Class Action Suit Filed Against Michigan PHP Alleging Constitutional Violations Related to Involuntary Treatment

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 1.59.40 AMA Federal class action lawsuit has been filed in the Eastern District of Michigan against the state PHP program alleging constitutional violations related to the forced medical treatment of health care professionals involved in the State’s  “Professionals Health Program” (PHP)  and the “callous and reckless termination of professional licenses without due process.”  According to the complaint:

“The Health Professional Recovery Program (HPRP) was established by the Michigan Legislature as a confidential, non-disciplinary approach to support recovery from substance use or mental health disorders. The program was designed to encourage impaired health professionals to seek a recovery program before their impairment harms a patient or damages their careers through disciplinary action. Unfortunately, a once well-meaning program, HPRP, has turned into a highly punitive and involuntary program where health professionals are forced into extensive and unnecessary substance abuse/dependence treatment under the threat of the arbitrary application of pre-hearing deprivations (Summary Suspension) by LARA.filed in the the State of Michigan and a private contractor (Ulliance, Inc. of Troy, Michigan) engaged in a conspiracy to violate the civil rights of Michigan health professionals by involuntarily subjecting them to excessive and unnecessary treatment for substance abuse and suspending their licenses if they do not comply.”

As is the case with most PHPs across the country taken over by the FSPHP the mechanics and mentality are the same.  Referrals can be made anonymously by “colleagues, partners, hospital administrations, patients, family members, or the State” to the PHP for any health professional (from acupuncturist to veterinarian) exhibiting “potential signs of impairment”

The HPRP website states the names of those reporting are kept confidential “unless testimony is needed at a later disciplinary hearing.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 3.28.39 AMAfter initial intake with HPRP, the licensee is referred to a “qualified evaluator” and “If the evaluation indicates a substance use and/or mental health disorder that represent a possible impairment” the HPRP makes referrals for treatment services to an “approved provider.Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 3.29.35 AM

The “qualified evaluators” and “approved providers” are undoubtedly  the same out-of-state  facilities North Carolina state Auditor Beth Woods found her state program was referring to in her audit of the N.C. PHP under the undefinable justification they were “PHP-approved.”

As with North Carolina,  the Michigan PHP will be unable to provide what quality indicators and quantitative measurements are being used to “qualify” and “approve these facilities.    None exist as the common denominators in these “PHP-approved” and state mandated assessment and treatment centers are ideological and economic.  

The medical directors of almost if not all of them can be seen on this list of “like-minded docs.”  The conflicts-of-interest and intertwined relationships among this group is staggering.

The philosophy of Like-Minded Docs is the following:

“We believe that evidence from extensive, well-designed studies demonstrates the great benefits of Twelve-Step recovery modalities including Twelve Step Facilitation in promoting long-term recovery. Further, Twelve-Step modalities are compatible with other treatment strategies including medication-management. We believe that Addiction specialists need to facilitate a path for our patients toward the best possible state of wellness and recovery as they receive treatment for this chronic disease.  We believe a well-rounded educational and clinical preparation for physicians choosing to practice addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry requires a comprehensive exposure to the psychosocial and spiritual modalities of treatment as well as the neurobiological and psychopharmacological modalities.”

This connection needs to be made by both North Carolina and Michigan as the state is mandating treatment not only to assessment and treatment centers with economic conflicts of interest but with ideological ones as well.  Health care practitioners are being forced into evaluations exclusively at 12-step facilities and excluding non-12 step assessment and treatment centers.  This is a clear violation of the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment.

The complaint goes on to state the HPRP:

“has expanded its role to include making treatment decisions in place of the opinions of qualified providers. Licensees are subjected to intake evaluations by a pre-selected cadre of providers who profit from the enrollment of HPRP members. This process culminates in a large number of health professionals receiving a “Monitoring Agreement” which is essentially a nonnegotiable contract for treatment selected by HPRP. While HPRP’s contract with the State requires that treatment be selected by an approved provider and that it be tailored in scope and length to meet the individual licensee’s needs, licensees generally receive the same across-the-board treatment mandates regardless of their diagnosis or condition. Further, treatment providers are not permitted to recommend the specific treatment rendered and HPRP has a policy that only HPRP can set the terms of the treatment required in the contract. Failure to “voluntarily” submit to unnecessary and costly HPRP treatment results in automatic summary suspension..”

“Facing the threat of summary suspension in the event of non-compliance, licensed health professionals are induced into a contract as a punitive tool of BHCS and are often required to refrain from working without prior approval, refrain from taking prescription drugs prescribed by treating physicians, and sign broad waivers allowing HPRP to disclose their private health information to employers, the State of Michigan, and/or treating physicians.”

