Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger Provides an Overview of Physician License Claims

Physician clients from both Kansas and Missouri often ask me why their licenses are so frequently targeted for discipline. My answer varies depending on the case, but always includes the factors: we live in an extremely litigious nation, physicians are perceived as “deep pockets” eager to pay out settlements, and medicine is a highly regulated field with a multitude of ways to break the rules daily. Taking those factors together, it is not hard to see why licensure claims are fast to rise, hard to defend, and require expert counsel.

The first sign that you are being investigated for a licensing issue is a request from the state for records or an interview.  It may be an innocuous request based on a report that will be easily explained, or it may be an aggressive action to take your license that will require an aggressive response. Either way, aggressive, experienced licensing counsel is critical to defending your license and livelihood from a suspension or revocation. I wrote the following post to outline why discipline could occur and what you should do if an allegation arises. If you are licensed medical professional in Kansas or Missouri facing an investigation, 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.

Types of License-Threatening Complaints Physicians Often See

There are several different types of licensing complaints that my physician clients see. Some are driven by the physician’s behavior, such as arrests for DUI or drug use.  Others stem from the allegations of misconduct related to medical clinic management, such as fraud, sexual misconduct towards patients, and faulty recordkeeping.  Regardless of the type of allegation, they are all extremely serious, as if they go unaddressed, they can result in your livelihood being taken from you. Having experienced counsel by your side is vital; even if the case against you is strong, the penalties may be mitigated by my knowledge of the medical boards in both Missouri and Kansas. So while you may still receive a reprimand for an error in judgment, that is usually considered a success when a revocation was at stake.

I am often asked about the most common types of misconduct allegations that I see. I have written the following list, which I have listed in order of most to least common:

Substance Abuse/DUI—these allegations often involve physicians also being charged criminally. As one might imagine, an arrest for DUI often rises from a physician’s arrest. Substance abuse allegations, however, often arise from third party claims.  This can be an ex-spouse or spurned medical partner. Increasingly, I see claims made by drug-seeking patients who were rightfully denied prescription medications filing these complaints in revenge.

Medication Violations—given the opioid epidemic, there is increasing drug-seeking behavior by patients. Allegations commonly arise when medications are provided improperly or over-prescribed. Commonly, patients also make revenge complaints when physicians refuse to prescribe more pills.

Fraud—these complaints often arise around behaviors suggesting that either unnecessary procedures are being performed or that patients are being overbilled for procedures. These complaints often arise amidst Medicare or Medicaid audits. Another form of fraud can occur as a result of sloppy or otherwise poor record keeping.

Sexual Misconduct Allegations—allegations of improper sexual contact with a client are, unfortunately, common. These allegations often arise in the context of consensual relationships that end badly as well as non-consensual assault allegations.

Criminal Conviction—domestic violence, assault, and other criminal charges almost always result in a concurrent review of a physician’s license.

Medical Negligence—when serious malpractice claims arise, there is often a concurrent license action against the physician.

Unlicensed Practice of Medicine—physicians that practice outside the bounds of their licensure run the risk of a claim of unlicensed practice of medicine. They have a medical license but may not have the licensure required for the specialty they are dabbling in.

Contact an Experienced Kansas and Missouri Licensing Attorney Now

Any physician in Kansas or Missouri contacted by a state investigator or licensing board should contact experienced counsel immediately. Your license to practice is in jeopardy, and these initial moments are crucial. You have no obligation to speak to anyone without counsel present and talking 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 license suspension or revocation.

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.