Are you a nurse in New York or New Jersey who needs to speak with an attorney concerning your employment or license? If so, we are at your service. Our lawyers have been representing New York and New Jersey nurses for many years in numerous cases involving professional licensing, hospital investigations, and criminal defense.
Nursing is the backbone of medical practice. Nurses are among the most dedicated and hardworking healthcare professionals. Sadly, they can simultaneously be the most under appreciated, overworked, and vulnerable to legal pitfalls. Nurses toil arduously to earn their qualifications and then go on to work even harder at their jobs. Seemingly minute mistakes and, at times, other factors may completely undermine a nurse’s career. If you believe that you are in need of professional legal assistance, give our lawyers a call today.
Circumstances we can assist you with
If you are facing any of these situations, it is best that you speak with an experienced attorney who has assisted many nurses in your position. We have a team of great attorneys Joseph Potashnik and Associates. We have successfully defended hundreds of nurses dealing with various legal dilemmas.
Professional Discipline of Nurses
Because nurses are licensed professionals, nursing, very much akin to other health care professions, is heavily regulated by state boards. In New York, they are under the Office of Professional Discipline and New Jersey it would be State Boards of Nursing. The laws of each state define numerous genres of professional misconduct. In New York this list includes around forty different potential violations that can result in discipline for a nurse. If one is found guilty of any individual violation, he or she will be subject to sanctions and penalties that can range in seriousness from fines and administrative warnings to consequences as severe as license suspension and revocation.
The most common categories of professional misconduct a nurse can be accused of are:
Workplace (Hospital) and Other Employer-Based Situations
The lion’s share of disciplinary difficulties nurses face begin at work. It is already sufficiently stressful being a floor nurse at a hospital or nursing facility in the course of normal duties. For a number of our clients, work is a stress-filled environment, where the team is overburdened and understaffed, and situations can be inherently unhealthy. Unfortunately, errors made by nurses happen regularly and are largely related to recordkeeping. True or concocted transgressions often lead to a report by a jealous co-worker or retaliation by a supervisor, and this can start off a long chain of events. Often, nurses are singled out for punishment for violating their employer’s internal policies regardless of the fact that such policies can be vague or even non-existent, and regardless of the reality that some colleagues including other nurses and doctors can get away with worse infractions. We are not implying that most nurses accused of wrongdoing on the job are wrongly or arbitrarily accused, but that number is indeed higher than it should be.
If you got suspended from work or accused of an infraction and were called in to a meeting with your supervisor, hospital administration, or the human resources or personnel department, be vigilant. It has been our experience that this tactic is frequently used to get statements out of you which can then be used in the employer’s decision to terminate you and report you to the Board of Nursing or the Office of Professional Discipline. You should be allowed to have your union representative attend this meeting alongside you. Nonetheless, we strongly recommend consulting with an attorney experienced in nursing malpractice cases before attending any such meeting. Union representatives are not lawyers and are not equipped to provide you with sound legal advice. What appears to be a simple internal employment matter often turns out to be something much more serious – it is likely to be a grave legal matter and you should equip yourself with qualified legal representation.
Representative Specializing in Office of Professional Discipline/Board of Nursing Matters
Among our major areas of representation nurses in New York and New Jersey is before the Office of Professional Discipline (OPD) and the Board of Nursing. Annually, thousands of complaints against nurses are filed and investigated by the licensing boards. In keeping with the protocol, the OPD assigns an investigator to every individual case. This person then commences an investigation into the complaint (this can take several months to longer than a year) to determine if there are sufficient grounds to bring formal charges against the nurse. As part of the investigation, you will be sent a letter from the investigator requesting to set up an interview with you. This moment is critical to your case. Refrain from speaking with any investigators before you contact and consult with an experienced nurse attorney. Once you agree to an interview, you put yourself in peril of making misguided statements and admissions that could then put your license in serious jeopardy. You are not obligated to speak with the investigator. We will be by your side throughout this process and protect your rights.
If the investigator finds that there is enough evidence to file charges, your case then gets assigned to a prosecuting attorney. Eventually, your case be handled through a complicated negotiation process or it can go as far as a disciplinary hearing. Our nursing license lawyers represented nurses through all types of disciplinary cases and we were there for our clients at every stage, from the initial investigation to the hearing. Reach out to us today to see how we can help you.
Office of Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Nurses Representation
The New York Office of Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) is part of the Attorney General’s Office. They operate a few regional offices around the state (3 offices in the NYC Metropolitan Area), this unit investigates and prosecutes cases of Medicaid fraud and patient abuse. A nurse can come into the MFCU crosshairs under several circumstances. One is when a visiting nurse is accused of billing for services which they did not provide. This can occur when a nurse falsely certifies that he or she was visiting patients on specified dates and rendering specified services. Another can occur when a nurse in an adult care facility is accused of being involved in a larger scheme to defraud Medicaid. A third one can happen in a nursing home or other similar facility in which a nurse may be accused of some form of patient abuse.
An investigation by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is a very serious matter. This can lead to your arrest and criminal prosecution. If an MFCU investigator approaches you, do not speak with them about anything. Contact our office immediately to speak with a lawyer who can protect your rights.
General Exclusions from the Office of Medicaid Inspector
We have represented many nurses who found themselves excluded from Medicaid in New York by the Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG). The OMIG is a government agency which oversees and controls the administration of the Medicaid Program in New York. This agency is empowered to exclude any healthcare professional from participating in the Medicaid program on various grounds. The most common circumstances under which the OMIG may opt to exclude a nurse from the New York Medicaid Program include the following:
Being excluded from Medicaid can be the death knell to your nursing career since it will prevent you from being able to work at any healthcare establishment that provides services covered by Medicaid – and that includes most potential employers. If you got a Notice of Intended Agency Action from the Office of Medicaid Inspector General, call our offices right away. They only give you a limited amount of time to respond to the Notice and if you don’t put in your response within the allotted time limits, you are effectively forfeiting your rights to any appeals.
New York Attorney for Nurses
In our experience, we have represented and defended hundreds of nurses with all types of problems. Put our expertise to work for you. You can easily find us in downtown Manhattan and we can represent you if you are from New York City, Long Island, upstate New York and also New Jersey.