Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger: A Cautionary Tale of Physician Misconduct

There is an opioid epidemic in the United States. As a result, there is increasing attention on doctors who prescribe opioids and an eagerness to blame those doctors for the tragedy caused by opioids. Given that backdrop, it is not unusual for doctors to find themselves accused of misconduct involving prescriptions. Some doctors are too informal with how they handle these powerful drugs, but others are wrongly accused by patients who make accusations when their doctors cut off their opioid supply. If you are a Kansas or Missouri doctor and allegations of misconduct are made against you, call attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced and aggressive attorney for physicians facing occupational discipline. 

A Cautionary Tale of Misconduct by a Medical Professional

In Maryland, Dr. Walter Kozachuk routinely sold opioid prescriptions to patrons at a bar, selling prescriptions for anti-anxiety drugs and painkillers for $100 each. As a result of this conduct, the Maryland medical board suspended his medical license for two years. He appealed that suspension, and on December 15, 2017, a Maryland appeals court upheld the suspension.

Avoiding Misconduct Allegations in Your Medical Practice

The opioid epidemic did not just happen accidentally. These powerful drugs became widely and illegally distributed for a number of reasons—drug-seeking patients learned how to game the system, doctors blinded by greed ignored abuse, and unethical clinic managers made the drugs easier to attain than they should have been. Those are the sources of the problem; accordingly, you must do whatever you can to avoid those problems if you want to stay clear of misconduct allegations. The following is some of the most common advice that I give clients who ask how to avoid these problems.

First, do not associate with clinics that have a reputation as a “pill mill,” as they usually earned that reputation. Second, avoid practicing alone, where lapses will go unchecked; instead, associate with a group and hold each other accountable. Third, be scrupulous with your record keeping. Good record keeping is your best defense when allegations of misconduct arise, and sloppy records can appear incriminating, even in instances when you have done nothing wrong. Carefully documenting the identity of who you prescribed to is key. Fourth, pay close attention to your staff and hold them to the same high standard of professionalism that you hold yourself to. Your staff can be your Achilles heel, engaging in illegal activity that you would never contemplate, but that you will be held responsible for. Finally, never allow a non-physician to control your practice, keep sole control of your books, or have sole access to your medical records.

What Should You Do If You Are Accused of Misconduct?

There is no time to waste if you are accused of misconduct. You have spent your entire life working towards becoming a physician, but your profession can be taken from you in an instant.  Too many physicians try to talk their way out of these allegations and then call me. By then, your novice attempt has usually given those investigating you everything they need. You should not respond to an investigation until you have attained representation by a skilled licensing attorney. Having a zealous advocate by your side challenging the validity of the evidence against you and cross-examining those who testify against you is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

If you are a nurse in Kansas or Missouri and are facing a misconduct allegation, call Danielle Sanger today.

Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger is prepared to advocate for your best interests and defend your livelihood and career. Call Attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced and aggressive attorney for physicians facing board discipline.