More Reasons Not to Voluntarily Relinquish Your Professional License or Fail to Appeal an Exclusion Action

In the past, I have written articles and blogs on why a physician, nurse, dentist, psychologist, pharmacist, mental health counselor or other licensed health professional should never agree to voluntarily relinquish his or her license after any notice of a possible investigation being opened.  This is treated the same as if the state licensing agency had revoked that license for cause.  This applies even if the license is in another state, is inactive, or has expired.

The consequences of this include the action that will surely follow from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to exclude that professional from the Medicare Program.  Of course, this exclusion means any federal health care program, including participation in TRICARE/CHAMPUS, Veterans Administration (VA) program, Public Health Service (PHS) programs, Indian Health Service programs, U.S. Postal Service (USPS) health programs, and the state Medicaid program. 

However, 42 C.F.R. § 1001.2006 requires that that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provide notice of a health professional’s exclusion from the Medicare Program to, among others:

 (1)  Medicare beneficiaries;

 (2)  The public;

 (3)  Any entity in which the excluded individual is known to be serving as an employee, administrator, operator, or in which the individual is serving in any other capacity and is receiving payment for providing services;

 (4)  State Medicaid Fraud Control Units;

 (5)  Utilization and Quality Control Quality Improvement Organizations;

 (6)  Hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies and health maintenance organizations;

 (7)  Medical societies and other professional organizations;

 (8) Contractors, health care prepayment plans, private insurance companies and other affected agencies and organizations;

 (9)  The National Practitioner Data Bank.

 (10)  Other Departmental operating divisions, Federal agencies, and other agencies or organizations, as appropriate.

One should think not twice but three times before voluntarily relinquishing a health professional license of any kind, medical license, nursing license, psychology license, pharmacy license, social work license, mental health counselor license, or any other, once there is some notice that an investigation has commenced or that a complaint has been received.

For more information please visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

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3 responses to “More Reasons Not to Voluntarily Relinquish Your Professional License or Fail to Appeal an Exclusion Action

  1. I have a nursing license in Florida with a 10 year old discipline (turned in a doctor for getting high on nitrous DURING procedures-in grunt of several other employees btw….then, with the rest of the hospital against me (as if I’d committed mass murder), I pleaded, begged & crawled to my own resignation 2 weeks later …

    Within 5 months I’d lost everything, was subsequently diagnosed w/stage 4 cancer & in hospice waiting to die.

    Well, I survived the cancer & left hospice… So here I am, almost a decade later with nothing. Nothing. I hired an atty to help get my license back & she told me it was a “slam dunk” & not to worry… on the day of hearing she told me “don’t say anything… we’ll just get your license back THEN get the discipline removed”. Stupid me…. Stupid stupid stupid me… I totally trusted this woman.

    Anyway… I just want to see… know, if there’s ANYTHING that I can do… now? The BON has all but admitted that this was ‘wrong’ and that if my proof of innocence would’ve been presented at the initial hearing that I would, and I quote, “Would definitely not be in this situation”.

    Problem, is they went after me for a huge amount of fees/fines etc…

    So I’m assuming my only option is to get rid of my nursing license forever..relinquish it…. I’ll never be able to pay those fines before the due in full date…hell, I won’t ever be able to pay em. Can I just relinquish my license now…w/o getting more hell thrown my way?

    **Nurses beware… Don’t ever think for even a nano second that ‘doing the right thing’ is actually doing the right thing. If you see something like I did… just quit… right then & there. Say nothing and DISAPPEAR!

    Thanks…

    • Ms. Candy:

      Thank you for commenting on our blog and sharing your story. Unfortunately, we are unable to give direct legal advice through blog comments. We suggest you call our office to discuss your situation with an attorney. We do have two nurse attorneys, Carole Schriefer and Joanne Kenna. The number is (407) 331-6620, and this goes into our main office. Our main office is on Eastern Time and our normal business hours are from 9:00 A.M. through 5:00 P.M. Eastern Time (except for lunch when we are closed for one hour starting at noon).

      Sincerely,

      The Health Law Firm

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