Don’t Lose Your Job, Too: The Healthcare Provider Disciplinary Process and Your Employer


Alex Fisher and Erin Tolbert, the creator of MidlevelU, discuss the implications of an investigation by a healthcare board, such as the Board of Nursing or the Board of Medical Examiners, on a healthcare provider’s employment. The original article and video, published on MidlevelU, can be found here. Although Erin and Alex discuss the effects of an investigation by a healthcare board in the context of nurse practitioners, the same advice applies to physicians and other healthcare providers. Investigation by the Board of Nursing Nurse Practitioners may face disciplinary action in one of two main categories: (1) prescribing and (2) professionalism. Typical disciplinary action for prescribing involves overprescribing, prescribing for patients without proper documentation, and prescribing without appropriate medical justification. By contrast, typical disciplinary actions for professionalism generally involve being dishonest at work, inappropriate relationships with patients, and any other sort of boundary crossing with patients or co-workers. An investigation by the Board […]

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Legal Considerations: Prescribing Medications for Friends and Family


Alex Fisher and Erin Tolbert, the creator of MidlevelU, discuss legal considerations to be mindful of when prescribing medications for friends and family. The original article and video, published on MidlevelU, can be found here. Although Erin and Alex discuss prescribing to friends and family in the context of nurse practitioners, the same advice applies to other physicians and other healthcare providers. 100% of Physicians Say They have Prescribed Medication for Friends and Family Statistics show that prescribing to friends and family members is a common practice among health care providers. Most states do not prohibit writing prescriptions for friends and family; however states require proper documentation to accompany all prescriptions that are written. In addition, most states discourage the practice of writing prescriptions to friends and family members except in emergency situations. It is important to remember that when writing a prescription for a controlled substance, federal law mandates that this must take place […]

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Administrative Law Introduction


Welcome to the Administrative Law blog. Here at Thompson Burton, our administrative law practice routinely represents health care professionals before their respective licensing boards, such as the Board of Medical Examiners and Board of Nursing. This short introductory video is aimed at explaining this practice area both to individuals seeking representation, as well as others seeking to generally understand this practice area at Thompson Burton.  

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Nursing Regulations and the Board of Nursing


Alex Fisher was recently asked to speak as a guest lecturer to a class of first year nursing students at Southwest Community College in Memphis, Tennessee, to discuss how nurses are regulated by the Board of Nursing. Although Alex discusses regulations and regulatory boards in the context of nursing, the same regulations apply to other health care providers, including physicians, physician assistants, and pharmacists. Alex discusses the following: The Purpose of State Nursing Boards Nurse Boards award licenses to L.P.N.s, R.N.s, and N.P.s, and set forth the educational curriculums and standards for nursing programs in the state. In addition, the Board interprets the statutes and rules related to nursing to determine the appropriate standards of practice, and the Board enforces these statutes and rules when they are deemed to be violated. The Legal Discipline Process Before a Nursing Board The Board of Nursing follows a legal process in all cases. Nurses and other healthcare providers […]

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Why Do Healthcare Providers Overprescribe?


Last month, the Tennessee Department of Health sent out letters contacting the top 50 prescribers in the state–which includes physicians as well as nurse practitioners and physician assistants–to request that these individuals justify their higher than average prescribing. While simply prescribing more than one’s peers does not de facto mean that a provider is practicing outside the standard of care, oftentimes these top prescribers raise numerous red flags in the Department of Health’s audit. This review process–which ultimately may lead to discipline for many healthcare providers across the state–raises the question: why do healthcare providers overprescribe? As with most complex issues facing the healthcare profession, the answer isn’t simple. Healthcare Providers Overprescribe Because We Expect Them To. We live in a culture where we as patients expect to receive a prescription when we go to a healthcare provider’s office for treatment. This expectation is systemic of a broader cultural problem where […]

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