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Legal Counsel For New York Nurses
If you are a nurse in New York or New Jersey who urgently needs advise from legal counsel regarding your job or nursing license, we can provide you the counsel you need. Our nursing law team has represented the nursing community of New York and New Jersey years in many cases from professional licensing and hospital investigations to criminal defense.
The veritable backbone of medical practice is indeed nursing. Nurses are some of the most consistent and diligent healthcare professionals. Regrettably, they can concurrently be taken for granted, overworked, and the most susceptible to malpractice accusations. Nurses put in hard work to win their credentials and then once they graduate, they toil even more arduously for their employers. Ostensibly tiny missteps and, sometimes, other causes may totally ruin a nurse’s hard earned career. If you think you would be well served by qualified legal counsel, call our office and schedule a consultation today.
Situations we can handle for you
- You were notified of suspension pursuant to allegations of wrongdoing
- You were told to attend to a meeting with your supervisors or human resources/personnel after a suspension or receiving a written reprimand
- You have been through an investigation by the New York Office of Professional Discipline or the New Jersey Board of Nursing
- An Investigator from the Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit contacted you
- You were arrested for a criminal offense
- Your application for a nursing license is on hold or under review
- You were denied access to Medicaid by the Office of Medicaid Inspector General
- You received a directive to be a participant in the RAMP program and think this is not necessary.
If any of these describes your present circumstances, you have good reason to want to talk to a well versed lawyer who has helped numerous nurses in your shoes. Our experienced attorneys Joseph Potashnik and Associates have triumphantly defended hundreds of nurses with myriad legal calamities.
How Nurses Come Under Professional Discipline
On account of the fact that nurses are licensed professionals, the nursing profession, similarly to other health care disciplines, is closely regulated by state boards. The Office of Professional Discipline oversees nurses in New York and in New Jersey they are under the purview of the State Board of Nursing. The laws of each of these states define myriad types of professional misconduct. The New York list points to around forty different conceivable violations that can lead to a nurse being disciplined. If a nurse is determined to be guilty of one of these violations, he or she could get hit with sanctions and penalties that can vary in severity from fines and administrative warnings to repercussions as heavy as license suspension and revocation.
The most frequent accusations a nurse can suffer in professional misconduct a nurse are:
- Negligence or incompetence
- Practice outside the scope of profession
- Negligence in record-keeping
- Controlled substance abuse
- Diversion of controlled substances (yes, this is a big one)
- Conviction of a crime
Worksite and Other Employer-Based Situations
The majority of disciplinary difficulties nurses face begin at work. It is exceedingly stressful being a floor nurse at a hospital or nursing facility on a regular day. Many of our clients endure much stress on the job, where understaffed and inherently unhealthy conditions are the unfortunate norm. Sadly, mishaps by nurses occur on a regular basis and are mostly connected to the keeping of records. True or fabricated mistakes frequently turn out in a report by a facetious co-worker or retribution by a supervisor, and this can launch an unfortunate series of events. Oftentimes, a nurse gets targeted for breaching their employer’s internal rules regardless of the fact that such regulations can be unclear or even non-existent, and irrespective of the truth that other coworkers including fellow nurses and physicians can get away with worse violations. To assert the idea that a majority of the nurses accused of negligent conduct at work are falsely or capriciously accused would be misleading, nonetheless we agree that numbers are greater than the real stories would reveal.
Have you been suspended from your job or accused of a transgression and had to attend a meeting with your supervisor, hospital administration, or the HR/personnel department, be vigilant. We have seen employers use this method often to extract statements from you that they can subsequently rear their heads at you in the establishment’s ultimate decision to fire you and report you to the Board of Nursing or the Office of Professional Discipline. You do have the right to bring your union representative to this meeting to support you, but a union representative is not an attorney and cannot offer you with sound legal counsel. It is our recommendation that you check in with your attorney, one that has a proven track record in nursing malpractice matters, before attending a meeting. This may read like an easily resolved internal employment situation but more frequently it ends up being a much more serious matter – it could be a big legal problem that calls for skilled legal representation.
