A professional license is a person's livelihood. When you learn your license is under investigation, suspension and even revocation may be on the line. Discovering such an investigation can be shocking, but it usually doesn't come without warning. Sometimes, though, undercover investigations are launched when unprofessional, unethical behavior is suspected. A person may not even realize they're being investigated until they are informed of the result. Such an investigation can jeopardize your career, your reputation, and even your future.
While there aren't many statistics kept on the proliferation of undercover investigations into professional misconduct, a glance at recent headlines can shed light on the kinds of practitioners targeted. A pharmacist in Ohio was caught selling forged COVID-19 vaccine cards to an undercover agent. Federal task force officers working undercover in Connecticut found a doctor selling prescriptions for cash. A nurse in California drew the attention of undercover investigators after offering Botox at a party. While healthcare is hardly the only industry that turns to undercover investigators for help sussing out misconduct, medical licensing boards hold healthcare providers to high standards.
Triggering an Investigation
Many of these kinds of undercover professional investigations are triggered by rumors of misconduct. Some hearsay can make its way to the licensing board internally. Other times, patients come forward with their experiences, alerting the board to potential violations. Events that can trigger an investigation include:
- Failure to follow narcotic prescription procedure
- Over-prescribing narcotics
- Mental health challenges that impact performance at work
- Physical health challenges that impact performance at work
- Criminal convictions like fraud, assault, and DWI
- Patient neglect
- Fraudulent billing practices
- False advertising
- The revelation of privileged information
- Practicing outside the scope of your professional license
- Violating patient boundaries
These are just a handful of the red flags medical licensing boards look for when deciding to launch an investigation. At any time, a colleague, patient, or member of the community may voice concern about a person's professional conduct. If their concerns are taken seriously, an investigation may be launched.
Defending Your Professional Reputation
Learning you're the subject of an investigation can be troubling. Discovering you've been under the eye of an undercover agent can be even more disturbing. It's important to take swift action under such circumstances. With your professional reputation – and your ability to earn a living – in jeopardy, there's no time to waste. Even if you've done nothing wrong, the investigation isn't likely to go away on its own. Before responding to the news that you're under investigation, contact a lawyer experienced in professional licensing matters. They can provide guidance on how to respond to the news and what steps to take next.
How a Professional License Defense Attorney Can Help
You've worked hard to build a career and a professional reputation. With your livelihood on the line, don't allow a lapse in judgment to put your future in question. Attorney Joseph D. Lento can help save your professional license from suspension and revocation. He knows the inner workings of licensing boards and how to best navigate the investigation process. If your license is in jeopardy, take action now. Call the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 today to discuss your case and evaluate your options.