Legal Counsel for Defense Against Placement on Employee Disqualification List
Health care workers in Missouri accused of abusing, neglecting or misappropriating property from patients may receive notice that the state Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) intends to place their name on its Employee Disqualification List (EDL). The EDL is a list available to most employers in the health care industry in Missouri. Those whose names are placed on the list are effectively barred from working in health care, which could last for years. A notice that DHSS intends to put your name on the EDL is a serious legal issue that requires immediate attention to allow you to continue working. If DHSS notifies you that it intends to place your name on the EDL, contact Dolley Law, LLC for experienced, aggressive representation by attorneys with skills and knowledge you need to protect your career.
The Employee Disqualification List
If your name is placed on the EDL, you are prohibited from working in most health care jobs in Missouri. The EDL is a list of individuals who are disqualified from holding any position with the following entities:
- Long-term care facilities;
- Skilled nursing facilities;
- Intermediate care facilities;
- Residential care facilities;
- Assisted living facilities;
- Entities licensed under Chapters 197 and 198 RSMo;
- Home health agencies;
- Temporary nurse staffing agencies;
- Ambulatory surgery centers;
- Abortion facility;
- In-home services providers agencies under contract with DHSS;
- Entities approved by DHSS to issue certificates for nurses’ assistants;
- Clinical rotations through schools of nursing or medicine;
- Individuals receiving consumer-directed services;
- Public or private facilities, day programs, residential facilities, or specialized services operated, licensed, or funded by the state Department of Mental Health;
- Adult day care providers.
Anyone who works in health care in Missouri is potentially subject to being placed on the EDL. This includes physicians, pharmacist, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse’s aides, pharmacy technicians, patient care technicians, and other unlicensed employees.
The entities listed above are prohibited from employing someone whose name is on the EDL. These employers can check the EDL online every day and must check it periodically. If your name is placed on the EDL, you immediately become ineligible to work at these facilities. The only exceptions are adult day care providers and DMH programs, which must check the EDL before allowing an employee to have contact with patients. Due to these restrictions, if your name is placed on the EDL you will likely be terminated and have extreme difficulty finding another health care job in Missouri.
Conduct That Could Lead to EDL Placement
Under Chapter 192 RSMo and state regulations applicable to DHSS, a person may be listed on the EDL as a result of the following conduct:
- Abuse of a resident, patient, client or consumer;
- Neglect of a resident, patient, client or consumer;
- Misappropriation of funds or property of a resident, patient, client or consumer;
- Falsification of documentation verifying delivery of services to an in-home services client or consumer.
Abuse is broadly defined and includes physical, sexual, or emotional injury or harm, financial exploitation, intimidation, and harassment. Neglect includes failure to provide services that are reasonable and necessary to maintain the physical and mental health of a patient. And misappropriation of funds can extend to diverting a patient’s medications, even medications that are refused or scheduled to be wasted.
The EDL Disciplinary Process
The EDR disciplinary process starts when an allegation is made to DHSS. Most health care employers are mandatory reporters who must report suspected abuse or neglect to DHSS. Allegations may also come from a patient, a patient’s family member, a co-worker, or someone else. DHSS then conducts an investigation, which may include contacting the person accused of misconduct. Statements made during the investigation may impact future legal proceedings against you. If you are contacted by a DHSS investigator, contact our Firm for representation during the investigation.
If DHSS determines your name should be placed on the EDL, it will notify you in writing. You then have 30 days to file an application for state hearing challenging this determination. Failure to respond will result in your name being placed on the EDL.
Hearings are conducted by a hearing officer from another state department in your county of residence. At the hearing, each side can make an opening statement, call witnesses, introduce evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make closing a closing statement. Mitigating evidence may be presented and considered by the hearing officer. Procedural and evidentiary rules must be followed, including by those without legal training who represent themselves. The hearing officer decides whether the health care worker’s name can be placed on the EDL and, if so, whether DHSS’s proposed placement is appropriate.
Health care professionals who are unsuccessful at their hearing may appeal by filing a petition for judicial review in circuit court. Appellate proceedings often involve complex legal arguments made in writing and at oral argument. In certain situations, a party may be entitled to additional discovery. Further appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals may be available. Strict procedures must be followed and representation by an attorney with appellate experience is important. If you are faced with an EDL hearing or seek to appeal a finding against you, contact Dolley Law, LLC today.
The Impact of Criminal Convictions on Health Care Employment
Workers in the health field who are convicted or found guilty of certain felonies face restrictions on their ability to work. This may include limitations on jobs one can perform, license discipline, or inability to be hired for certain jobs. Individuals who are arrested for or charged with a crime should contact Dolley Law, LLC as soon as possible. Decisions made during the criminal court process may negatively impact your career for years to come. Those in this situation need an attorney who understands both Missouri criminal law and health care law. Our Firm’s attorneys have broad experience and deep knowledge in these areas and will provide comprehensive representation to workers facing multiple legal issues.
Removal from the EDL and Good Cause Waivers
Missouri law allows DHSS to remove someone’s name from the EDL early. Good cause waivers to EDL placement are available in limited situations. To obtain removal or a waiver, an applicant must meet certain requirements. DHSS has sole discretion in this area and may impose conditions, so it is important to make the right arguments and understand the governing law. Dolley Law, LLC has the expertise and background to assist you with removal from the EDL or obtaining a good cause waiver. Our attorneys will help you navigate the legal process and do everything possible to help you maintain or regain your ability to work as a health care professional in Missouri.
If you are notified that the DHSS intends to place your name on the Employee Disqualification List or seek to appeal such a placement, contact Dolley Law, LLC for representation by calling (314) 645-4100 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.