Felony Reporting and Health Care Professionals

In Pennsylvania, health care professionals dedicate their lives to preparing themselves for work in their field of practice. But were you aware that health care professionals can have their entire life’s preparation come to an abrupt halt during the licensing process?

Whether a candidate seeks licensure as a nurse, doctor, or other type of medical practice specialist, an experienced health care licensing defense attorney can help prepare the vulnerable candidate before going before their licensing or appeals board.

During the licensing process, each candidate undergoes a thorough moral character investigation under the authority of 49 Pa.Code §16.12 – General qualifications for licenses and certificates. If a candidate is found guilty of a felony under The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (35 P. S. sections 780-101 through 780-144) the candidate will be denied a license outright. In addition, maintaining any type of health care professional license also depends on keeping a clean criminal conviction record.

Pennsylvania law did not always require the administrative board handling licensure to report applicants with felony convictions. In the past, the state observed a self-reporting option that would allow professional license candidates the options of disclosing felony convictions in lieu of having them discovered by the board. This encouraged open disclosures, but carried varying penalties for felony convictions, because if the conviction went undetected it would be unpunished.

Now, in addition to the initial board licensing review, medical license holders must continue to self-disclose, under 49 Pa.Code §16.16, but there is no trade-off of leniency for self-reporting.

Instead of walking into a licensing hearing scared or unprepared, health care professionals should be advised that they have legal options. The license they have heavily invested in does not need to be automatically revoked or denied. If you are a health care professional who needs defending, rely on the experience of professional licensing attorneys who will listen to your situation and assess your best options accordingly.

Felony Reporting and Health Care Professionals was last modified: April 1st, 2014 by William Arbuckle