During the last six months, several clients of Chapman Law Group who are HPRP participants have had administrative complaints filed against them while they remain compliant with HPRP. This is the result of a change in policy and reorganization that occurred late in 2016 within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). The unwritten rule for the past several years was so long as HPRP participants remained compliant with the program, no administrative complaint would be filed against them. The new policy, as described by the HPRP Contract Administrator for LARA, is that participation in HPRP does not prevent the Department from pursuing action for an alleged violation of the Public Health Code for conduct that may have precipitated self-reporting to HPRP or any actions that occurred outside participation in the program. These complaints also do not contain any reference to HPRP so that participation remains non-regulatory and confidential.
However, this action by LARA clearly denies these participants of the benefit of the bargain when they joined HPRP. This benefit is clearly stated in the cover letter for every monitoring agreement where it indicates that “[p]articipation accomplishes several goals . . . protects your professional license.” Sadly, this is no longer the case. For the time being, it appears that administrative complaints are only being filed against HPRP participants whose conduct relates to the diversion of controlled substances. However, there are no guarantees that licensees whose participation in HPRP stems from alcohol abuse or mental health issues are protected any longer either.
If you are an HPRP participant who has received an administrative complaint despite being compliant with the requirements of your HPRP monitoring agreement, please contact Aaron Kemp, Senior Attorney at Chapman Law Group, for assistance with resolving your administrative complaint.