Disciplinary Actions Against Health Care Licensees
Sansweet, Dearden and Burke, Ltd. (SDB) has significant experience in all phases of licensure issues that can threaten a professional’s career.
Licensure actions are initiated by the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) before one of the health care boards. Generally, a BPOA investigator will be assigned to a case following a board complaint. Counsel should be involved from the beginning, advising the professional at the initial meeting with the investigator and making early contact with the prosecutor.
The licensure issues that we commonly deal with include; claims of practicing below the appropriate standard of care, improper prescribing, sexual misconduct and aiding and abetting the unauthorized practice without an appropriate license. We also help professionals who are required to navigate the monitoring system when questions of impairment arise. We have experience communicating with the Professional Health Monitoring Program (PHMP); the Physician Health Program (PHP); Pennsylvania Nurse Peer Assistant Program (PNAP) and similar programs.
Hearings and Appeals
KSDB handles administrative hearings when an Order to Show Cause is filed. We help clients evaluate their options, such as negotiating a consent decree that resolves the case without a hearing or participating in a full-blown evidentiary hearing. While administrative hearings only allow for limited pre-hearing discovery, professionals are entitled to subpoena witnesses to a hearing, to present testimony by way of depositions, and to utilize expert witnesses. We also help our clients to understand and minimize collateral consequences, such as public records about the proceedings and National Practitioner Data Bank reports.
Finally, we handle appeals to the Commonwealth Court when we believe that the Board has an insufficient factual record to impose a sanction or where there has been an error of law or violation of due process.