I represent medical professionals in their criminal and civil professional license disciplinary case. The criminal court hearings occur all over the Commonwealth Pennsylvania. I really enjoy this travel aspect of my practice, allowing me to visit a variety of county courthouses. Today I had the pleasure handling a medical professional's criminal matter in the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.
I spend a majority of my time helping medical professionals secure and keep their professional license. Recently, a physician contacted me to discuss his group practice employment contract and his hospitalist job. Reviewing his employment contract enlightened me on numerous ways a single licensing issue can impact medical professionals' employment and future employability.
Newspaper trumpet the legalization marijuana in several states. Articles track implementation of medical marijuana production, products, and sales in states with existing medical marijuana laws. Everyone is investing in marijuana producers and distributors. On November 12, 2018 the Philadelphia Inquirer reports with fanfare there are 84,000 Pennsylvanians registered as medical marijuana patients. The article emphasizes medical marijuana is not treating the medical condition stated on the licensee's card. Rather it is used to control medical symptoms of the 21 different serious medical conditions. Importantly, medical marijuana is replacing opiates to control pain and other disruptive physiological manifestations that originate from a diagnosed medical condition. This is success.
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.
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.
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.