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Texas medical license defense attorneyPhysicians are aware of the opioid epidemic. In fact, most do all that they can to mitigate against it. They check their charts, only refill a prescription when a pain patient is eligible, and may even try to transition their patients to other types of medications with a lower rate of addiction. Unfortunately, the issue is still growing.

In fact, an analysis from Blue Cross Blue Shield has found that the opioid addiction among Americans has grown 493 percent since 2010, which is probably why the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) agency stepped up their monitoring efforts back in 2015. Sadly, those efforts have harmed many diligent and hard-working physicians. Learn what the opioid epidemic may mean for your pain management practice, and how you can protect your medical license from adverse action during the opioid crackdown.

Opioid Crackdown Started with Good Intentions

The goal of the opioid crackdown was not to punish diligent doctors. Instead, HHS had three very specific goals in mind: to inform and educate physicians on opioid alternatives and proper prescribing guidelines, increase the use of naloxone to save more lives of individuals who overdosed on opioids, and to expand programs that helped with substance abuse issues. What they did not realize is that, by default, many physicians would be caught in the crosshairs.

Yes, there are legitimate “pill mills” out there that contribute to the opioid addiction, but to find these places, agencies like HHS, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and Texas Medical Board (TMB) must search for and investigate potential offenders – and, as one might expect, pain management clinics are at the top of that list.

When a Fishing Expedition Leads to Adverse Action

Pain management clinics and the doctors that run them do not have to have a problem with prescribing opioids to experience adverse action. Instead, agencies may walk in and request access to patient charts to check for issues. They might examine your brochures. They could even speak to your staff or simply sit there and quietly observe your practice to find a reason to investigate your practice further. Should they find any form of validation, your medical license and practice could be placed at risk for disciplinary licensing actions.

To mitigate against this issue, it is recommended that you immediately contact an experienced attorney upon learning of an investigation or complaint against your practice. Doing so can reduce the risk of adverse actions against you and your practice. An attorney can also help to mitigate against any issues that do exist – particularly those that may appear incriminating but are more a symptom of your hectic schedule, staff shortages, or other administrative issues.

Contact Our Texas Medical License Defense Attorney

With almost 30 years of experience in the medical-legal arena, Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law has the knowledge and skills necessary for your case. Committed to protecting your medical license, our Texas medical license defense lawyer can take swift and immediate action in an impending or active investigation or disciplinary case. Learn more about how we can assist you by scheduling a free and personalized consultation. Call 512-228-7946 today.

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/29/health/opioid-addiction-rates-increase-500/index.html

http://www.einnews.com/pr_news/256858604/hhs-takes-strong-steps-to-address-opioid-drug-related-overdose-death-and-dependence

Texas medical license defense lawyerBeing a physician means never letting your guard down. It means doing all you can to protect your medical license, including ensuring you have clear and concrete professional boundaries. They must apply when you are dealing with patients in the exam room, when in the lounge room, and when you are off-duty. The following information stresses just how important these boundaries are, and what you can do if you are accused of overstepping them.

Accusations Lead to the Loss of a Physician’s License

An Ohio physician recently lost his license after he was accused of inappropriate contact with two of his patients. Local news sources stated that they physician had declined chaperones on both occasions. He also allegedly failed to chart the examinations and did not provide gowns to his female patients. His medical board felt that all this added up to enough suspicion to revoke his license. Even if he never actually acted improperly, he may never again practice medicine. Adherence to professional boundaries can help you avoid facing the same fate.

What Boundaries Look Like in the Healthcare Profession

Physicians are held to a higher standard. They are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner with their patients, with their staff, and while in the community. Unfortunately, all that pressure can be difficult to handle, and you may lose track of where your boundaries should be. You might become tired and fatigued and forget to dictate why you performed a certain test or exam. Any of these oversights and many others could lead to trouble if you are ever investigated for misconduct.

