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A physician assistant is the person in charge of many of the most important aspects of any patient’s visit to the doctor. This is the person in charge of administrative tasks, the work with other physicians to provide adequate medical care, and they’re able to write prescription and diagnose illness. They’re some of the most important people in the office, and one of the most integral aspects of the success of a physician’s office. It takes years of education and a state license to become a certified physician’s assistant, and only one complaint by a disgruntled coworker, vendor, or patient to lose that license.
A physician assistant license defense attorney is here to help when a physician assistant is under investigation by the California Medical Board. One complaint is enough to change the entire course of the future for a physician assistant based on several factors. The first is a complaint must be valid enough to suspect criminal activity or a violation of medical law. If a complaint isn’t serious, the PA never knows it was filed with the state. Once a physician assistant is under investigation resulting from a complaint, they’re made aware of it by notice from the state Medical Board. This is when it’s time to call a defense attorney to handle the situation with ease.
Common Complaints Against Physician Assistants
– Fraud: A patient, insurance carrier, or other employee from an office can report a physician assistant if they suspect the PA is involved in fraud. This could be improper billing, insurance fraud, or even charging patients for services they did not perform to elicit payment to the office for a bigger profit.
– Unprofessional conduct: Unprofessional conduct comes in many forms. It can be anything from discrimination against a patient for various reasons, and it can be treating patients using services not necessary for their case so they can charge them for the services on their bill.
– Substance abuse: Physician assistants believed to use drugs or alcohol in an abusive manner or while they’re at work risk being reported to the state and admonished for their behavior.
– Sexual misconduct: Any physician assistant who inappropriately touches a patient not related to treatment, who comes onto a patient, or who makes suggestive remarks in any form of sexual harassment will be reported to the state Medical Board.
– Negligence: If the actions of a physician assistant result in the injury of any patient, they can be held accountable and accused of negligence for their behavior.
The first step in any official investigation is notification. The PA is sent notification they are being investigated. The notice will include the reason for the investigation, patient information if it’s needed to help with the case, and a request for compliance. It requires a response to the accusation, which should be drafted by an attorney experienced in license defense for physician assistants.
Once the investigation is complete, the PA is found innocent or guilty. If found guilty, the state issues citations, probation, suspends a license, or revokes it. If the charges are criminal, the PA could end up doing jail time, paying fines, and repaying any patients or insurance companies the PA defrauded over the years.
– Citation: A PA could be issued a citation, which goes into their professional profile. It’s a form of warning against inappropriate action that follows them throughout their career.
– Reprimand: A letter of reprimand could be sent to the PA with an outline of what might happen if the same thing occurs again.
– Probation: A good example of a PA on probation is one with a substance abuse problem who must go to rehab and follow strict guidelines to be reinstated as a PA.
– License Suspension: A PA who is in rehab for substance abuse treatment might have their license suspended while they recover.
– Revocation: When a PA is found guilty of a serious crime, their license is permanently revoked.
– Fines: These are issued to anyone who is charged by a court of law, and they are issued in an amount related to the charges at hand as well as the number of charges.
– Jail Time: A PA accused of a criminal offense will face jail time. It usually comes in a maximum of five years per offense.
– Restitution: Physician Assistants accused of fraud are required to repay all the money they took, in addition to fines and jail time for their actions.
License defense is serious business, and it requires the help of an experienced attorney. Losing a PA license changes the entire course of a person’s future, and it’s difficult to see a favorable outcome in a case like this without legal help.