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Is it a good idea to stay at a new job when you find out the owner and former staff are in jail for fraudulent narcotic prescribing?

Wednesday May 28, 2014
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Question:

Dear Nancy,

I'm a DNP and recently have started a position in a family practice. The practice has five other offices in the state. I recently found out one of the offices has been targeted for fraudulent narcotic prescribing, and the physician and staff person who worked there are in jail. The owner of the practices claims to be innocent and is under house arrest but still has his medical license. He is the physician owner where I am working now. I donít know if itís a good idea to be working here.

Opal



Dear Nancy replies:

Dear Opal,

The family practice you describe in your question does not sound like the best choice for you, especially because e you have just started in this position. You did not indicate what you did before you took this position, but there is probably no question that working in this family practice raises issues for you that might affect your practice, your license and your professional reputation. Clearly, the staff member who now is serving time in jail, and the physician who is under house arrest, are not good omens.

You should get a consultation as soon as possible with a nurse attorney or other attorney in your state who works in healthcare regulation and can advise you of your options in this situation, especially with an eye toward possible licensure and criminal liability for you. For example, in addition to the concerns about you and your reputation, what does your contract say about leaving the practice should you decide to do so? Are there financial or other ramifications you face? If so, are these less threatening than to stay in a practice whose staff is clearly being prosecuted and watched by healthcare regulators and the courts?

Everyone makes a bad choice concerning employment now and then. The important thing for you to do now is make the best choice for you and your future as a doctor of nursing practice. With your credentials, there is no doubt about your ability to obtain employment in the future in another family practice or whatever role you decide to select as you continue your nursing practice.

Regards,
Nancy




Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.