Licensed professionals in Nebraska put in plenty of time, energy, and money to educate themselves and meet the state board's qualifications governing their profession. A professional license shows that you have the specific knowledge or skill to do your job and take your work seriously. It helps build trust with clients, patients, and customers and the respect of your colleagues.
When someone accuses you of professional misconduct, and the board that oversees your profession notifies you of a complaint, your license is in jeopardy. Depending on the outcome of the board's investigation, your license could be suspended or revoked.
Losing your professional license, whether you are a doctor, dentist, nurse, electrician, teacher, or another licensed professional, has devastating consequences for your career, your reputation, and possibly, your financial health. Allegations that threaten your licensure must be taken seriously and acted on as soon as you get notice of a complaint. Protect your professional reputation and future by engaging Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his experienced Professional License Defense Team to help guide you through this personal and professional challenge.
The Lento Law Firm: Professional License Defense for Nebraska
Several professional code violations can threaten licensure, the nature of which can be similar across professions, such as sexual misconduct, negligence, fraud, or a criminal conviction, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Your license could even be at risk if the court has convicted you of a crime unrelated to your profession.
Whether you are a doctor in one of Nebraska's 111 hospitals or a teacher in one of the state's 1,036 schools, if you are facing allegations of professional misconduct, it is crucial to speak with a skilled Professional License Defense Attorney right away.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team have the experience you need to respond to the allegations of professional misconduct in Nebraska and in any other state in the country. They have helped healthcare professionals, college professors, schoolteachers, and other licensed professionals like you who were at risk of losing their licenses. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case.
The Disciplinary Process for Licensed Professionals in Nebraska
The board that issued your professional license oversees the review of any accusations of wrongdoing or misconduct and has the authority to take actions such as suspending or revoking your license. If your complaint is criminal, it could lead to criminal prosecution.
A board's procedures and guidelines may vary a bit, but each follows the process outlined below.
When someone files a complaint with a governing board in Nebraska, it triggers a process that can take weeks or even months to play out.
Someone who accuses a licensed professional of misconduct files a complaint with their governing board. For example, the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services, Division of Public Health Investigations handles complaints filed against licensed, registered, or certified healthcare professionals in healthcare-related fields. The Nebraska Department of Education receives complaints against school education certificate holders in the state.
Anyone can file a complaint against a licensed professional. Common complainants usually fall into one of these categories:
- patients or clients
- other practitioners
- insurers (usually in cases of suspected fraud)
- court clerks (such as in the case of a recent criminal conviction)
Some boards allow complainants to be anonymous.
When the relevant licensing agency receives a complaint against you, it will review it to determine if it is a possible violation of the professional code and that you are in its jurisdiction. If the board determines the complaint is worth investigating, it will assign an individual or committee to launch a probe. The investigator will inform you that someone filed a complaint against you—usually in writing—and you may have the opportunity to respond.
The investigator may review your professional records and interview you or others familiar with your and/or the incident. Afterward, the investigator files a report with their findings and recommendations to the board. After reviewing the information, the board decides on the following steps, which may include closing the complaint, interviewing the complainant, or issuing a subpoena for more documents.
Given the potential risk to your professional license, you should seek legal counsel immediately after you receive a formal notification from a professional board informing you of a complaint against you. Your Lento Law Firm License Defense Lawyers can advise you on how to work with investigators and help you build a strong defense should the board choose to pursue disciplinary action.
Consent Order and Other Possible Actions
If the board decides to pursue disciplinary action, that action will depend on the board and the severity of the accusation. For example, the licensing board or agency may choose to take a lesser private action by sending you a Private Letter of Concern. Or, it may take a firmer stance with public action and send you a Public Letter of Concern.
For evidence of more serious forms of misconduct, the board may issue a consent order that outlines possible disciplinary actions such as admitting liability or guilt, paying fines or restitution to the accuser, mandatory continuing education, or substance abuse treatment. It could also order suspension, revocation, or annulment of your professional license.
You have the right to negotiate the terms of a Consent Order, and if you cannot agree on a proper resolution, you have the right to have your case heard before the board.
You shouldn't sign a Consent Order without first speaking with an attorney knowledgeable about professional license defense cases. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team have years of experience in this area. They can advise you on the best course to take when negotiating a Consent Order with the licensing board.
If you and the licensing board cannot agree on the terms of your Consent Order, the licensing board will hold an administrative hearing. The process runs similarly to a court hearing. The board presents evidence against you, and you respond to the accusations. The board will consider all this information before deciding what disciplinary action to order.
Why You Need the Lento Law Firm to Help Protect Your License
Going through a licensing board's disciplinary process can be overwhelming and confusing. And, unlike many other legal processes, the person bringing a complaint does not need to incur any costs or hire legal representation. Furthermore, there is no statute of limitations for some professions on filing a complaint.
Don't risk fighting this battle on your own. The sooner you retain an attorney experienced in professional license defense, the better your chances of a positive outcome. Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team can assist you in many ways, including with the following steps:
- Review the complaint against you and determine the best strategy for a strong defense, starting with evidence collection, witness procurement, and more.
- Serve as your official legal representative in all interactions with the administrative board reviewing the complaint against you.
- Draft a compelling written response to the complaint to improve your chances of having the complaint dismissed.
