New York Registered Nurse Disciplinary Hearing Defense Lawyer
The nursing profession consists of the delivery of care to patients. Nurses take an oath in which they promise to deliver care to their patients each day. In an effort to hold them accountable, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) keep a list of persons and entities that are excluded from engaging in all health care programs that receive funding from the federal government, such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Nurses can be prevented from practicing their profession if they are accused of committing specific felonies or misdemeanors. Over 40 percent of those who are on the OIG List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) are there because their licenses were revoked.
In accordance with the Affordable Care Act, exclusion in one state is applicable to all states and all entities, including hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, physician and medical groups, and insurance companies that have contracts with or send bills to Medicare or Medicaid.
In the event you surrender your license following your discovery of an investigation, or of disciplinary action against you, your action will be deemed a disciplinary relinquishment. It will be treated as though your license had been revoked for disciplinary reasons.
After your license is subjected to discipline, or if you surrender your nursing license upon receipt of information about an investigation, there can be serious consequences. Among them are compulsory reports to all related organizations. In addition, any other states or jurisdictions in which you are licensed will start their own investigation, which could result in disciplinary action.
Potential disciplinary results
Disciplinary action can take different forms. Here are some examples of the types of punishment nurses can face:
- Reprimand, or censure – an official record stating that a license has been disciplined
- Citation – the imposition of a fine by the board of nursing
- Cease and desist order – an order to halt a specific activity, or confront additional penalties
- Compulsory continuing education
- Fine or civil penalty
- Remediation – an effort to correct practice and encourage safety
- Probation – the nurse may not be permitted to practice; if the nurse is allowed to practice, there will be restrictions.
- Revocation – the nurse is prohibited from practicing indefinitely or permanently. There is a potential waiting period during which the nurse may be allowed to file a petition for restoration or reinstatement. The waiting period could be as long as seven years from the date on which the license was revoked.
What steps should I take?
If you find that your future as an RN is at risk, you should take steps to defend yourself. Seek counsel from an attorney who is experienced in professional licensing cases and administrative hearings. Do not communicate with or provide a written statement to an investigator until you have spoken with an attorney. If you are informed that you are the subject of an investigation, do not surrender your license.
If you are innocent of the accusations, ask for a formal hearing and challenge the charges. Do not ask that an informal hearing be held, or for a settlement agreement in which you provide an admission of the facts alleged against you. If you admit such facts, it will have the same effect as pleading guilty. Invest in professional liability insurance that consists of coverage for your legal defense for any investigation with respect to your professional license, whether or not it is relevant to a malpractice claim.
Call the attorneys at Brill Legal Group to represent you. They are versed in licensing and disciplinary hearings.