If you've been registered as a hearing aid specialist (also called a "hearing aid dispenser") in New York, you already know you must adhere to high standards and follow strict regulations to keep your certification intact. Perhaps you've simply met the qualifications for being a hearing aid dispenser, or perhaps you've been educated and licensed as an audiologist, and you've also registered as a hearing aid dispenser (a separate process in New York), so you can offer a broader range of services for your patients. Whatever the case, your profession is based on helping people with their hearing issues, and your career depends on public trust.
That's why it can be so devastating to find out that public trust has possibly been compromised because someone filed a complaint against you. The State of New York takes all such complaints seriously, and if an investigation shows any validity to the complaint, you could lose your license and/or registration, effectively hamstringing your career.
Don't go through this difficult process alone! With the guidance of an experienced New York license defense attorney, you can greatly increase your chances of keeping your license and protecting both your professional reputation and career. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience with cases like yours, and he and his Professional License Defense Team will work to get you the best possible outcome. To discuss your case, contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686.
What Allegations Could Jeopardize My License as a Hearing Aid Specialist in New York?
A hearing aid specialist's license can be revoked for a variety of reasons, but it usually involves breaking either state regulations or breaching the public trust by disregarding ethical or professional standards established by the state. Common examples include:
- Gross negligence or incompetence. When hearing aids are not fitted or adjusted properly, they can have adverse consequences for the patient. If your negligence causes harm or puts a patient at unnecessary risk, you could face disciplinary action.
- Fraud. Examples of fraudulent activity include overbilling for goods or services, deceiving insurance companies with false charges, lying to customers about qualifications and credentials, using deceptive advertising campaigns, etc.
- Unprofessional/unethical conduct toward patients or colleagues. Any form of abusive behavior in the workplace, whether verbal, physical, or sexual in nature, can cost you your license.
- Substance abuse/addiction. If you abuse drugs or alcohol, it can impact your judgment with patients and cast doubt on your competence. This could lead to loss of license.
- Criminal convictions. Being convicted of certain offenses, particularly crimes of moral turpitude or incriminating activities associated with your field, could lead you to face disciplinary action.
What Does the Disciplinary Process Look Like?
In New York, the license disciplinary process may differ slightly based on whether you are just registered as a hearing aid dispenser or whether you are also a licensed audiologist. However, generally speaking, the New York Office of the Professions (OP) handles and processes most disciplinary matters against licensed professionals in the state. If you're accused of wrongdoing, your case will likely follow a set of stages as follows.
In New York, initiating disciplinary action starts with the filing of a formal complaint to the OP. Anybody can file an accusation against any licensed expert, but most complaints against hearing aid specialists are brought by patients, associates, and in some cases, insurance providers.
Upon receiving a complaint, the OP will launch an investigation to determine if there is sufficient proof to back it up. This may involve interviewing the complainant and any other potential witnesses, accumulating pertinent evidence and documents, analyzing significant facts and laws, etc. If enough evidence is found to warrant further action, they will forward the case to New York State's Department of Education Board of Regents for review.
If the Board believes there is credible evidence to prove a violation, they might suggest signing a consent order with you instead of convening for an official hearing. This agreement entails admitting to particular violations (or facts related to those violations) and agreeing with the proposed disciplinary action. Because of the ramifications involved, you don't want to sign a consent order without an attorney's advice; however, if disciplinary action is inevitable, it might be your best option, especially if it allows you to keep your license/registration or offers conditions for reinstatement.
Hearing and Final Determination
If a formal hearing is called, you will be summoned to appear and show cause why your credentials should not be revoked. Having official legal representation at this hearing is highly recommended. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board will make a final determination about what disciplinary actions (if any) to impose--up to and including revoking your license and/or registration as a hearing aid specialist.
How a License Defense Attorney Can Help
If your hearing aid specialist license is under investigation in New York, you need to understand what's at stake. The licensing boards in New York have broad authority to issue discipline, coupled with a fairly low burden of proof to find you guilty. There is no guaranteed presumption of innocence here, and if the Board is more than 50 percent convinced of your guilt, they have the right to revoke your credentials. That's why it's imperative to obtain legal representation from an experienced license defense attorney. A good lawyer will assess the nature of your case and any alleged violations and devise a strategy to help you successfully navigate the disciplinary process, protect your rights and interests, and strive for the best possible outcome. When you enlist the support of a proficient attorney, your prospects for safeguarding your license and career are immensely greater than if you try to face allegations of wrongdoing on your own.
You've worked too hard to build a successful career as a hearing aid specialist to have it derailed by a misunderstanding, misstep, or false accusation. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team are dedicated to helping you find the best possible solution so that your career can remain intact. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 to schedule a consultation.