Alternatively, you may believe that a patient or colleague would make a “safe” romantic choice, but then find that the relationship lands you in serious trouble. Sometimes, it is because the relationship is scrutinized by an onlooker. Other times, it might be due to the patient or colleague filing a complaint after a bad breakup. This risk is the reason why physicians are encouraged to keep their dating and relationship pool out of the workplace.

If You Do Face an Accusation

You are only human, and that means mistakes and accidents do happen. If you make one that leads to an investigation with the Texas Medical Board, do not brave it alone. Instead, contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, and obtain the protection you deserve. Our Texas medical license defense attorney has nearly 30 years of experience, and we will aggressively protect your rights. Schedule your free consultation by calling 512-228-7946.

Source:

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/board-revokes-license-doctor-accused-touching-two-teens-breasts/5X0EiPurvJV2siboJ4mDGO/

Texas medical license defense attorneyAfter going through the stress of an investigation, the last thing you want to hear from the Texas Medical Board is that you have been referred for an informal settlement conference (ISC). Yet this is what numerous doctors go through, each and every year. Learn what to expect during the process, and how you can ensure you are protected, with help from the following information.

Understanding Why You Were Referred

As stated in Board rule section 187.11, complaint cases are referred for an informal settlement conference if the investigator uncovers evidence that the physician may have violated the Medical Practice Act. This does not necessarily mean you have, in fact, violated the Act. Instead, it only means there is evidence that suggests as much. Further, an ISC referral does not mean automatic disciplinary action. You do still have the right to defend yourself in front of the Panel of the Board.

Legal Representation is Critical

If you have not yet secured the assistance of an attorney, now is certainly the time to do so. The ISC means your license is most definitely at risk for suspension or revocation. Further, you could be subjected to public reprimand or ordered to complete unrealistic or unfair tasks, such as going through rehab when you do not have a drug or alcohol problem. An attorney can work to mitigate the allegations being made against you, and they can ensure you are fully prepared for the hearing.

Preparing a Rebuttal Response

Despite any sense of failure, it is critical that you use your information settlement hearing to fight back against the allegations, and doing so starts with a rebuttal response. This is where you will supply your own evidence, rebuking the allegations made against you, in a coherent and thoughtful manner. Your attorney can assist you with this part of the hearing process to ensure all aspects of your case are adequately argued and addressed. It is also important to note that the rebuttal must be received by the Panel at least five days prior to your hearing.

Contact Our Texas Medical License Defense Lawyer

While it can be devastating to learn that you have been referred for an informal settlement hearing, it is possible for you to fight back. Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, can help. Backed by more than 20 years of experience in the medical-legal arena, our Texas medical license defense lawyer will fight for the most favorable outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation with us to learn more. Call 512-228-7946 today.

Source:

http://www.tmb.state.tx.us/page/enforcement

Texas medical license defense lawyerWhile a large percentage of medical license suspensions occur because of a situation related to a doctor’s practice, there are some everyday issues that can put your license at risk. Some are unexpected. Others you may not know about. Yet all have the potential to create havoc. Learn what these potential risks are, and how you can fight, should you find yourself the subject of an investigation or a possible medical license suspension.

In-Office Relationships, Conduct, and Practices

If you are a part of a medical practice, and you have others that work with you as either partners or subordinates, your license is placed at risk on almost a daily basis. The things that happen – the hiring or firing of an employee, interoffice relationships, staff-patient interactions, drug abuse, failure to renew a license, and more – can fall under your jurisdiction. As such, it is critical that you practice due diligence in all that you do. Document everything, take action when needed, and always set clear boundaries, guidelines, and consequences for interoffice conflict and/or situations that may put you at risk.

DUI or Other Criminal Charges

You do not have to be at the office to face consequences. There are things that can happen while driving home from a Christmas party, or while out with fellow colleagues that can place your medical license at risk. For example, a common barroom brawl (even if it was self-defense) could lead to criminal charges, which may put your license at risk for suspension. Being arrested for a DUI may also cause a suspension of your license. Even worse is that a conviction may not be necessary; you may still face consequences from the Texas Medical Board, even if your criminal charges are dismissed.

