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Why is My Practice Under Investigation by the Minnesota Board of Nursing?

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By Melissa Heinlein, Esq.

As a Minnesota nurse license lawyer, my clients often ask me why they are being investigated by their licensing board. Many people don't realize that Minnesota licensing boards are complaint-driven. In other words, your licensing board does not go out looking for improper behavior on its own. Rather, your board relies on others to alert it to improper practice or behavior.

Investigations are Complaint-Driven

An investigation will not be opened against your practice unless a complaint has been filed by someone with your board. Complaints are often filed by employers or other mandatory reporters, but may also be filed by a friend, relative or other member of the public at large. The identity of the person who filed the initial complaint against you remains confidential. Once a complaint is made, your licensing board is required by law to investigate the matter.

Investigations are Confidential

While a matter is in the investigation phase everything is confidential. Remember that the only people that know about the investigation by your licensing board are you and the people that you tell. Nothing in the allegations or investigative requests will be released to the public unless or until a disciplinary Order is issued against you by your board. It is wise to be cautious about with whom you share information regarding the investigation and the allegations against you.

You Must Cooperate With the Investigation

Additionally, it is important to remember that as a licensed professional you have an obligation to cooperate with an investigation being conducted by your licensing board against your license. Failure to cooperate or timely respond to your board's requests for information will result in negative consequences against your license. If you are presented with allegations of misconduct by your licensing board or other state agency it is important to consult with a professional license defense lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you are aware of your rights and have a plan to protect your license.

Common Complaints

There are numerous reasons why a complaint may be filed with a licensing board. Some common issues include:

  • Diversion of prescription narcotic medications from the workplace
  • Failure to follow wasting procedures for narcotic medications
  • Over-use/multiple prescriptions for a prescribed narcotic medication
  • Mental health issues that affect work performance
  • Physical health issues that affect work performance
  • Conviction of a criminal offense such as assault, drunk-driving or fraud
  • Neglect of clients or patients
  • Departing from minimal standards of acceptable prevailing medical practice
  • Failure to meet patient record documentation standards
  • Failure to fully assess a patient or client's needs
  • Fraudulent billing
  • Revealing privileged communications / HIPAA violations
  • False advertising
  • Violating professional boundaries with a patient or client, including sexual conduct
  • Failure to pay student loans secured by the state or federal government
  • Being fired from a job for cause
  • Being dismissed from the Health Professionals Services Program (HPSP) for failure to comply with a participation agreement
  • Practicing beyond licensed scope of practice

At Lord + Heinlein our 30 + years of combined experience defending medical and professional licenses gives us the wisdom to get you a positive outcome with your licensing board. We know how stressful being presented with allegations of wrongdoing can be and we know how important your livelihood is to you. We work tirelessly for you to preserve your license that you worked so hard to achieve. We are your powerful legal voice.

Category: Professional License Defense
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