Tag Archive for: Missouri Licensing Attorney

Kansas and Missouri Licensing Attorney Shares Missouri Chiropractor’s Criminal Conviction as a Cautionary Tale for Medical Professionals

Clients often ask what sort of behavior leads to the loss of a license. Medical billing fraud can lead to the loss of license as well as a criminal conviction. Whether due to financial stress, drug or alcohol addiction, or just a lapse in judgment, medical professionals often succumb to economic pressure and submit false claims for services they either did not provide or that were medically unnecessary.

Sometimes people think that the size of the false claim makes a difference or that isolated instances are not as serious as patterns of behavior. Both of these assumptions are incorrect, as a single instance can constitute fraud, and lying to the government or an insurance company is a crime regardless of the size of the bill attached to the false statement.  Additionally, while there are statutes of limitation limiting how far into the past the government can investigate and bring charges, you are not “out of the woods” just because some time has passed since you submitted a fraudulent bill.

It is vital to underscore that if you find yourself in this dire situation, you must contact an experienced licensing attorney immediately. Having provided that warning, the following recent case out of Missouri illustrates each of the above points.

A Missouri resident chiropractor, James Briggs, was convicted in October 2017 for filling out and sending a false medical claim to Medicare for an ankle orthodic in 2013. The submitted billing was “only” for several thousand dollars. However, because Medicare is a program administered by the federal government, his fraudulent act was a federal offense. In essence, defrauding Medicare is defrauding the federal government. Because he was convicted of lying to the government, the amount he actually acquired as part of his deception was irrelevant.

However, it is worth noting that not only did he have to pay back thousands of dollars that he fraudulently billed, but he also had a $10,000 fine and was subjected to six months of home confinement, which means his home would serve as a jail and he could not leave it. Now convicted, he will be on probation monitoring for five years. While it is too soon to say definitively, his professional career is likely over.

But this sort of mistake does not have to cost you your career. Deciding whether you speak to investigators and what documents to provide them requires experienced counsel, and you cannot just call any attorney you find in the phonebook to deal with complex licensing issues. Expert, proactive legal advice can mean the difference between retaining your livelihood and a loss of your license and a criminal conviction.

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

Contact Missouri Licensing Attorney Sanger to help you protect your license and career. Call her immediately if you are being investigated for fraud. An administrative investigation by a licensing board can evolve into criminal charges without any notice to you. Having her counsel at that moment protects your rights and your investment in your career.

Attorney Danielle Sanger is an experienced Kansas and Missouri licensing attorney and has the experience to resolve your licensure issues in a way that allows you to protect your profession, your home, and your family. She has the experience to deal with licensing bodies, appear before administrative boards, and provide clients with advice to best position themselves professionally when allegations of fraud arise.

Kansas And Missouri Licensing Attorney Cautions Medical Professionals To Be Aware Of Fatigue

Even the best nurses can make mistakes. A Canadian nurse learned that lesson the hard way recently. The nurse was feeding a child born prematurely who also had developmental problems caused by his premature birth. The baby, who was only a few weeks old at the time, fell out of the nurse’s arms during a feeding early in the morning. The child was severely injured in the fall. Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger cautions medical professionals especially, but other professionals as well, to watch out for the signs of fatigue. Injuries or death a patient can occur from inattentiveness or forgetfulness due to fatigue and exhaustion.

The Toronto Sun reported that the incident took place on February 20, 2017, at about 3:00 a.m. The child was born several weeks early just before Christmas 2016. Although his twin went home, the boy needed continued hospital care because of a lung condition caused by his premature birth. The boy fell out of the nurse’s arms when she fell asleep during the feeding. The boy tumbled to the floor. The nurse awoke when the boy started crying after striking the floor. The nurse followed hospital protocol. She sought a consult from the on-call pediatrician. The doctor examined the baby and determined he was uninjured. The nurse called the baby’s mother around 8:00 a.m.

The parents went to the hospital to check on their son. Again they were informed by another pediatrician that their son was uninjured by the fall. The mother persisted in obtaining further medical opinions. She was proved right. The boy had an ultra-sound and a CT-scan. The test results revealed that the boy suffered a fractured skull from striking the floor.

The child’s mother expressed dismay and disbelief over the nurse’s and hospital’s response to the situation. The boy’s parents were outraged that the nurse called five hours after her son’s fall. Additionally, they were incensed because the hospital refused to perform diagnostic testing to determine if he was injured. The mother also wonders why a nurse caring for special needs children in a facility designed to care for at-risk babies would chance going to work so tired that she fell asleep in the middle of her shift.

The hospital has defended the nurse. The hospital stated that the no disciplinary action would follow. The hospital reiterated that the nurse was an excellent caregiver with an exemplary record. The hospital also noted that the nurse followed hospital protocol. There is no word yet as to whether any Canadian licensing board would seek to take adverse action against the nurse’s license.

The preceding story, while tragic, can happen to the most diligent health care provider. The nurse’s professional rules of conduct in both Kansas and Missouri prohibit nurses practicing healthcare if their mental, emotional, or physical condition is compromised. Therefore, it is wise to take some time off if you feel fatigued. It happens to everyone, and there is no shame in it. Healthcare facilities should encourage the practice. Doing so will cut down on avoidable accidents and injuries to patients receiving care from less-than-attentive nurses and other healthcare professionals. The facility has a duty to ensure that it is sufficiently staffed to look after its patients. Staffing levels are not necessarily the nurse’s immediate concern. The overall care of their patients must take precedent.

Dedicated Professional Licensing Attorney Ready To Assist You

Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger zealously represents all of her clients. She has extensive experience defending professionals facing licensing discipline and investigation. Call Attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 for a consultation today.