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Exploring the rights of medical professionals under the HPSP

In our last post, we began discussing how many licensed medical professionals struggling with certain health issues will voluntarily look to the Minnesota Health Professionals Services Program (HPSP) in the hopes that it can provide them with the necessary assistance to continue working in their chosen profession.

We also discussed how taking such a step before consulting with a legal professional might be inadvisable given the potential consequences. In light of this reality, today's post -- the first in a series -- will take a closer look at the HPSP and the services it provides to the state's more than 200,000 license medical professionals.

The stated mission of the HPSP is protect the public through the provision of services to those medical professionals whose underlying mental health issues or addiction problems may comprise their ability to provide safe and effective care.

Specifically, the HPSP focuses on providing medical professionals licensed or otherwise regulated by the Department of Health or one of the state's licensing bodies with early and generally confidential "intervention, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring" designed to achieve better compliance and outcomes.

Some of the professions covered by the HPSP include physicians, nurses, veterinarians, pharmacists and dentists, to name only a few.

Contacting the HPSP

When a medical professional contacts the HPSP about enrollment, they will speak with a case manager who will then hold a sort of informal telephone interview. Specifically, the case manager will outline how the process works, how the collected data will be used, and how there are some exceptions to the general notion of "confidential monitoring," meaning whether a licensing board is informed of the person's enrollment.

We'll continue discussing this issue in our next post, including how the HPSP determines whether a medical professional is eligible for monitoring and the agreement that they will be asked to sign.

In the meantime if you have any question or concerns regarding your rights and options as they relate to the HPSP, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.

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