It takes a great deal of commitment to become a licensed nursing home administrator in New York. You've invested a great deal of time and money into your education and field experience, and you've built a career based on helping the aged and those who cannot otherwise help themselves. That's why it can be so devastating to find out your license is in jeopardy due to allegations of wrongdoing.
The New York Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators is committed to upholding the highest ethical and professional standards for its licensees, thus protecting public safety. For that reason, the Board takes every complaint seriously, and if they discover evidence of misconduct or violations of their policies, they have broad authority to issue reprimands, fines, and even to suspend or revoke your license.
Thankfully, you have choices to safeguard yourself and your career. Engaging a competent New York license defense attorney can significantly increase the odds of avoiding career-ending disciplinary actions by the Board. With extensive experience in disciplinary cases, attorney Joseph D. Lento will use all his knowledge to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case.
What Allegations Could Jeopardize Your Nursing Home Administrator License in New York?
Any claims that might put your New York nursing home administrator credentials at risk are likely connected to infractions concerning resident safety, ethical violations, or breaches of the public's trust. Examples include:
- Immediate Jeopardy (IJ) citations. If the compliance board issues an IJ citation to your nursing facility, it is a sign of inadequate safety standards that may be putting residents in danger. Even if you address this issue right away, the Board may still investigate and hold you accountable for any inadequacies.
- Fraud. Common examples include "upcoding" claims for insurance, overcharging patients, billing for services not provided, false advertising, taking kickbacks, etc.
- Substance abuse/addiction. Allegations of drug or alcohol abuse can seriously damage your credibility as a nursing home administrator and cal your competence into question. Being drunk or high on the job is almost always grounds for losing your license.
- Sexual misconduct/improper relations. This wide range of misconduct could involve unwanted sexual advances towards patients, personnel, or colleagues; sexual assault; or unethical romances with individuals in care.
- Criminal convictions. Having a criminal record does not automatically prevent you from becoming a nursing home administrator, but if the crime involves moral turpitude, it may necessitate an investigation by the Board and possibly lead to disciplinary action.
What Does the Disciplinary Process Look Like for Nursing Home Administrators?
In the State of New York, the Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators is exclusively responsible for issuing licenses, investigating complaints, and imposing disciplinary actions against licensed nursing home administrators. The disciplinary process is usually triggered when someone files a formal complaint with the Board. If someone files a complaint against you, the disciplinary process goes through the following stages.
The Board will assign an investigator to look into the allegation and begin a thorough review of your background, credentials, and any other relevant information. The Board investigator may also conduct onsite visits or interview the complainant or any witnesses.
If the investigation reveals sufficient evidence of misconduct, the Board may offer to enter into a consent order with you instead of holding a formal hearing. This is an enforceable agreement in which you willingly comply with any disciplinary measures proposed by the Board. Agreeing to a consent order isn't always the best course of action, but if disciplinary action is likely, a good attorney may be able to negotiate terms in the consent order that either allows you to keep your license or provide a pathway for reinstatement.
Formal Hearing and Final Determination
If you reject the consent order, or if the Board decides to pursue disciplinary action against your license even after an investigation, then you will have to face a formal hearing and show cause why your license should not be revoked. You may have an attorney represent you and speak for you at this hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board will make a final determination regarding disciplinary action based on a preponderance of the evidence presented. Any penalties may range from a formal reprimand and fines to completely revoking your license.
Why Hire a Professional License Defense Attorney?
The disciplinary process for a nursing administrator license can be challenging and daunting. Facing the Board of Examiners on your own will put you at a distinct disadvantage because the Board has a primary to protect the public and a low burden of proof to find you guilty. In other words, you have no guaranteed presumption of innocence here; if the Board believes you're more likely than not to have committed misconduct, they can and will impose discipline.
An experienced professional license defense attorney can help you prepare for the investigation or formal hearing, gather evidence to refute any allegations, challenge the Board's evidence, and negotiate on your behalf for the best possible outcome. In some cases, an attorney may be able to get a formal complaint dismissed or resolved without having to go through a full hearing. Your chances of keeping your license go up considerably with a good attorney in your corner.
Your career as a New York nursing home administrator hinges on your license. Without it, your career may be effectively over. Don't risk your future by facing a license investigation alone. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team are well-versed in the disciplinary process, making it possible to limit or prevent potential damage to your career. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 to schedule a consultation.