As both a nurse and an attorney, Eileen Talamante concentrates her practice in the representation of nurses and physicians from all over the state of Virginia in licensing and discipline matters before the Board of Nursing and the Board of Medicine, as well as other health care licensees before their respective regulatory boards. 

Frequently Asked Questions

[fa icon="plus-square"] What can I do to proactively protect my license?
  • Ensure Insurance Coverage. Most malpractice carriers now offer a special rider to cover legal fees for defending Board complaints. Having your legal fees covered is certainly helpful in decreasing the anxiety caused by a complaint and also ensures that you have the advice and guidance of legal counsel.
  • Know the DHP website. The DHP website has a wealth of information including up to date information on all the applicable laws and regulations and guidance documents for your licensees. Learn to navigate the website and stay informed. 
  • Stay current with applicable laws and regulations. Stay current with the applicable laws and regulations to ensure (rather than assume) that you are acting in accordance with all expectations of the Board of Medicine and Nursing.
[fa icon="plus-square"] What are the most frequent allegations?
As a health care provider in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health Professions does more than just issue your professional license. It is responsible for establishing and maintaining acceptable standards of professional practice and to take disciplinary action when there is an allegation that licensed health care providers do not practice in accordance with those standards. The most frequent of those allegations are:
  • substandard care
  • practicing beyond the scope of licensure
  • diversion of prescription drugs
  • inappropriate prescribing or dispensing of controlled drugs
  • boundary violations/sexual misconduct
  • improper advertising
  • inadequate record keeping
  • unprofessional conduct
  • conviction of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude
  • adverse licensure action in another jurisdiction
[fa icon="plus-square"] What should I do if a complaint is filed against me?
  • Seek Legal counsel as early as possible in the process and only communicate with the investigator via legal counsel. Legal counsel seasoned in defending Board matters can help you and the licensee navigate through the Board’s process as well as any ripple down effects of a disciplinary action including credentialing and third party payor issues, and any associated criminal matters (fraud, drug diversion, over- prescribing, etc.).
  • Take a Deep Breath. Most complaints are closed with no violations found. If you are contacted by an investigator, remain calm, polite and cooperative. However, that does not mean you have to acquiesce and give away the farm. There are laws in place to protect the practice and practitioners, so do not cower or allow yourself to be bullied. Likewise, do not become obstinate or obstreperous. You can take a momentary pause and tell the investigator that you would like to consult with legal counsel as to how best to approach the situation.
  • Respect deadlines and assist legal counsel. Don’t panic, but also don’t ignore or take deadlines lightly. Deadlines in a letter from an investigator or in a Notice from any Board should be respected and followed.  
  • Do not contact the complainant. It is not uncommon for a doctor or nurse to want to call the complainant to clear things up and make things all better. This is a really bad idea. Just don’t do it.
[fa icon="plus-square"] Do you work with the Health Practitioners' Monitoring Program?
Our attorneys are aware that there are clinicians who may be impaired by physical or mental disability, or who suffer from chemical dependency. We have worked closely with the Health Practitioners' Monitoring Program (HPMP) to increase the number of practitioners who will seek this avenue of assistance as an alternative to or in mitigation of disciplinary action, thereby enhancing public protection while aiding the practitioner. For those clinicians who may be eligible, our attorneys can provide assistance to facilitate with treatment decisions to address an impairment or to help demonstrate that no such impairment exists. The goal is to work with both the Board and the Health Practitioners' Monitoring Program to put the practitioner in the best position to seek a stay of any disciplinary action or to resolve matters where no impairment or cause for discipline exists. In most instances, HPMP is open to persons who are or who were licensed, certified, or registered, or to an applicant, who is otherwise fully eligible for licensure, certification, or registration.
[fa icon="plus-square"] Do I need an attorney?
We have counseled and represented hundreds of licensed healthcare professionals throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, many who have come under investigation by their respective licensing boards. With extensive knowledge of the laws and regulations governing the various health professions, the investigative and regulatory processes and the informal and formal conference proceedings, we provide our clients with the most effective and efficient approach to their unique situation. We appreciate your need for advice and consultation. You may not need counsel – and that is an opinion we have often given in response to such a question. However, we can facilitate with your decision to have or forego counsel so it is both educated and informed.
[fa icon="plus-square"] What other practitioners do you represent?
In addition to health care professionals, our attorneys represent and defend a wide array of other professionals, including accountants, engineers, architects, and attorneys. Our attorneys are sensitive to the demands of their clients' profession, the importance of their reputation as well as the need for legal representation of the highest quality. We offer the necessary expertise and experience to assist our clients in obtaining the best possible result under these difficult circumstances.