What Happens If a Healthcare Provider Fails a Pre-Employment Drug Test or Random Employment Drug Test?

Physician wearing scrubs and crossing arms.

Your Medical, Nursing or Healthcare Professional License is at Stake

If you are a healthcare provider, failing a pre-employment drug test or random employment drug test could be the beginning of a very long, involved process — one that could cost you your medical license, nursing license, or other professional healthcare provider license.

Most often a licensed health care professional fails an employment drug test because of pain medications, marijuana, benzodiazepines or alcohol. When a random drug test is conducted during the course of employment, the healthcare provider can be accused of drug diversion, along with testing positive for drugs.

What do you do if this happens to you?

Sara Bazzigaluppi, one of Chapman Law Group’s Florida-based regulatory and licensing healthcare defense attorneys, discusses IPN and PRN with Chapman Law Group founder Ronald W. Chapman Sr.

Do Not Contact the Impairment Program — Consult an Attorney First

If you are a Florida healthcare provider, you might advised by your employer, colleague or the Board to call the Professionals Resource Network (PRN) or the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN). If you are in Michigan, you may be asked to reach out to the Health Professionals Recovery Program (HPRP).

Do not do this.

Instead, you should speak to a health care licensing defense attorney.

Many health professionals contact the impairment programs out of fear that they will lose their license if they don’t. But here’s the untold truth: you may have other options that can protect your license without the need for a long and invasive monitoring agreement with HPRP, IPN, or PRN.

Are You a Healthcare Provider with an Addiction?

If you are a healthcare provider and have a valid prescription, you should be all right so long as you are taking the medication according to the prescription and the prescription is valid. If you do not have a prescription, you could face an emergency suspension or summary suspension for your medical license, nursing license, or other professional license.

The most important thing that can be done at this time is to obtain evidence to prove:

      1. you do not have an addiction problem;
      2. you are safe to work; and
      3. you do not need active supervision.

Our professional healthcare licensing attorneys can assist you in building your case. We may send you to a certified addiction psychologist or psychiatrist for a complete evaluation, including administration of the MMPI or SASSE examinations. These evaluators are not associated with the impairment programs or boards; often, evaluators associated with the impairment programs and boards have a strong bias — meaning your chance of being diagnosed with an impairment is higher.

If you do not have an addiction issue, our evaluators can prepare a report to help prove that to the board, and to show that you would not benefit from the impairment program. Depending on the stage of your case, we may be able to avoid formal action against your nursing license or medical license by presenting this information to the board. If formal action has commenced, we will work to reinstate your health care license and resolve the action without the need for monitoring or restrictions on your license.

If you do have an addiction issue, HPRP, IPN, or PRN could be right for you, although you still have options. Our professional healthcare licensing lawyers will discuss your options and assist you with the process. If you decide to enter the impairment program or are required by the board to do so, our attorneys can help negotiate your contract with the impairment program and avoid unnecessary monitoring requirements. 

Do note that the requirements to maintain compliance can be very strict, and failure to comply with the terms will result in suspension of your license.

Your Healthcare Employer May Be Required to Report Drug Test Results to the Board

Please contact our attorneys immediately if you have failed a pre-employment drug test or random employment drug test. It is likely that your health care employer will report the incident to the Board of Nursing, Board of Medicine, Board of Pharmacy, or the board for which your healthcare occupation applies, and you may face action against your medical license, nursing license, or other healthcare professional license. Often, the action will be suspension of your license or an administrative complaint.

Our goal is to prevent formal action against your license. Therefore, the sooner you contact us, the better chance we will have to help you minimize the damage to your license from a failed employment drug test allegation. If the Board has already taken formal action against your license or referred you to the impairment program, we will fight to dissolve the suspension order and reinstate your license without HPRP, IPN, or PRN monitoring requirements.

Health Professionals with Positive Drug Tests Know Who to Turn to for Help: The Healthcare Attorneys at Chapman Law Group

We at Chapman Law Group have been defending health professionals for 35 years, and we are dedicated to protecting the licenses of our clients.

Healthcare professionals across Michigan (Detroit, Dearborn, Troy, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Lansing and other regions) and Florida (in the Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach communities) rely on us.

Several of our attorneys practice professional healthcare licensing defense full time. We defend health care providers daily with drug diversion allegations and positive employment drug test allegations. Our case results for healthcare professionals are examples of what we do.

When your healthcare license is in jeopardy, turn to the seasoned professionals: the healthcare license defense lawyers at Chapman Law Group.

Need an Attorney? Contact us now!
or Call us at: 1 (877) 234-5911

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Related Attorney

Sara A. Bazzigaluppi


Professional Licensing & Regulatory Affairs,

Civil Litigation

Sarasota Office
6841 Energy Court
Sarasota, FL 34240
Phone: (941) 893-3449

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