A List of Recent Outcomes in Office of Professional Medical Misconduct, OPMC, & Office of Professional Discipline, OPD, Cases
- A physician had two sexual encounters with a patient over a year after the patient was last treated by the physician. The matter was resolved with a non-disciplinary Administrative Warning for the physician.
- A nurse who signed an Order with OPD that carried with it a two-month actual out-of-practice penalty was placed on the OMIG Exclusion List. Being on this list would have actually made the nurse virtually unemployable. Accordingly, we appealed this decision. OMIG agreed with our position and reduced the penalty to a Warning. This reduction was massively beneficial as it meant that the nurse was able to continue on in her employment.
- A nurse was terminated by a major hospital on the ground that she had neglected to complete her patient charts. That termination was reported to OPD. The nurse was able to prove that she had a temporary psychological issue that was successfully treated. She also was able to prove that the employer was aware of that issue and ignored it by simply firing the nurse instead of taking steps that were recommended by their own staff psychiatrist. After the OPD interview, the entire matter was closed without any action by OPD.
- A nurse practitioner was terminated by a major hospital on the grounds that she stole items from the hospital, forged the name of a physician on a prescription, and falsified other documents. We were able to prove that all of these claims were false and that the NP was fired for personal reasons. OPD ended this investigation with a non-disciplinary Administrative Warning.
- A nurse was accused of two instances of HIPAA violations, which were, in fact, valid, but only due to inadvertence, not because of an intentional act. OPD wanted the nurse to be out of practice for two months. We pressed the department to do away with the out-of-practice part of the penalty and we finally were able to prevail on that issue. This will now almost certainly avoid the possibility of the nurse being placed on the Medicare/Medicaid Exclusion List. This is a far better result for the nurse.
The point to be made is that sometimes you can avoid any penalty to the client and sometimes, while there is a penalty, the matter can be resolved with a much-decreased penalty. That decrease in the penalty often can do away with any unintended consequences of a disciplinary Order. Lastly, if you cannot avoid a harsh Order, you can still try to blunt the consequences of an Exclusion List situation if you can draft a solid appeal on behalf of the client.