OPMC Defense for Physician and Physician Assistants in NYC Defending New York City health care professionals is a specialty of Joseph Potashnik and Associates. We have more than 10 years of experience representing physicians and physicians assistants against complaints about their professional conduct before the New York state Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OMPC).
The moment a complaint is lodged against a medical health professional, their professional standing is at risk. Joseph Potashik and Associates created this page to help New York health care professionals understand OMPC investigations.
Types of Misconduct OMPC Investigates
New York sets out over 40 different kind of professional misconduct in New York state Education Law (sec. 6530-6531). Many of the most common complaints involve:
What Happens in an OMPC Investigation?
An OMPC investigation is an extensive, well-defined legal process that can be very confusing for a health care professional. Mistakes can have dire consequences for a health care professional’s standing in the medical community and can even end careers. This overview will help you know what to expect, and will tell you how to avoid some of the major pitfalls.
All investigation begin with a complaint. The complaint is then forwarded to one of two regional offices in the state of New York, who then launches an investigation.
Typically, the regional office will contact the medical health professional by email or telephone. This first contact is where many health professionals can harm their case.
While health professionals have a legal duty to provide pertinent records to investigators, New York law does not require them to make a statement or give an interview. Before making any kind statement to OMPC, health care professionals should consult with an experienced OMPC defense attorney. Anything you say can become admissible in court.
Counsel will decide if a statement will benefit the defense, and will protect medical professionals from making unnecessary comments that could harm their case. If the health care professional does make a statement, OMPC wil; make a report available to him or her.
If the OMPC investigator determines that there’s sufficient evidence to support a finding of professional misconduct under New York law, the case will be reviewed by the OMPC Investigation Committee.
Two physicians and one lay person make up this committee, and they will recommend whether or not the case warrants a disciplinary hearing.
If the complaint goes to the hearing stage, OMPC will select another panel comprised of two physicians and one layperson. Though the state requires an administrative judge be present at any hearing, the three-person hearing committee will decide both issues of law and fact. The committee has the power to impose a wide range of punishment on health care professionals, including:
Most complaints end before reaching the hearing stage. Frequently, legal counsel and the OMPC agree on an “application for consent” order that resembles a “plea bargain” in criminal law. The health professional must agree to admit wrongdoing in an application for consent. However, these agreements typically limit damage to his or her professional standing.
Both the OMPC and the health care professional can seek a review of any OMPC hearing. This Administrative Review Board (ARB) will be include three physicians and two laypersons.
If either side remains unsatisfied by the results of the review, they can seek relief from the New York state court system. Such actions are difficult to prove because they require a finding that the hearing committee or the ARB rendered an “arbitrary and capricious” decision.
As you can see, the OMPC complaint process is long and complicated. Errors at any stop along the way can have significant impacts on your career. Seek legal help immediately. Joseph Potshnik and Associates is here to help.