Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger Discusses Licensing Issues for Optometrists

Being an optometrist means having a respected career, a good livelihood, and your community’s respect. But because optometry is a licensed profession in Missouri and Kansas, all of that can be derailed by a disciplinary issue resulting in a suspension or revocation of that license.

Complaints about an optometrist usually arise from the public. They can be frivolous and lack merit, or they can be serious and based on significant evidence. It does not matter which category your complaint falls into, both frivolous and serious complaints can result in significant disciplinary action unless they are defended vigorously by experienced licensing attorney.

If you are licensed medical professional in Kansas or Missouri facing an investigation or medical board disciplinary action, call attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation. Your career is at risk and you cannot work your way through this alone.

Common Licensure Complaints

Sexual misconduct—any sexual contact between an optometrist and a patient is inappropriate. That said, otherwise innocuous pats on the back and friendly hugs can easily be construed as sexual misconduct later, especially when a patient has an axe to grind regarding a bill they do not want to pay or when a patient’s own advances are rebuked. This sort of conduct is always serious and is never just brushed aside.

Criminal convictions—even if there is no connection to the optometrist’s practice, criminal convictions for DUI, theft, violent crimes, domestic violence, child abuse, or any other crime of moral turpitude can trigger a licensing investigation. If criminal charges are pending, an optometrist faces the challenge of defending his or her license while not saying anything in the context of the licensing matter that could impact his or her criminal case. This is a delicate situation that will require the assistance of expert counsel.

Drug and alcohol abuse—allegations of alcoholism, DUI, or drug use can all result in licensure issues for an optometrist, especially if those allegations arise in any relation to their work.  For example, a DUI may have no inherent connection to an optometrist’s work, but if the arrest occurred a half hour prior to the optometrist seeing a patient, it may have implications on her practice.

Misuse prescription privileges—issuing unnecessary prescriptions or issuing them negligently has serious, even criminal, consequences. These allegations are skyrocketing as a result of the nation’s opioid epidemic. Allegations of this nature require immediate, expert legal defense.

Sharing patients’ confidential information—allegations that you shared a patient’s confidential information or that you used it for your own gain, are serious.  There are federal laws protecting patients’ medical records, most notably HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act of 1996.

Negligent supervision—your employees’ conduct implicates your license. If your clients engage in any of the misconduct listed above and that misconduct implicates a lack of supervision or negligent supervision, it may result in an investigation into your practice and licensure.

Contact an Experienced Kansas and Missouri Licensing Attorney Now

Any optometrists in Kansas or Missouri contacted by an investigator should contact experienced counsel immediately. Your business and license to practice are in jeopardy, and these initial moments are crucial. Trying to be helpful or “playing along” may seem like the easy way to go, but it may not be in your best interest. You have no obligation to speak to anyone without counsel present, and speaking to an investigator without counsel may be a fatal error. Contacting an experienced licensing attorney to help you through this process and can mean the difference between getting back to helping your patients and a suspension or revocation of your license.

If you are an optometrist in Kansas or Missouri and are worried about misconduct costing you your career, call attorney Sanger now.

Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger is prepared to advocate for your best interests and defend you. Call Attorney Sanger at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney experienced dealing with licensing issues.