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In today’s highly-regulated world of healthcare, one of the biggest concerns of healthcare professionals involves allegations of misconduct. Unfortunately, almost all physicians and other healthcare providers will at some point face allegations of misconduct. While it may seem as if these allegations are nothing to worry about, the fact is they can ruin a promising career. When accusations are made, the Office of Professional Discipline will investigate all aspects of the issue, no matter who made the allegations. When these situations develop, it’s important for a healthcare provider to have appropriate legal representation. By having an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in these complex legal matters, it’s possible to navigate these circumstances and come out with a career still intact.
When allegations of misconduct are made against a licensed professional, the OPD will conduct an intensive investigation into the matter. During this process, it’s crucial to have an attorney who can provide legal guidance along the way. In many of these investigations, healthcare providers often make the mistake of speaking with investigators without benefit of legal representation. When this happens, one wrong statement can greatly decrease the chances of having a favorable outcome. Rather than let this happen, it’s possible to let an attorney provide expert guidance that will keep mistakes from being made during the interview process.
Formal Review Process
While in many cases an OPD investigator will determine there is no merit to the allegations, in other situations they decide there is enough evidence to warrant a formal review process. When this happens, the stakes become much higher. Even if the healthcare provider knows they did nothing wrong, the investigation by the OPD may nevertheless go against them. This is why it is so important to retain legal counsel who understands the review process and how to handle it each step of the way. In these instances, an OPD lawyer can examine the allegations, interview witnesses, and develop a strategy aimed at proving all allegations are false. By making sure experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel is used during this process, the case may be dismissed due to lack of evidence or in other cases have the potential penalties reduced as low as possible.
What Defines Misconduct?
For healthcare professionals, there are many situations that may allow patients or others to level allegations of misconduct. Some of the most common allegations against physicians or other healthcare providers include negligent practice of medicine, providing services while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, fraud and misrepresentation, improper disclosure of medical records or other information, unethical fee-splitting, and many others. No matter what type of allegation has been made, it should be taken very seriously from the beginning. For those physicians or others who find themselves on the receiving end of these allegations, this is no time to simply believe everything will turn out fine. In these instances, losing a license, having restrictions placed on their ability to practice, and even jail time are possibilities that must be faced, so it’s vital to have an experienced OPD lawyer by your side.
The OPD Interview
While this sounds like an informal process, it is anything but that. One of the biggest mistakes physicians and others make is failing to know they are entitled to have legal representation present at the interview, along with a stenographer. By ensuring this is done, a person facing allegations can have the ability to be advised as to what they should or should not do or say during the interview. In many interviews, a person facing allegations may choose to not have an attorney present with them, and the results can be devastating to their career. If they inadvertently reveal something to the interviewer that can be used against them, their case could be too badly damaged to allow for a positive outcome. Therefore, it cannot be said strongly enough that anyone facing allegations of misconduct should at no time ever participate in an interview without an attorney by their side.
A Strong Defense
Whenever any allegations such as these are made against a physician or other healthcare professional, the main job of their attorney is to mount a strong defense that will win the case as soon as possible. However, these cases are often very complex, and thus take months to complete. During the process, an OPD lawyer will speak with their client numerous times, attempting to uncover any and all pieces of information that are important to the case. By having an attorney who has an extensive knowledge of these laws, those who face these allegations will have a much greater chance of success when it comes to proving their innocence. The attorney, knowing that many people are often involved in these cases, will immediately begin the process of interviewing witnesses and analyzing the specifics of the allegations. This will help in developing a strong defense, which naturally gives a healthcare professional a much better chance of resuming their career.
Contact a Lawyer
If you find yourself facing any allegations of professional misconduct, do not hesitate to contact an attorney as soon as possible. By doing so, you will have an attorney who has an in-depth knowledge of the laws and procedures involved with these hearings. Rather than go it alone and hope for the best, use the services of an attorney who has the skills and experience to win your case.