- Negotiate with the board at multiple points to have the complaint dismissed or to agree to more lenient penalties.
- Negotiate the most favorable terms possible in a consent agreement.
- Defend you in a formal hearing before the board, if necessary.
Areas the Lento Law Firm Serves in Nebraska
Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team can provide professional license defense services to doctors, nurses, dentists, and other healthcare professionals, as well as to other licensed workers in Omaha, Lincoln, Bellevue, Grand Island, and every community in Nebraska and across the nation.
Most of our Nebraska clients live in the more densely populated areas and healthcare hubs across the Cornhusker State; we are especially available to provide representation in the following areas.
By far the most populous city in Nebraska, Omaha is home to some 479,655 people. Located at the state's eastern edge, Omaha is the country's smallest city with two major research hospitals — the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Creighton University Medical Center. The city has more than 10 public school districts and five colleges or universities offering higher education, including the University of Nebraska – Omaha, Creighton University, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Located just 50 miles southwest of Omaha, Lincoln is the state capital of Nebraska. About 295,222 people live in Lincoln. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is the flagship public research university in the state, serving more than 26,000 students. The University of Nebraska System is the city's largest employer, though the city also has several other colleges and universities, including the Nebraska Wesleyan University and Union College. Nebraska Medical Center is the largest medical center in Lincoln. Others include Bryan Medical Center, CHI Health St. Elizabeth, Nebraska Heart Institute, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center.
Bellevue is a suburban city in Sarpy County, part of the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area. It's home to about 64,737 people. The city's biggest employers include Bellevue University and Bellevue Public Schools, a school district with two high schools, three middle schools, 15 elementary schools, an alternative school, and a career and technical education center. The district has 662 teachers serving nearly 10,000 students.
Located in central Nebraska, Grand Island has 51,000 residents. It serves as the principal city of the Grand Island metropolitan area, comprising Hamilton, Howard, and Merrick counties. The Grand Island metropolitan area has a total population of about 83,500. This historic town is home to the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center, which trains law enforcement officers throughout the state. Major employers include healthcare centers such as CHI Health St. Francis Hospital and Grand Island Regional Medical Center, the school districts of Grand Island Public Schools and Grand Island Northwest Public Schools, and the higher education centers of Central Community College and the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Offenses or Allegations that Might Jeopardize Your Professional License
Public trust is crucial for licensed professionals, so their licensing boards hold them to high ethical and professional standards and will investigate any report of professional misconduct. Some accusations can be of such a serious nature that they can put a professional at risk of disciplinary action and possible license suspension or revocation. Examples of accusations that could trigger disciplinary action include the following:
A fraudulent practice is any action, omission, or misrepresentation that knowingly or recklessly leads, or attempts to mislead, another person or entity for financial benefit. In the healthcare field, examples of fraud include:
- overbilling of patients or upcoding insurance providers, such as using a code for a more expensive service than the one provided
- billing patients or insurance providers for services not rendered
- collecting kickbacks for referrals
- falsifying patient diagnoses to collect more reimbursement from insurance providers
- offering services outside the scope of your license
Abuse, Gross Negligence
This category covers actions that could jeopardize a patient's safety, health, or well-being. Examples include:
- physical abuse, such as hitting or sexual assault
- emotional abuse, such as threatening or berating a patient
- violating patient confidentiality
- medical errors, including prescription errors
Sexual Misconduct/Inappropriate Relationships
Some of the most serious ethical violations a healthcare professional can commit are sexual or romantic relationships with patients. Other forms of sexual misconduct include unwanted sexual advances toward patients or coworkers, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.
Inappropriate Handling of Medications
The nation's opioid crisis showed how devastating it can be when healthcare workers fail to handle prescription medications properly. A practitioner can receive harsh penalties if the administrative board finds they are guilty of prescribing or dispensing medications irresponsibly or outside the scope of their license. Other infractions include incorrect tracking of medications or stealing prescription drugs for personal use.
Inaccurate Record Keeping
Accurate and thorough record-keeping is an essential part of conscientious, ethical patient care. You could risk losing your license if you are found guilty of maintaining sloppy or incomplete patient records or if the records contain falsified information.
Substance abuse, especially on the job, can impair judgment and hamper your ability to provide proper care or services. If you are found guilty of abusing drugs or alcohol, you may lose your professional license.
The court clerk will likely inform your administrative board if the court convicts you of a crime. If it is a conviction for driving while intoxicated, crimes of moral turpitude, or crimes related to your profession, your license could be at risk.
The Lento Law Firm: Professional License Defense for Licensed Professionals in Nebraska
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team have extensive experience representing the interests of licensed professionals in Nebraska and across the country.
If you are licensed to practice in any of these roles, The Lento Law Firm can assist you in your defense.
- physician assistant
- mental health professional
- physical therapist
- real estate agent
- K-12 educator
- insurance agent
- other licensed professions
Allegations of professional misconduct can develop quickly into a potentially devastating threat to your professional license and, by extension, your livelihood, your professional reputation, and your financial stability. It is critical to retain an attorney with experience in professional license defense who can help you make the best choices as you proceed.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team can provide the legal representation you deserve. Call 888-535-3686 or contact us online to schedule a review of your case and start the process of restoring your good name and protecting your professional license.