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Pennsylvania law requires all doctors adhere to a standard of care above and beyond the law. Medical professionals are expected to conduct themselves in a professional matter at all times, never wavering from the legalities associated with medicine, and never misappropriating their license for personal gain. It takes many years and a lot of money to become a doctor, and it’s not something most doctors are willing to throw away once they achieve their goals and become a licensed Pennsylvania medical professional.
When a patient, a coworker, an employee, or anyone else who has contact with a Philadelphia doctor files a formal complaint against the doctor with the state medical board, it’s devastating. Everything the doctor worked for all those years is in jeopardy, and their license could end up revoked at the end of the investigation. It’s common for doctors to want to do everything they can as soon as they receive notice they’re being investigated, but it’s best to first hire an attorney specializing in medical license defense. The investigation notice asks for specific steps to be followed by the doctor, but they are also required to ask doctors to adhere to the terms and conditions of the investigation in accordance to Pennsylvania law.
A defense attorney with experience is able to help medical professionals protect their licenses and even reinstate their license if it’s suspended during the course of the investigation. Allow an attorney to handle the complaint notice when it arrives.
Doctors are expected to uphold the law and work at a higher standard of practice than most anyone else in Philadelphia. Their job requires keeping people alive, caring for their lives, and keeping them safe. When someone feels a doctor is violating Pennsylvania medical code or the law put in place by the federal government, they’re going to report that doctor. The most common reasons a doctor loses their license in Pennsylvania includes:
1. Sexual Inappropriateness: If a doctor is accused of sexual assault or misconduct, it can ruin the doctor’s reputation. It can also result in revocation of the doctor’s license and if the assault is serious enough, it can be tried in a court of law. If found guilty, the doctor could face jail time, fines, and more.
2. Fraud: All medical professionals are required to do their part to keep the cost of Insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid fraud down, but some don’t. Some doctors inflate the cost of services, report services they did not perform, and inflate invoices and bills sent to companies so they can pocket more money.
3. Substance Abuse Issues: If a doctor is suspected of using drugs or abusing alcohol at work or at home, they can be reported to the state board. Most doctors in this situation face probation, license suspension, fines, and mandatory treatment before they can apply to reinstate their medical license.
4. Unprofessional Conduct: This category is broad, and it can encompass any number of things. A doctor who refuses to perform a surgery on a patient because it’s against his or her own beliefs is unprofessional. A doctor who performs a procedure on a patient they were not authorized to perform is unprofessional. A doctor who discriminates against a patient for any reasons is unprofessional.
5. Improper Issuance of Prescriptions: Many prescription medications are highly addictive when used incorrectly. Doctors who issue prescriptions to their friends and family, without medical reason, or in doses that are too extreme are not using their ability correctly, and it’s against medical law.
There are many other reasons a doctor could lose his or her license in Philadelphia, but these are some of the most common. If an investigation finds a doctor has violated any of the state laws or codes, they could face suspension or revocation of their license depending on the severity of the case. If the crime is a serious one, the doctor could face a state or federal court cause that results in hefty fines, restitution, and even prison time. Philadelphia medical professionals under investigation should call an attorney right away to discuss their case, their defense, and what might happen if they’re found guilty of the complaint filed against them.