Criminal convictions, nurses, and other licensed health care professionals in Michigan

Michigan Compiled Law 333.16243(1)(c) permits the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to request and receive from Courts information concerning a felony or misdemeanor conviction against a nurse.  Pursuant to MCL 769.16a(7) the Court is required to report within 21 days a convictions related to the legal delivery, possession, or use of alcohol or a controlled substance.  This applies to any health care professional who is licensed or registered in Michigan including doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, chiropractors, pathologists, therapists, etc.

In Michigan there are laws that are intended to protected patients in health care facilities.  Even if the offense is not related to employment, there are certain convictions that act as a permanent bar to employment in a health care facility and other convictions that act as a temporary bar to employment in a health care facility.

Michigan Compiled Law 333.20173a prevents a “covered facility” (nursing homes, hospices, home health agency, county medical care facility, home of the aged, hospital with swing bed services) from employing, independently contracting, or granting clinical privileges to persons as follows:

Bar for convictions for crimes pursuant to 42 USC 1320a-7(a):

  1. felony patient neglect or abuse;
  2. felony health care fraud related to theft, embezzlement, breach of fiduciary responsibility, or other financial misconduct;
  3. fraud related to delivery of an item or service related to a health care program;
  4. felony unlawful manufacture, distribution, prescription, or dispensing of a controlled substance;
  5. felony offense related to fraud, theft, embezzlement, breach of fiduciary responsibility, or other financial misconduct;
  6. Any attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above in this paragraph

15 year bar that starts from the completion of sentencing, parole, or probation:

  1. felony involving criminal sexual conduct;
  2. felony involving abuse or neglect;
  3. felony involving the uses of a firearm or dangerous weapons;
  4. felony involving cruelty or torture;
  5. felony for vulnerable adult abuse;
  6. felony relating to death at unlicensed cared facility;
  7. felony involving serious impairment of body function or death that results in the same or involves a threat to do the same;
  8. felony involving the diversion or adulteration or drugs/medication;
  9. Any attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above in this paragraph

10 year bar that starts from the completion of sentencing, parole, or probation:

  1. misdemeanor conviction for crime pursuant to 42 USC 1302a-7(a) or substantially similar to the same (see above);
  2. misdemeanor involving criminal sexual conduct;
  3. misdemeanor involving abuse or neglect;
  4. misdemeanor involving the use of a firearm or dangerous weapons with either the intent to injure, that results in personal injury, the use of for or violence, or the threat of the  use of force or violence
  5. misdemeanor involving cruelty or torture, if committed by individual 16 years or older
  6. Any attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above in this paragraph

5 year bar that starts from the completion of sentencing, parole, or probation:

  1. misdemeanor involving cruelty or torture, if committed by individual under 16 years;
  2. misdemeanor involving embezzlement;
  3. misdemeanor involving home invasion;
  4. misdemeanor larceny, except as provided below;
  5. 2nd degree retail fraud;
  6. any other misdemeanor involving assault, fraud, theft, possession of a controlled substance, or delivery of a controlled substance, except as provided below
  7. Any attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above in this paragraph

3 year bar that starts from the completion of sentencing, parole, or probation:

  1. misdemeanor assault;
  2. 3rd degree retail fraud;
  3. misdemeanor (under part 74) except as provided below;

1 year bar that starts from the completion of sentencing, parole, or probation:

  1. misdemeanor larceny if committed by individual under the age of 16 at the time of conviction;
  2. misdemeanor 2nd degree retail fraud if committed by individual under the age of 16 at the time of conviction;
  3. misdemeanor under part 74 if individual is under the age of 18

Non-criminal acts can also result in a 1 year bar:

  1. finding of not guilty by reason of insanity;
  2. a substantiated finding of neglect, abuse, or misappropriation of property by a state or federal agency pursuant to an investigation conducted in accordance with 42 USC 1395i-3 or 1396r.

It is important to note that laws are always subject to change or modification.  There may be other bars to employment in a health care field for criminal convictions that are not covered in this blog.  The information provided in this blog is not intended to be a substitution for obtaining legal advice or legal representation from a licensed attorney.  A favorable result in a criminal case can still result in disciplinary action (including suspension and/or license revocation) through the State of Michigan, the Department of Health, or the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, or other States depending upon the circumstances.

If charged with any criminal offense you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.  An experienced criminal defense attorney attorney can help you in the following ways:

A.  provide you with solid advice so you can make the best and most informed decisions concerning your case;

B.  defend the case in the most effective way, including trial;

C.  obtain all the relevant and necessary information to properly handle your case;

D.  help you try and obtain a reasonable bond and reasonable bond conditions;

E.  when appropriate and available, negotiate a plea bargain that takes into consideration your professional license;

F.  when appropriate and available, obtain special sentencing statuses to prevent convictions from appearing on your record.  (It is important to know, however, first offender programs, deferred adjudication, or other such statuses are not recognized federally.  This creates a complicated picture when it relates to alleged violations of crimes listed in 42 USC 1320a-7(a).  There may be federal consequences that could bar your or your entity from participation in a Federal health care program (as defined by 42 USC 1320a-7b(f)).

G.  when appropriate, obtain a favorable sentence.

For Michigan health care professionals with criminal law related issues you can contact attorney Daniel Hilf, Esq. of Hilf & Hilf, PLC for outstanding legal representation.