Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.
February 25, 2020
 
Question:

Jennifer,
 
Hi, I recently received a letter from the OPMC requesting a patient chart.  I know this patient is disgruntled (I refused to write opioids for this patient).   What should I do?
 
Thank you in advance,
Dr. P


Answer:

This is a great question and one we receive frequently.  By law, the New York State Department of Health, Office of Professional Medical Conduct (“OPMC”) is mandated to investigate all complaints filed, regardless of whether they are frivolous.  The best thing to do upon receiving a letter from OPMC, whether frivolous in your eyes or not, is to: (i) not respond until you have spoken with an attorney; (ii) do not contact or attempt to contact the patient or patients in the letter; and (iii) do not wait until the end of the OPMC deadline to take action or contact an attorney.  OPMC, or its counterpart, the Office of Professional Discipline (for other licensees in NY) is authorized to censure, reprimand, place on probation or revoke licensure, if warranted after administrative process.  DO NOT ENGAGE DIRECTLY WITH OPMC (or OPD).   Because this agency has such a wide purview, it is highly inadvisable to attempt to explain your way out of any inquiry.  It is also a very bad idea to use an OPMC inquiry as a "trial" for your cousin looking to expand into healthcare law.   It is very important you used an experienced OPMC attorney, familiar with process.  In this instance, if the facts are as presented above, there is potential with proper assessment and presentation of the medical record, and proper presentation of medical opinion, this matter can potentially be wrapped with limited time expenditure, potentially.  Reminder: We hope everyone is checking the Prescription Monitoring Program.  We have seen an uptick in OPMC reviews simply to confirm PMP inquiry! 

We have been successful, in some instances, avoiding interview, and providing sufficient information in written format to close investigations (facts dependent).   Call or email us with any questions.  We regularly represent insureds for all NY major insurance carriers (with direct reimbursement for those with coverage).

For help with OPMC or OPD, contact Jennifer at 516-747-6700 x. 302 or at Jennifer@Kirschenbaumesq.com or Michael at 516-747-6700 x. 308 or at MFoster@Kirschenbaumesq.com.