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Physicians and the Professionals Resource Network (PRN)

A physician or other health care professional covered by the Professionals Resource Network (PRN) must decide when to self-report an arrest involve substance abuse to PRN when seeking out treatment on a voluntary basis before the final disposition of a criminal case. Physicians and other health care practitioners participating in PRN do so voluntarily instead of being reported to or by the Florida Department of Health (DOH).

An attorney can help you understand the pros and cons of self-reporting the incident on a voluntary basis early in the case. Although the physician might not be required to report until the final disposition of the criminal case, there are many advantages to reporting the incident voluntarily to PRN soon after the arrest and beginning the evaluation and any recommended treatment.

Even while you are fighting the criminal charges for an outright dismissal, it is also a good idea to seek treatment when appropriate. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you fight the charges while you seek treatment so that no other incidents occur. Also, in a close case, the prosecutor might decide that no other action is required if the physician is already seeking the appropriate treatment.

Extraordinary results require extraordinary efforts at every stage of the case. 


Substance Abuse Facilities Approved by PRN

A criminal defense attorney with experience representing physicians and other health care professional can help you decide when and how to report the incident to the Florida Department of Health and PRN. An attorney can also help you find the best treatment options with a substance abuse facility that is approved by PRN. These facilities focus on treating physicians in recovery from a substance abuse problem.

An attorney can also help you determine the best way to address the criminal charges so that you can fight for the best possible result in your case. We represent physicians and health care professionals charged with a variety of crimes related to substance abuse or the misuse of alcohol including DUI, disorderly conduct (public drunkenness), possession of marijuana, possession of controlled substances, and any crime committed while under the influence of alcohol or any chemical or controlled substance.

Call our attorneys at 813-250-0500 to discuss your case today.


Attorneys Defending Physicians Against Crimes in Tampa, FL

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm, P.A., in Tampa, FL, are experienced in defending physicians, nurses, pharmacists and licensed health care professionals in investigations of their licenses, in administrative hearings, in actions by the DEA to revoke their DEA number, and in cases by Medicare or Medicaid against them.

Call us to find out more about the services we provide when representing a physician or nurse in a criminal investigation. If you are the subject of a criminal investigation, never make a statement or sign any paperwork until after you have sought out the services of an experienced attorney to represent you during each stage of the case. Call us for a confidential consultation at 813-250-0500 today.


Seeking Voluntary Treatment after an Arrest

Seeking out treatment on a voluntary basis immediately after the arrest will also give your criminal defense attorney several advantages in resolving your criminal case. Prosecutors are often impressed with the fact that a physician has sought out intensive substance abuse treatment on a voluntary basis early in the case. If you want an extraordinary result, you should work with your attorney to do something extraordinary to address any concerns. By looking for pro-active solutions, you can often eliminate any need for further court intervention.


Physicians Charged with DUI in Tampa or Hillsborough County, FL

If a physician or health care professional is charged with a DUI, the offense might required mandatory jail time if the physician is convicted for the offense. An experienced DUI defense attorney can help you understand the benefits of seeking residential treatment. Your time in a residential treatment facility can often off-set the jail time that would otherwise be required.

HealthCare Connection of Tampa, Inc. ("HCC") provides a variety of services including residential treatment for physicians and other professionals including nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. HealthCare Connection of Tampa, Inc., is also experienced in treating attorneys and airline pilots facing criminal charges. HCC also provides treatment to persons with dual diagnoses such as Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, and Major Depression. Services provided range from inpatient and ambulatory detoxification to primary and extended care treatment. Aftercare services including both halfway and three-quarter way services.

Services in the residential program for individuals will typically include individual therapy, neuro-biofeedback sessions, and therapeutic counseling in groups. Treatment for a physician or health care professional charged with a criminal offense such as DUI or a drug crime includes assignments aimed at breaking through denial by challenging the denial system, gaining an understanding of the concepts of powerlessness and unmanageability. The counseling in any residential program is focused on increasing coping skills, increasing knowledge of the disease of addiction, and identifying emotions. AA/NA meetings play a vital role in many of these residential programs for health care professionals.

A physician seeking treatment after a DUI arrest or another type of criminal offense must often complete residential treatment to retain their medical license. After the residential program is over, the physician must often engage in a monitoring contract with the Professional Resource Network (PRN). Monitoring contracts are individualized for each participant but generally last for five (5) years and include a daily check in for random urine drug screening, a weekly support group meeting and several 12 step meetings per week.


What is Professionals Resource Network (PRN) in Florida?

Professionals Resource Network (PRN) is a consultant to the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. This non-profit organization serves impaired healthcare professionals in the United States as part of the Impaired Practitioners Program of Florida. PRN is one of the two programs designated as the State of Florida's Impaired Practitioners Programs.

The stated mission of PRN is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public while supporting the integrity of the health care team and other professionals. PRN and its Medical Director serve as the Consultant to the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) on matters relating to practitioner impairment.

The DOH and the DBPR contract with PRN to provide mandated services of the Florida Statutes in Chapters 455 and 456, as well as each individual's practice act. PRN is often an alternative to the DOH/DBPR disciplinary process.


Scope of Covered Health Care Professional

Although the PRN program was originally created to serve physicians and has grown to serve a wide range of health care professionals and other participants including:

  • Medical Student;
  • Doctor of Medicine;
  • Physician Assistant;
  • Doctor of Osteopathy;
  • Dentist; Dental Hygienist;
  • Dental Assistant;
  • Anesthesia Assistant;
  • Pharmacist / Pharmacy Technician;
  • Optometrist; EMT's and Paramedics;
  • Veterinarian; Podiatrist;
  • Orthotist;
  • Optician;
  • Psychologist;
  • Chiropractor;
  • Dietician / Nutritionist;
  • Mental Health Counselor;
  • Marriage/Family Therapist;
  • Clinical Social Worker;
  • Physical Therapist;
  • Speech and Language Pathologist and Audiologist;
  • Occupational Therapist;
  • Respiratory Therapist;
  • Licensed Midwife;
  • Massage Therapist;
  • Medical Physicist;
  • Acupuncturist;
  • Radiation Technician;
  • Physical Therapy Assistant;
  • Clinical Laboratory Personnel;
  • Hearing Aid Specialist;
  • Nursing Home Administrator;
  • Athletic Trainer;
  • Electrologist.

As Consultant to the DBPR, PRN’s scope of services encompasses Harbor Pilots and Veterinarians.


Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney for a Physician in Florida

If you are charged with a criminal offense in Tampa, FL, or the surrounding areas, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney with the Sammis Law Firm. We representing health professionals such as doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, massage therapists and mental health counselors.

Physicians are often required to disclose issues related to moral character and ethical professional responsibility during the licensure process to practice medicine or to be eligible to sit for a licensing exam including whether they have ever been arrested for, formally accused of, charged with, indicted for or convicted of the commission of any crime or offense, whether state, federal, or in other countries, including offenses categorized as misdemeanors, high misdemeanors or felonies.

We represent doctors and nurses that must enter the State of Florida's Impaired Practitioners Programs and have experience working with the Professionals Resource Network (PRN) for Doctors and the Intervention Project for Nurses. We are also familiar with matters relating the practitioner impairment and disciplinary proceedings with the Department of Health and the DBPR Legal Departments. Let us put our experience to work for you.

Call 813-250-0500.


This article was last updated on Friday, February 10, 2017.