a cracker jack box assessor!My prior blogs discuss why almost every licensee should not voluntarily enroll in the monitoring program. The blogs discuss the burdens of proof and difficulty of complying with all confirms and conditions of the monitoring program. GO READ THEM.Importantly, there is a 6-8 MONTH time lag between the initial PHMP/PNAP “letter of concern” contact with the licensee and when a formal signed board approved consent agreement binds a licensee into the PHMP. Remember, this a voluntary process. Prior to an executed professional license board FORMAL consent agreement being entered, EVERY licensee (doctor, nurse, pharmacist) is free to change their mind and withdraw from the program.If a licensee signs a voluntarily inactive agreement, the program is no longer voluntary. If the licensee signs a voluntary license inactive document, changing their mind and withdrawing from the PHMP — because of the bait and switch tactics of the caseworkers quickly reveal themselves — signing an agreement to have a license deemed inactive handcuffs the licensee into the program.Remember,  the VRP is just that; voluntary. Every licensee must acknowledge a drug or alcohol addiction and that renders them incapable of safely practicing their profession. If a licensee does not suffer from a potential drug or alcohol abuse or dependence disorder and/or are capable of safely practicing your profession, DON’T SIGN ANY DATA QUESTIONNAIRE, PHMP CONTRACT AND, ESPECIALLY, AN AGREEMENT TO VOLUNTARILY RENDER A LICENSE INACTIVE. Once the license is inactive, whether you change your mind about the program or not, withdrawing from the program does not allow a licensee to work.That’s another important aspect of these PHMP contracts. PHMP/PNAP/PHP/SARPH agreements require licensees agrees to abide by any terms and conditions imposed by their caseworker. Some caseworkers compel not working in the licensee’s profession for a short period of time. Nonetheless, previously, the license was still active. Now, if a licensee signs that inactive agreement, the caseworker has ultimate control over the licensee, their career, their profession, and their wallet.The case worker has the licensee’s professional career by the neck and will not let go until licensee completely satisfy them. TRUST ME, THE CASE WORKER AND PHMP case managers are not and never act as the licensee’s “advocate.” Their allegiance is to the board, their job, and their pay check, not the licensee’s.With a license inactive, the caseworker must file a formal board document asking for re-activation prior to even them even being able to permit the licensee to work (even when in the PHMP). The Boards sit on these requests for multiple months.  As such, these voluntary inactive documents further extend and strengthen the caseworkers’ control over the licensee. It is inappropriate, unacceptable and could be deemed it illegal to compel a licensee to sign a interactive document as part of PHMP contract.Remember, enrollment in the PHMP does not constitute discipline of a license. Only after the Board accepts the PHMP contract in the form of a consent agreement has discipline been entered. Opting out of the PHMP prior to Board approval does not constitute discipline and the licensee’s license is not restricted in any manner. If the licensee withdrawals from the PHMP and has not signed any license inactive document, they can go to work right away.If the licensee agrees to sign the interactive document request, there’s no difference between withdrawing from the PHMP or not, as they will not be able to work until the license is reactivated. DON’T SIGN THIS NEW DOCUMENT WITHOUT LEGAL COUNSEL. DON’T SIGN THIS DOCUMENT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, NO MATTER WHAT.