“Every licensee in the State of Michigan who has received a summary suspension, as a result of HPRP non-compliance, has had their private health data transmitted to the BHCS for use during administrative proceedings. In short, the mandatory requirements of HPRP, coupled with the threat of summary suspension, make involvement in HPRP an involuntary program circumventing the due process rights of licensees referred to the program. The involuntary nature of HPRP policies and procedures as outlined above and the unanimous application of suspension procedures upon HPRP case closure are clear violations of Procedural Due Process under the Fourteenth Amendment.”

This is exactly the same system of institutional injustice seen at Ridgeview under G. Douglas Talbott.  Multiple physician suicides were attributed to these same abuses–involuntary forced treatment under extortion of loss of licensure.  It is time this elephant in the room be addressed in terms of the marked increased in suicide we are seeing now.

 

http://www.chapmanlawgroup.com/hprp-class-action/

Health Professionals File Class Action Against HPRP

Jurisdiction: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Subject: Plaintiff’s filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Michigan health care professionals, alleging constitutional violations related to the forced medical treatment of health care professionals involved in the State’s substance abuse monitoring program (HPRP) and the callous and reckless termination of professional licenses without due process by HPRP and the Bureau of Healthcare Services.

Three Michigan health professionals filed a federal class action for due process violations arising out of execution of a State substance abuse monitoring program known as the Health Professionals Recovery Program. According to the class action lawsuit filed today in the Eastern District of Michigan, the State of Michigan and a private contractor (Ulliance, Inc. of Troy, Michigan) engaged in a conspiracy to violate the civil rights of Michigan health professionals by involuntarily subjecting them to excessive and unnecessary treatment for substance abuse and suspending their licenses if they do not comply.

HPRP, intended as a voluntary treatment program by the legislature, has become a highly punitive and involuntary tool designed to circumvent due process, the complaint states. However, according to the complaint, Carole Engle, the Former Director of the Bureau of Healthcare Services, implemented a policy that any person who does not voluntarily submit to this unnecessary treatment would be immediately suspended without a hearing and prevented from practicing as a health professional. Carole Engle recently resigned her position after Governor Snyder refused to renew her contract with the State of Michigan. It is unclear whether her recent resignation is related to the recently filed class action.

The controversial treatment program has generated a significant amount of criticism in recent years from Michigan health professionals who have called for a class action in an effort to stop HPRP’s abuse of their broad sweeping power. For years, HPRP subjected nurses to three years of intense addiction treatment sometimes on the basis of an anonymous tip.

“We turned to the courts for fairness because HPRP’s mandate of unnecessary treatment has ruined countless lives. My life has been ripped apart by HPRP despite the fact that two evaluators determined that I do not need treatment. I am only one of hundreds who have had to choose between suspension of my license and tens of thousands of dollars worth of treatment that was unnecessary – I just couldn’t afford it, and now I can no longer practice as a nurse” said Carol Lucas, a registered nurse and a Plaintiff in the class action.

Chapman Law Group, a Michigan health care law firm, filed the complaint on behalf of three named Plaintiffs, each of whom fell victim to HPRP’s demand that they submit to unnecessary treatment or have their license suspended. The class includes Michigan health professionals who are or were participants in the Health Professionals Recovery Program during the period from January 1, 2011 to present.

The complaint and amended complaint can be seen below:

Michigan Case 2-15-cv-10337

Michigan Amended Complaint 2-15-cv-10337

 

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43 thoughts on “Class Action Suit Filed Against Michigan PHP Alleging Constitutional Violations Related to Involuntary Treatment

    • SO glad to see that someone is standing up to this barbaric behavior by Boards that have unlimited power. The only way to stick up for yourselves. In Arizona, it is horrible , due process is a kangaroo court , where the judges are all bought off , or playing musical chairs.
      ARIZONA STATE BOARD OF NURSING CORRUPTION , get the word out to those who “dont think it will happen to them !? (HAHA)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I will alert my attorney friend of this. And I’d like to add the following: It’s interesting that forced care and all the wrongs you describe have been happening for hundreds of years to nondoctors. So now, since it is happening to people of prestige and money, it’s suddenly noticed. We lowly patients who were subject to forced care for hundreds of years have been protesting for decades now. Most people’s lives are shortened and they no longer have any chance for career, marriage, financial survival, or decent health. It’s not just doctors. All forced care of ANYONE must be abolished. Forced care is a human rights violation under international law set forth by the UN. We aren’t talking about doctor rights. I’m talking about human rights, all humans, from all walks of life. If you protest forced care, please protest all forced care, not just force that happens to doctors, because what happens to the little guy matters, too. Ironically, look at who sections, who sends the cops to people’s homes to have them hauled in, who goes to court to testify that a person should be locked up? Think about that. This cruelty needs to end. On behalf of others, I can say that we ex-patients would appreciate collaboration with anyone who is campaigning against force. Many of us are so traumatized by “care” that we cannot see doctors anymore.

