Attorney Joseph Lento Can Help if Your PA License Is in Jeopardy
If you are a physician assistant (PA) in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or New York, and you're facing an investigation from your state licensing board, Attorney Joseph D. Lento is an experienced physician assistant license defense attorney who can help protect your livelihood. Contact the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 today to discuss your case and explore your options.
It takes a high level of commitment to become a physician assistant (or PA)—including years of education, sitting for exams, and more years of practical experience. As a licensed PA, you have many of the same responsibilities that a doctor has, and in many ways,, you are held to the same high level of public trust. Your career now hinges on the viability of your license—so naturally, it can be highly stressful if your license is called into question due to allegations of wrongdoing. A single complaint can lead to an investigation by the state licensing board, leading to possible disciplinary action—even possibly having your license revoked.
Allegations That Could Endanger Your Physician Assistant License
There are many different types of allegations that could be made against you as a PA, any of which could lead to an investigation by your state licensing board. Many complaints against your license may be related to violations of ethics, professional misconduct, a breach of public trust, or some other act that indicates you are unqualified to practice. Some of the most common complaints that PAs face include:
- Unprofessional/unethical conduct. This category includes everything from patient mistreatment and neglect to improper romantic/sexual interactions with patients or coworkers.
- Medication abuses. Examples may include diverting controlled substances for personal use, inaccurate inventory tracking, errors with prescribing medications, etc.
- Criminal convictions. Many states will disqualify you from working as a PA if you're convicted of a crime—especially those considered "crimes of moral turpitude."
- Alcohol/drug addiction. Substance abuse may make it difficult to make informed decisions, especially if the person is intoxicated.
- Fraud. Examples include billing insurance for services not provided, "upcoding," overcharging patients, accepting kickbacks, etc.
- Practicing outside the scope of your license. Engaging in medical practices your license doesn't cover can quickly result in disciplinary action.
What Happens When Someone Files a Complaint Against Your License
If someone makes a complaint against you, the state licensing board will likely open an investigation. The board will look into the allegations and gather evidence to see if there is merit to the claims. They may assign an investigator to gather documentation, interview witnesses, and more. You may be asked to provide a written response to the complaint, along with any corroborating evidence. If your response is thorough and convincing, and if there is little evidence to support the complaint, the board may drop the matter at this point.
If the board finds enough evidence to warrant further action, they may summon you to appear at a formal hearing to show cause as to why the board should not impose disciplinary action. The board will then determine whether to take action against your license, ranging from reprimanding you to revoking your license to practice.
Even if the board allows you to keep your PA license and imposes a lesser penalty such as fines or probation, any disciplinary action against your license can still have a detrimental effect on your professional reputation. Joseph D. Lento is a physician assistant defense attorney with years of experience negotiating with licensing boards. He will work to preserve your license and limit the harm to your public record.
How a Physician Assistant License Defense Attorney Can Help You
When a complaint is filed against you, the licensing board will actively begin looking for evidence to back the complaint—including, in some cases, anything you say or do in response to it. Their job is to protect the public against bad actors, and they don't have any obligation to give you the benefit of the doubt. In other words, you're entering the process at a disadvantage from the beginning. The licensing board has a low burden of proof to show you did something wrong—and they have broad authority to discipline licensees as they see fit.
An experienced defense attorney for physician assistants can help you navigate this complicated situation and ensure that your rights are protected. Attorney Joseph Lento is well-versed in the disciplinary procedures of state licensing boards, and his experience can make a big difference in your case.
The Lento Law Firm can do the following for you if your license is in jeopardy:
- Assume the role of your legal representative in all interactions with the board
- Examine the complaint and investigate the facts to develop an appropriate defense strategy
- Prepare a persuasive written response to the complaint (which could be sufficient in its own right to get the complaint dismissed)
- Collect evidence and procure witnesses to support your case
- Negotiate directly with the licensing board at multiple points in the process for lenient penalties or to have your complaint dismissed
- If necessary, defend you vigorously at a formal hearing
In short, hiring an experienced license defense attorney greatly increases your chances of saving your license and your career.
I have been notified that there is a complaint against my physician assistant license. What should I do?
You should immediately contact an experienced attorney to defend your physician assistant license if you are notified of a complaint against it. Do not wait to be summoned to a formal hearing before hiring an attorney because you will already be on defense by this point. An attorney who gets involved early in the process will have a better chance of negotiating a solution to the complaint so a hearing becomes unnecessary.
Proper legal representation is essential to protect your license and your livelihood. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 for a case evaluation.