Kansas Professional Liability Defense Attorney Advises Medical Professionals: Five Ways to Lose Your License

Whether you are a doctor, a nurse, a pharmacist, or physical therapist, your license is critical to your livelihood. While it took you years to attain your license, it can be taken from you in an instant because of a simple mistake or lapse of judgment.

As an experienced licensing attorney, clients often ask what are the most common ways that they can lose their professional license. Before I get into those individual ways, I must stress that if you find yourself being investigated, there is no time to waste, contact a professional licensing attorney immediately. The following are the five of the most commonly seen ways that medical professionals lose their licenses:

  1. Abusing Controlled Substances or Alcohol

A number of factors lead to medical professionals abusing medications and alcohol.  Often it is a combination of a high-stress career, access to pharmaceuticals, and a level of comfort with administering them. It is not always drugs, however, as alcohol abuse is also a prevalent way for professionals to deal with stress or problems. All it takes is a DUI or a complaint from coworkers to result in a referral to an administrative board and investigation into your behavior.

  1. Committing Fraud

With the complex billing practices and medical data entry required in the modern medical office, many professionals believe that charging or entering codes for procedures they did not perform will go unchecked. That is a mistake. Healthcare is a multi-billion dollar industry, and there are sophisticated controls built into the billing system.  Professionals may not be investigated the first time they enter a false code, but find themselves under scrutiny after making a serious of fraudulent entries.

  1. Violations of Professional Ethics

Medicine is a profession filled with redundant forms and checklists created to make sure that patients’ wishes are followed and that medical procedures are performed safely. Given the time pressure medical professionals sometimes find themselves under, some unfortunately resort to forging either patients’ or providers’ signatures or filling out checklists falsely.

  1. Improper Dispensing of Medication

Dispensing and prescribing medication is complex. When medications are prescribed or dispensed to patients that should not take them because of an allergy or known reaction to another prescribed medication, there can be dramatic results, including death. Sloppy administration of medications can be caused by overwork, stress, or burnout. Some patients seek out medications they should not have because they have become addicted to them; too often, medical professionals continue to provide medications to addicts who offer extra payment for them. Whether out of sympathy or greed, providing extra medications to drug-seeking patients is illegal and never wise.

  1. Discrimination.

Engaging in discrimination against patients, treating them differently based on their age, sex, race, citizenship or other “protected class” status is illegal. A complaint that you have differentiated in how you provide medical treatment to those individuals can result in an investigation and suspension or loss of your license. Careful documentation of your fair treatment of individuals is your best defense to a claim that you have treated some differently than others.

As this list demonstrates, professionals with good intentions can make honest or inadvertent mistakes. Otherwise good people can also have lapses of judgment due to work or financial pressure.  But these mistakes do not have to cost you your career.

Call attorney Sanger today at (785)-979-4353 to protect your professional license.

Contact Kansas Professional Liability Defense Attorney Danielle Sanger to protect your license and career. If you are being investigated for a workplace mistake or misconduct, call her immediately. Attorney Danielle Sanger has the experience to deal with licensing bodies, appear before administrative boards, and provide clients with advice to best position themselves professionally.