A professional license disciplinary proceeding is stressful enough without another regulatory body's involvement. Healthcare professionals, though, may find themselves facing a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) investigation of the issues that led to the license charges and proceedings. When a healthcare professional must fend off both an HHS investigation and license proceeding, the professional more than ever, needs skilled and experienced license defense attorney representation.
How HHS Involvement Arises
Federal programs like Medicaid and Medicare play an outsized role in funding healthcare services. Those federal healthcare funding programs and other federal laws like HIPAA closely regulate healthcare organizations and professionals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services accordingly maintains an Office of Investigations that enforces those protective regulations. HHS investigations can thus arise from a healthcare professional's pattern of suspected overuse of procedures, over-prescription of medications, or irregularities in medical coding supporting federal program billing. HHS's Office of Civil Rights separately enforces HIPAA's privacy and security rules. Your disclosure of confidential and protected patient records or information could thus trigger an HHS OCR investigation. Whatever the common cause giving rise to your professional license issue, HHS compliance investigations can certainly complicate your license disciplinary proceeding.
What to Do About HHS Involvement
HHS involvement doesn't mean that all is lost and that you will lose your professional practice, job, and license. On the contrary, skilled and experienced license defense representation is generally your key to obtaining the best possible outcome. You and your retained license defense attorney may find substantial evidence to present in defense of both your license proceeding and HHS allegations of noncompliance. Moreover, your healthcare employer or compliance team at the healthcare facility where you worked would ordinarily share your concern over the HHS investigation. HHS enforcement actions punish healthcare organizations, not just individual healthcare providers. You should expect your retained license defense attorney to coordinate your license defense with the facility's defense of the HHS investigation.
What Not to Do About HHS Involvement
While you definitely have critical things to do to aid your license and HHS investigation defense, especially retaining skilled defense counsel and cooperating fully with that counsel, you also have things you should not do. One of those things is to rely solely on your healthcare employer's attorney for your own defense of either the license proceeding or HHS investigation, or both. Your employer's attorney owes obligations to your employer's defense, not your defense. Your interests may align, or they may not. Don't let your employer sell you down the road. Get your own independent counsel.
Premier Attorney Assistance Available
Professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento has substantial skills and abundant success in defending license disciplinary proceedings for healthcare professionals, including cases involving HHS. Get the best help available. Retain a preeminent license defense attorney and defense team now. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888.535.3686 or go online now.