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Psychologist License DefenseOnce rare, online therapy is now commonplace. For many patients, the ease of meeting virtually has broadened accessibility and the willingness to meet more regularly. Similarly, many mental health professionals have found the recent surge of virtual appointments as a general benefit for both their patients and their own work. However, there is an underlying thread of challenges that most mental health professionals may not even realize exist.

There are many free programs available for virtual appointments. However, unbeknownst to its users, that particular program may not even be HIPAA-compliant. If the professional is audited or reported, their license could be suspended while investigation occurs, or a license could even be revoked for a HIPAA violation, even if unintended. Although there are free programs that comply with HIPAA, the mental health professional should also research and possibly invest in official licensed programs for mental health professionals. The patient will also have confidence that their appointments are safely occurring and that any sensitive information could not be recorded or stolen from them.

The mere nature of a virtual appointment can also be less than confidential. For some patients, they may not have regular access to a dedicated space in which to have the private appointment. This certainly prevents the patient from having basic privacy while engaging in private discussions, but they may not have another choice. There is also the possibility that the mental health professional may not have a dedicated home office due to lack of space, which can affect both patient confidentiality and invalidate the professional. The general informality of this setup can prevent the appointment from being useful to the patient and can be invalidating to the professional, who likely has a dedicated office space for in person meetings.

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Medical License DefenseAcross facilities, whether they be public or private, the issue of understaffing is a critical issue within the field of nursing. Understaffing causes a variety of challenges that affect both the nurses and their patients. It is no fault of their own that facilities are understaffed, but nurses are the individuals on the frontlines who are most affected by these circumstances, and it has a ripple effect across their facilities.

There are many reasons that understaffing occurs. As otherwise qualified individuals apply to be nurses, they can face certain bureaucratic issues that delay their ability to receive their Nursing License. If prospective Nursing Licenses are on hold, this can cause a shortage in staffing while these individuals pursue the necessary routes to clear this hurdle and obtain their Licensing as they are qualified to do so. In a similar vein, a licensed Nurse can encounter difficulties with their established license, which can prevent them from practicing while they resolve those issues. This can lead to understaffing issues in the same vein as not having enough nurses in the first place. The demand for nurses always appears to be higher than the rate at which individuals can become licensed, which leads to perpetual understaffing. There simply are not enough people who are obtaining licenses (although they may be in the process of obtaining one, or are working to reinstate a license after an issue) to compensate for the demand of licensed Nurses in various facilities.

Nurses, even without understaffing issues, generally work very long hours and regularly work overtime. With the understaffing issues caused by various circumstances including those outlined above, the challenging nature of long hours and consistent overtime is greatly exacerbated. This creates burnout, which facilitates the cycle of understaffing. This is the unfortunate reality that many nurses face in their industry and there is little to no relief, plan, or solution to alleviate these issues.

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Illinois medical license defense attorneyIllinois is one of the most popular states for physicians, and depending on your credentials and practice history, the application process could take between 3-6 months. Here are some tips to avoid or minimize unnecessary frustration.

Ensure You Are Eligible

It sounds obvious, but ensuring you meet your board’s eligibility requirements can save time, money, and possibly an appearance before the Illinois Medical Board.

Complete the Application

There are paper and online versions of the application available; however, it is recommended you complete the online application to avoid any unnecessary delays. In either case, you will be required to mail in supporting documents. The application contains questions dealing with adverse or non-routine situations, and if you answer “yes” to any questions related to adverse actions, the Board will require you to provide a written explanation and verifying documentation. Keep in mind the application process requires a criminal background check, which often take 6-8 weeks for the Board to receive. Since your license cannot be issued until the results of a criminal background check have been received, do not delay in submitting it.

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Illinois Professional License Defense AttorneyPatient-centric care is what our healthcare system has moved towards, but when is that too far? What happens when patients start to tell physicians how their treatment plan should look? As patients gain more and more access to information, they may become a more informed “customer”; this can be both good and bad. Patients can have a better understanding of what their issue is, but as the saying goes ‘your Google search does not replace a medical/osteopathic degree’.

Patients often use Google before they see their physician. Patients want to understand what is going on before they see a doctor or to determine whether they will even make an appointment to see one at all. There are several problems with this approach, the most important of which is a patient believing their symptoms fit a hundred different diseases. This belief can cause an overreaction, and entering a physician's office very anxious and stressed. When this happens, the patients may start to ask for unneeded tests, procedures, and medication. Physicians are then put into a difficult position: should they try to calm the patient and assure them or give in and run multiple tests to prove that WebMD did not actually diagnose them with the diseases. In some cases, the patient could actually be correct in their assumptions and not be overreacting, so physicians must use their judgment on the best course of action for that particular patient.

Sometimes poor medical judgment results when doctors are pressured by patients, and this can cause multiple issues including overprescribing opioids or running tests that aren’t needed. Any of these scenarios could cause the physician a problem with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and their license. If a problem does arise, Williams & Nickl is here to help you get through that process and back on the right track. Our firm focuses on professional license defense to ensure the Medical Board does not violate your rights, and you have a chance to move on from your issue.

Illinois Healthcare Professional Defense LawyerAuthors and physicians Drs. Adam Cifu and Vinayak Prasad wrote a blockbuster book in 2015 that is making news lately. The abrupt change in medical gospel, sometimes being rewritten every week, is a true disaster for patients who try to keep up with the ‘latest and greatest’ in medicine. The authors use the term ‘medical reversal’ to describe sudden flip-flops in standards of care. Medical reversals cause angst among not just the patients, but the doctors that now must face the fact that their advice and practice was potentially harmful or maybe not even helpful in any way.

Examples of therapies and medical strategies that turned out to be wrong include estrogen-replacement therapy after menopause, use of coronary stents to open narrowed coronary arteries, lobotomy, Vioxx, vertebroplasty, arthroscopic knee surgery to repair degenerative meniscal tears, and more.

The authors try to find out why modern medicine reverses itself and to make suggestions on how to make it stop. State of the art health care can be harmful or unhelpful. Why do a surgical repair of the meniscus in a knee when physical therapy is just as effective? The causes are very common – an inadequate scientific study or a flawed study due to financial bias. And if the treatment makes a lot of common sense, it is more likely to be useless, which is very counter-intuitive.

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