Office of Professional Discipline/Board of Nursing Specialists
A great deal of our work in the representation nurses in New York and New Jersey takes place before the Office of Professional Discipline (OPD) and the Board of Nursing. Each year, complaints numbering in the thousands are filed against nurses and trigger investigations by the licensing boards. As is the usual procedure, the OPD puts an investigator on each case. The investigator then begins to probe into the complaint, which can happen over the space of a few months or, in some cases, longer than a year. They are seeking to determine whether there are solid grounds on which to bring formal charges against that nurse. In the early stages of the investigation, a letter is sent in which the investigator asks to schedule a time to interview you. Your response to this marks a crucial moment in your case. Stop! Don’t agree to the interview! First, you should vet, select and meet with a good nurse attorney. If you do agree to get interviewed, you run the risk of making poorly selected statements and admissions that could ultimately threaten your nursing license. It is not mandatory to talk with the investigator. We can come to your aid and assist you through this process and protect your rights.
In the event that the investigator discovers enough evidence to file charges against you, your case moves into the hands of a prosecuting attorney. Next, your case undergoes a complex negotiation process. Indeed, it can reach as far as a disciplinary hearing. The nursing license lawyers at our firm have represented nurses throughout all genres of disciplinary cases and we stood by our clients through every step, from the beginning of the investigation to the hearing. Give us a call today to see how we can assist you.
Office of Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Nurse Attorneys
There is a New York Office of Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) that is part of the Attorney General’s Office. There are also several regional offices operating around the state (3 offices in the NYC Metropolitan Area). The MFCU investigates and prosecutes circumstances of Medicaid fraud and patient abuse. A nurse can come onto the unit’s radar in several situations. One is when a visiting nurse is accused of billing for services which they did not provide. This can happen when a nurse untruthfully documents a patient visit on specified dates and the rendering of specified services. Alternatively if a nurse in an adult care facility is accused of being a part of a larger scheme to defraud Medicaid, he or she can be the subject of an investigation by this unit. Another cause can be an occurance in a nursing home or other similar facility where a nurse may be accused of some type of patient abuse.
Being investigated by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is serious business. A case like this can end up in your arrest and criminal prosecution. In the event that an investigator from the MFCU contacts you, refrain from discussing anything with them. Get in touch with an attorney at our office right away to make sure that your rights are protected.
General Exclusions of Nurses by the Office of Medicaid Inspector
Numerous nurses who ended up being excluded from Medicaid in New York by the Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) have come to us for help. This OMIG is a government authority that commands and controls the administration of the New York’s Medicaid Program. They are charged with the power to exclude any healthcare professional from access to the Medicaid program for a range of reasons. The circumstances under which the OMIG could decide to exclude a nurse from the New York Medicaid Program as follows:
- An arrest and charge of a healthcare related crime (even though you have not yet been convicted. Unfortunately, the OMIG see you as guilty before you were actually proven guilty through due process)
- A guilty ruling in a case of professional misconduct connected to or affecting the Medicaid program, such as fraud
An exclusion from Medicaid can be the end of your nursing career since it will make it impossible for you to get work at any healthcare facility that provides services covered by Medicaid – and that means most potential worksites. If a Notice of Intended Agency Action from the Office of Medicaid Inspector General arrives at your doorstep, don’t delay in contacting our offices. Your window of time to respond to a notice is tight and if you don’t get your response to them within the allotted time limits, you are effectively forfeiting your rights to any appeals.
Top New York Nursing Attorney
Our history of nursing representation and defense is long, with hundreds of nurses served through a multitude of circumstances. Enlist our experts to go to battle for you. We are easy to reach right in lower Manhattan and we represent nurses from New York City, Long Island, upstate New York and even New Jersey.