2. If you have seen fraud or been asked to document fraudulently, write down details including who said what, where, when, how. Even write down patient names and try to remember room numbers. HIPPA does not apply to the federal and state agencies I will plug you in with.
3. Did your employer violate Medicare/Medicaid rules? Services not rendered? You may not have the power but your lawyer and the government do.
4. Get a Texas Workforce Hearing with your lawyer at your side. It is recorded sworn testimony that can be used for an employment lawsuit later.
****Please note that lawsuits are not easily won-especially in labor law. Often even a small settlement with a positive letter of rehire is a major victory. Losing cases is a reality before they really get going. Fraud, sexual harassment with witnesses and a past pattern are the strongest cases. The EMR "gotcha" write up game is the easiest way a nurse is railroaded and deemed unsafe by employers.
I am general counsel for employers but do not play those games. If there is ethical room, I offer the option to resign and if it is a minor incident found by the peer review committee than no board complaint.
You are the problem for whistle blowing? The irony: they are the problem yet you are the danger. Everyone makes documentation and med documentation errors. The EMR in my opinion, not because I am over 40, is a real pain in the A__. It takes away from real patient care by at least 10 percent. What a waste of time and it dehumanizes the nurse/patient relationship. In all fairness, the government first gave a carrot then the stick unless doctors and institutions played ball and used EMR a decade-plus ago. A multi-billion dollar industry is what it is now.
What if I do not go and pick up the certified letter? Now is not the time to bury your head in the sand. Pick up the letter from the post office!
Do not go out and spend thousands on a lawyer who handles car wrecks. You do not go to an OB/GYN or procto for a growth you saw on our shoulder that is asymmetrical, versicolor, over 5 millimeters and irregularly shaped or to a procto for a board complaint!
Why should I pay for a consult much less someone to defend me? Want to learn more? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a free copy of this chapter.
****Note: The views expressed in this article are solely the opinions of Joe Flores, JD, Family Nurse Practitioner and do not reflect the views of www.ExceptionalNurse.com. Mr. Flores is not selling anything. This is part of 120 plus hours of work he is doing for the Texas Bar Pro Bono College.
With thanks for all you do Joe!