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Unfounded accusations can cause a physician assistant their license to practice. The first notification from the Office of Professional Medical Conduct allows physician assistants to respond to any allegation of wrongdoing the board is investigating. It comes as a shock to most PA’s who have no idea they’ve done anything wrong. They took an oath and vowed to uphold the law and their medical ethics when they obtained their state license, and they’d not do anything to knowingly jeopardize their future. This notice is difficult to receive, and it’s when a physician assistant needs to call an experienced physician assistant license defense attorney. This attorney is going to guide the PA through the process, and work to ensure their license remains intact throughout the investigation.
The Office of Professional Medical Conduct is permitted by the State of New York to investigate matters of any concern to the state so long as it falls into the following categories:
– Professional life
– Constitutional rights
– Personal life
– Family life
If you’re asking why the board can conduct an investigation into your personal life as a physician assistant since it has nothing to do with your medical practice, you’re not alone. The office is permitted to investigate these claims based on several factors.
1. Professional Life Investigations: These encompass everything from employment issues to discrimination in the work place, complaints filed by coworkers or employees for wrongful termination or inappropriate conduct at work. It sometimes means sexual harassment in the workplace, creating a hostile work environment, or forcing employees to work in unfavorable conditions.
2. Constitutional Rights: The state requires that all physician assistants adhere to a higher standard of work ethic than others, and the office has the right to investigate matters of this nature.
3. Personal Life: Anyone who is accused of leading an inappropriate personal life could be investigated by the office. This might mean abusing alcohol or drugs at home, being arrested for anything else outside the office, or doing anything that might jeopardize the lives of others in your personal life.
4. Family Life: A physician assistant who doesn’t pay his or her child support on time, is having legal family issues, or is doing something in their family life that might affect their work life can end up being investigated by the board.
There are many reasons a physician assistant might be investigated in New York, and many of the reasons are viewed as unfair and unimportant to the work they do in the office. It’s the law, and the law allows for any aspect of a physician assistant’s life to be called into question at any time.
Depending on what a physician assistant is being investigated for, there are a number of penalties that might apply. They range from irritating to life-changing.
– Letters of reprimand
– License suspension
– License revocation
– Prison time
A physician assistant accused of creating a hostile work environment might be issued a citation and end up with a letter of reprimand in his or her file. One who is accused of abusing drugs or alcohol at home might end up placed on probation while their license is suspended. The office will require the physician assistant takes the time to complete a mandatory rehabilitation program and undergo voluntary drug or alcohol testing on a regular basis before their license can be reinstated.
A physician assistant accused of defrauding insurance companies or patients might be issued fines of a maximum of $5,000 per count. They are required to pay restitution to all the people defrauded, and they face up to 5 years in prison for each count.
The law is strict in New York when it comes to the ethical behavior of medical personnel. Physician assistants are required to adhere to specific terms and guidelines, and failure to do so is handled in a serious manner. If you’re being investigated by the office or the state medical board for any alleged misconduct, don’t hesitate to call a license defense attorney. Do not respond to the allegations until you’ve spoken with an attorney, understand the laws, and are able to handle the situation in an appropriate manner.