As a licensed orthotist or prosthetist in Pennsylvania, you play a crucial role in maintaining the well-being of your community. You have invested years in acquiring a comprehensive education, passing rigorous examinations, and gaining practical experience to earn your license. Your livelihood now depends on this valuable credential, making it all the more distressing when you learn that you are the subject of an investigation.
A single complaint can place your license at risk, as orthotists and prosthetists in Pennsylvania must adhere to stringent ethical, moral, and professional standards. If the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine believes you have breached these standards or undermined public trust, it possesses the authority to impose disciplinary measures, including revoking your license.
Fortunately, you have options. A skilled Pennsylvania license defense attorney can collaborate with the licensing board to address the complaint while safeguarding your license. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his License Defense Team have successfully guided numerous individuals through disciplinary challenges, preserving their careers. To discuss your case, contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686.
Allegations that Could Endanger Your License
For orthotists and prosthetists in Pennsylvania, most allegations that could result in loss of license involve violating state standards of professional conduct or otherwise breaking public trust. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Gross negligence, incompetence, or carelessness. Ill-fitted or poorly constructed orthotics and prosthetics may cause harm to patients. If you're accused of incompetent practices that endanger patients' health or safety, your license could be at risk.
- Fraud. Examples include overbilling insurance, "upcoding" procedures on insurance claims, or billing for unprovided services.
- False advertising. This includes making unattainable promises or promoting services for which you lack qualifications.
- Substance abuse/addiction. Drug usage or excessive alcohol consumption casts doubt on your judgment and ability to perform your job—especially if observed while on duty.
- Criminal convictions. Being convicted of certain crimes, especially crimes related to your profession or crimes of moral turpitude, can disqualify you from holding a professional license.
- Conducting services beyond the scope of your license.
- Allowing employees to perform tasks reserved for licensed practitioners.
What Is Pennsylvania's Disciplinary Process for Orthotists and Prosthetists?
Pennsylvania implements a standardized system for handling disciplinary actions against licensed professionals. Any member of the public can file a formal complaint with the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) against a licensed professional. For orthotists and prosthetists, common complainants include patients, colleagues, other practitioners, and occasionally insurance companies. Once the BPOA receives a complaint, the disciplinary process moves through the following set of stages.
After the BPOA has reviewed the complaint, they will assign an investigator from the Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation (BEI) to delve further into the matter and look for evidence to corroborate the complaint. The BEI investigator will likely interview the complainant and any witnesses, request documents, and conduct other fact-finding activities. You may also be asked to respond in writing to the allegation. If evidence is lacking, the
If the Board finds compelling evidence against you, they may attempt to negotiate a consent agreement with you in lieu of a formal hearing. The consent agreement requires that you admit to your wrongdoing and submit to the Board's recommendations for disciplinary action. While it's not always the best resolution, a consent agreement may be an acceptable option for you if disciplinary action is inevitable and if the agreement includes a pathway for reinstatement of your license. A good attorney can negotiate for the best possible terms of a consent agreement.
If no consent agreement is offered or signed, you'll next be summoned to appear at a formal hearing before a state examiner, where you will be asked to show cause why your license should not be revoked. You may have legal representation at this hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the State Board of Medicine will make a final decision regarding your guilt or innocence and determine what disciplinary actions are appropriate--up to and including revoking your license to practice.
How a Pennsylvania License Defense Attorney Can Help You
Remember that the State Board of Medicine's primary responsibility is to protect the public, not its licensees. It takes allegations of misconduct very seriously and has wide-ranging authority to impose disciplinary actions based only on a preponderance of evidence. This means you have no guaranteed presumption of innocence, and anything you say or do, even in response to the complaint, can be used against you.
A seasoned professional license defense attorney understands the intricacies of these cases and the potential consequences for you. The attorney can assess the allegations against you and draft a persuasive written response (which may lead to the matter being dropped entirely). They can also pinpoint weaknesses in the evidence against you and devise strategies to counter them. The attorney can negotiate directly with the Board for lenient penalties and/or complaint dismissal at various stages. And if a hearing is required, an attorney can work to ensure the most favorable outcome. In short, you have a much better chance of keeping your license by involving an attorney than by going it alone in front of the Board.
If you are an orthotist or prosthetist in Pennsylvania who has received notice of a complaint filed against your license, involving an attorney as early as possible could prevent significant harm to your career. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team are committed to making sure your rights are protected and will work toward a favorable outcome for you. Don't let a single mistake, misunderstanding, or misstep jeopardize your hard-earned license and career. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or fill out their online form to schedule a consultation.