The New York State Department of Health tasks the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) with the investigation of complaints about service or treatment against physicians, specialists, and other professionals who are subject to the State Board for Professional Medical Conduct. The state allows anyone who believes they are the victim of professional misconduct to file a complaint.
The office will then review the complaint and may move forward with an investigation.
What are some examples of OPMC investigations?
The New York OMPC recently concluded the following investigations:
- A former patient accused a mental health counselor of using an intern to provide counseling. The mental health counselor did not contest the charge and received two years’ probation.
- The group investigated a registered professional nurse for clocking in and out of work on a day she was not scheduled, and in fact did not work. She agreed that she had taken pay for work she did not complete and received a month suspension as well as 2 years’ probation and a $500 fine.
- The OPMC also investigated a pharmacist who allegedly failed to register satellite pharmacies. The pharmacist agreed to a $6,000 fine to settle the matter.
These are just a few of the examples from the group’s public postings for its most recent investigations conducted during the month of July.
What should I do if I am the subject of an OPMC investigation?
First, know that you are not alone. The above is just a small sampling of all the investigations conducted by the OPMC in July alone. Although not alone, it is important to take the matter seriously. It is true some of the penalties noted above may not seem severe, the matter can become public knowledge. This can damage your professional reputation.
It is also important to note that the penalties can be much more severe than those outlined above. You can fight back. Doing so early on can help better ensure the issue is resolved quietly and stays out of the public purview.
How long will the investigation take?
According to the OPMC, an investigation typically concludes within 9 months. These can conclude with a negotiated settlement or prosecution, depending on the findings of the investigation. Complete resolution of the issue can take two years or more.
Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication