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.
After attending the evaluation, the PHMP caseworker began aggressively pushing this nurse about what to do next. It should have been nothing. It was not.
The VRP sent a second letter offering more care and treatment because "the drug and alcohol evaluator was unable to rule out that you suffer from a drug or alcohol addiction or impairment..." This means the evaluator did not diagnose my client as suffering from any condition that impairs his ability to practice his profession safely. The PHMP/VRP file should be closed after this opinion was rendered. This is a false diagnosis. "Unable to rule out" is no formal diagnisis of a condition that renders the nurse unsafe. PNAP Scare Tactics
It is a new tactic in the PHMP/VRP trap process. The letter identifies three options:, 1) go to an extended inpatient evaluation, 2) go to a second evaluation after 90 continuous days of outpatient treatment, or 3) reject both and PNAP will close the file and prosecution review will commence. This is PHMP/PNAP/VRP engaging in expert shopping.
As with the first evaluation, the VRP interested professional must pay for the all treatment and associated evaluations. This is PNAP pushing licensees into evaluations once, twice, or as many times as they need to get an opinion PNAP will accept. This is demoralizing to you the professional who is freaking out. This is a con by the PHMP/PNAP caseworker. Do not fall for this trick.
The letter proceeds to state: "In order to undergo the extended outpatient evaluation, please comply with the attached document summarizing the terms and conditions of the extended evaluation. If you successfully complete the extended evaluation thereby allowing us to document that you do not suffer from a substance use disorder, your VRP file will be closed and we will notify the Department of State's Legal Division that we have determined you do not meet criteria for a substance use disorder. "
It is not the licensee's burden to prove they do not suffer from a disorder. It is the Board's burden to prove the licensee does suffer from a condition that renders them unable to practice. The case law rejects this PHMP legal position.
The letter continues, laying out the various terms and conditions a nurse/medical professional licensee would have to comply while going through this process:
To pursue a residential evaluation, please contact one of the following facilities to make arrangements to be admitted within three weeks of the date of this letter: (1) Marworth 800-442- 7722, (2) Caron Treatment Center 800-854-6023, or (3) The Farley Center 800-582-6066. If the results of the intensive evaluation determine you do not suffer from a substance use disorder, your VRP file will be closed and we will report the findings to the Legal Division. Should the intensive evaluation establish that you meet criteria for a substance use disorder, you will be offered VRP enrollment.
These are three captive PHMP evaluator/treatment facilities. There is no way either of these locations will not find an impairment. They want your money, your insurance coverage, PHMP's continued case referrals.
Call me if you get this letter.