Overdue Child Support

Ideally, one should never let child support payments get behind. However, there are extenuating circumstances that may cause you to be late. Fall far enough behind and your medical license could be suspended. Not only is this a major inconvenience for you, it could result in difficulty in getting your license reinstated. You may also be required to pay extra fees. Be proactive if you fall behind, and if your license is suspended, get assistance with the reinstatement process.

Contact Our Texas Medical License Defense Lawyer

Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, can help you deal with whatever life throws at you. Dedicated and experienced, we will aggressively fight to help you with your medical license investigation, suspension, revocation, or reinstatement. Schedule a consultation with our Texas medical license defense lawyer to learn more. Call 512-228-7946 today.

Sources:

https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/faq/cs-parents-frequently-asked-questions

http://www.foot.state.tx.us/licensing.childsupport.htm

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/OC/htm/OC.164.htm

Texas medical license defense lawyerWhile most people have the luxury of leaving work at work, doctors and other healthcare professionals carry their professions with them. They think about the patient with cancer that might not make it over breakfast, may spend the night tossing and turning when a diagnosis for an extremely ill patient eludes them, or they might find themselves burdened when they look at their own children after losing a young patient to an illness or injury. No, health care professionals do not close the door on work once the shift is over. They do not get a break from the scrutiny either – the kind that requires them to conduct themselves professionally and act with morality. Can your personal life really put your medical license at risk, though? You bet it can.

Unprofessional Conduct

This loose term can mean anything from committing alleged sexual harassment and lewd jokes in the break room to tax evasion or handing an alcoholic beverage to a minor. It applies, whether you are at home, at work, or out in public. Further, any failures in this department can result in a full-on investigation against you. Once the process starts, it can quickly spiral out of control and may ultimately cost you your medical license.

Substance Abuse or Addiction

While many employers use drug tests on the job (prior to employment, if an injury occurs, if an employee is suspected of use while on the job, etc.), and regularly terminate employees for failing such tests, physicians and other healthcare professionals face even higher risks. As an example, a warehouse worker who is fired for failing a drug test may be able to find work at another warehouse. Health care professionals who abuse or are addicted to alcohol or illicit and/or prescription drugs are at risk for a suspension or revocation of their license. This completely bars them from practicing medicine. They cannot simply go work at another clinic or hospital. In fact, unless they want to completely change professions, they cannot work at all.

Moral Turpitude

Moral turpitude can include any act that may be perceived as “vile,” deceitful, dishonest, or violent to a high degree, but it can also include civil and criminal acts against you that the Board considers immoral. Examples might include being arrested for driving under the influence, assault and/or battery, burglary, or other crimes. It may also include the diversion of drugs, theft, or other acts that may not lead to criminal charges but can still have serious implications.

When Your License is On the Line

Investigations from the Texas Medical Board and Texas Board of Nursing are serious matters. Do not risk your license. Instead, contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, and get the legal representation that you deserve. Skilled and dedicated, we will work toward the most favorable outcome possible for your situation. Call 512-228-7946 and schedule your consultation with a seasoned Texas medical license defense lawyer today.

Sources:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/857744_1

http://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/2011/10/hlaw1-1110.html

http://www.workingnurse.com/articles/Moral-Turpitude-When-Nurses-Do-Things-That-Are-Intentionally-Evil

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Austin, Texas Professional License Defense Attorney Oscar San Miguel represents clients who are located in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Fort Worth, Arlington, Amarillo, Lubbock, Brownsville, Laredo, Harlingen, McAllen, Round Rock, Longview, Travis County, Harris County, Dallas County, Tarrant County, Bexar County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Cameron County, Nueces County, El Paso County, Potter County, Lubbock County, Grayson County, Collin County and throughout Texas.
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