Defending Your PA License on Long Island: What You Need to Know
Being a physician assistant is an incredibly rewarding career. You get to help patients every day and make a real difference in their lives. However, it also comes with a lot of responsibility. As a PA, you are held to high ethical and professional standards. If you make a mistake or are accused of misconduct, your PA license could be at risk.
That’s why it’s so important to know your rights and understand the license defense process in New York. Having an experienced Long Island PA license defense lawyer on your side can make all the difference. In this article, we’ll walk through some key things PAs should understand when it comes to license investigations and disciplinary actions in New York.
The Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC)
The main regulatory body that oversees complaints against PAs in New York is the OPMC, which is part of the Department of Health. The OPMC investigates complaints and disciplines PAs for misconduct. Some things that could trigger an OPMC investigation include:
- Patient complaints about quality of care
- Billing issues or insurance fraud
- Substance abuse or mental health issues
- Criminal charges related to practice
- Sexual misconduct
Basically any complaint alleging that a PA acted unprofessionally or unethically could lead to an OPMC investigation. And here’s the thing—the OPMC has to investigate every complaint it receives, even anonymous or seemingly frivolous ones.
The Investigation Process
If the OPMC decides to open an investigation into a complaint against you, here’s generally what will happen:
- You’ll receive written notice that a complaint was filed and the OPMC is investigating. This letter will explain the allegations.
- OPMC investigators will request medical records and other documents related to the complaint. As a PA, you have a duty to comply with these requests.
- The investigators will likely ask to interview you. It’s very important to consult an attorney before agreeing to an interview. Anything you say can be used against you.
- After reviewing the evidence, the OPMC will decide whether to file charges of professional misconduct. If so, your case will go to a hearing.
Hearings and Disciplinary Actions
If the OPMC files charges against your PA license, your case will go before a committee of professionals in an administrative hearing. Some key things to know:
- You have the right to legal representation at the hearing to defend yourself against the charges.
- If the committee finds you guilty of misconduct, you could face discipline like fines, probation, suspension of your license, or even permanent revocation.
- You can appeal committee decisions first to an Administrative Review Board, then to the NY court system. But your attorney must exhaust all administrative options first.
- Any disciplinary action will be made public on the OPMC website and reported to national practitioner databases. This can seriously impact your reputation and career.
Why You Need an Attorney
Facing license charges is scary. Your reputation, livelihood, and career are all on the line. Here are some key reasons why working with an experienced PA license defense lawyer is so critical:
- They understand the OPMC process inside and out. The rules and procedures are complex. An attorney knows how to navigate them to give you the best defense.
- They can advise you on whether to consent to an OPMC interview. This is a crucial decision that can majorly impact your case.
- They work to protect your license by aggressively defending you against any charges at the hearing stage.
- If you are found guilty of misconduct, they can appeal the decision and fight to mitigate penalties.
- Their expertise can help lead to better outcomes, like getting charges reduced or dismissed entirely.
- They can guide you on complying with OPMC requests in a strategic way that doesn’t jeopardize your case.
Bottom line—you shouldn’t go through this process alone. The stakes are far too high.
Long Island Attorneys Can Help
There are experienced PA license defense attorneys ready to help PAs on Long Island. If you’re under investigation or facing charges, reach out for a free consultation right away. Some options to consider include:
- The Law Office of Jason Bassett – With over 20 years of legal experience, including as an Assistant Attorney General, Jason has successfully defended PAs facing OPMC charges on Long Island.
- Lento Law Firm – Their legal team focuses exclusively on professional license defense cases, including for PAs accused of misconduct in NY.
- Abrams Fensterman – Large NY firm with lawyers across the state experienced in OPMC cases. Can defend PAs in hearings.
- Spodek Law Group – Based in NYC but takes PA cases across NY. Known for aggressive defense strategies.
The most important thing is finding an attorney you feel comfortable with and who understands PA practice. Make sure to ask about their specific experience with OPMC investigations and PA license hearings.
What Should You Do Now?
If you’re worried about a complaint filed against you as a PA, or you’ve been notified of an OPMC investigation, take action:
- Don’t panic – Even if the allegations seem serious, there is a process in place to defend yourself.
- Get legal help ASAP – Connect with a Long Island PA license defense lawyer for advice and representation.
- Avoid discussing the case – Anything you say to the OPMC investigators can be used against you.
- Compile relevant records – If you get requests from the OPMC for records, consult your lawyer before providing anything.
- Understand your options – With an attorney’s counsel, you can make informed choices at each stage of the process.
Dealing with an OPMC investigation is daunting. But experienced legal representation levels the playing field. Protect your PA license and your livelihood by working with a knowledgeable lawyer. They can stand up for your rights as you go through this difficult process.