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  2. These same abuses happen to other citizens, not just those with letters after their names. Here is a link to a malpractice, assault and battery, intentional infliction of mental distress, disclosure of confidential records case against Ohio’s mental illness system and the forced drugging and other abuses it inflicts on everyday citizens even though Ohio’s Health Freedom Amendment and vast quantities of other state and federal law specifically prohibit involuntary “treatment”:

    http://cases.ohiocourtofclaims.gov/cgi-bin/wspd_cgi.sh/ws_civilcasesearch_2007.r?mode=5&CaseNo=201400925

    The 88 or so page complaint against some 28 state actors committing some 12 torts against John Rohrer can be accessed in pdf at the above link. See also http://www.freejohnrohrer.org. People need to understand that government psychiatrists and their Big Pharma cohorts are not just destroying careers – they are destroying lives. And YOU the taxpayer, pay for the torture and the permanent disabilities they are causing.

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  3. Anyone can call the cops on anyone in the States. This is serious problem for ALL people, especially those who are impoverished or nonwhite. If you think it’s bad that it happens to doctors, think about the rest of us who have NO RECOURSE. The USA is a police state and anyone who assumes they are free there is not seeing reality. I lived in Massachusetts, saw it for myself.

    Julie

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  4. […] In January of 2015 a Federal class action lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Michigan agai… and found health care providers were subject to the same referral system using these out-of-state facilities. The suit alleges constitutional violations related to the forced medical treatment of health care professionals and the “callous and reckless termination of professional licenses without due process.” 12 […]

    Like

  5. This is very similar to the Professional Health Monitoring Program (PHMP) of Pennsylvania. I am in their Voluntary Recovery Program, a miminum 3 year contract which includes therapy with their approved provider, daily phone-in for random drug screens, and mandatory attendance at 12-Step meetings (90 in 90 days followed by min 3 per week). As an RN, I am overseen by the PA Nurses Assistance Program (PNAP) and report directly to them. I first contacted PNAP from rehab, where I gone on my own call, and signed these contracts while in rehab. I realize I would have signed anything at that point, largely out of shame and the desire to “make things right”. And I did.

    The program here gives no quarter. I relapsed after one full year when my only aunt died, 13 weeks after my mother died. I was learning no coping skills with AA, and have since found them with SMART Recovery. I self-reported and was given an additional 9 months in the program. I had to provide proof of my aunt’s death for permission to leave the state to arrange her funeral and manage her estate. It was very cruel.

    I can understand the monitoring requirement and the restrictions on my license. The forced 12-Step meetings are a 1st Amendment violation. I do not agree with the religious overtones and the concept of powerlessness. The meetings contributed to depression I experienced last winter; the first holiday season without my mother and aunt. I was advised to attend more meetings. I got worse. I finally went to a physician who confirmed clinical depression and I have responded to medication. But I drank one day out of despair, self-reported, and was given yet another additional 9 months to my contract. The paperwork was identical.

    The contract extensions include a direct order to repeat 90 meetings in 90 days, inactivation of license, and agreement to therapy until the therapist says I’m done. I am willing to file suit in the state of PA against mandatory 12-Step meeting attendance. I have no colleagues in the VRP who are willing to join me. Most are afraid of losing their license or obtaining a permanant black mark, which spells career death. Most simply want to go through the motions and save their careers. An alarming number have bought into the 12-Step philosophy and are living in shame, guilt, and fear.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Forced AA is spiritual abuse. It’s as bad as forcing a small child to get on his knees and pray, forced confession, forced communion, shaming, and scare-tactics related to some “Devil” that’s going to come out and get you if you don’t obey. In many forced treatment centers, they instill fear of “relapse” or of “return of symptoms” as a way of controlling and subduing patients. Believe it or not, in the forced “care” of eating disorders, they invented an “Ed” which is an acronym for “eating disorder” they personified as the Devil. “Don’t miss your appointment, that’s what Ed wants!” Freedom of thought is a basic human right.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I live in Pennsylvania and have similar complaints. When my license was suspended I argued my case before the Administrative Judge and won. But instead of returning my license, the Board of Medicine placed my license in an inactive status pending my evaluation by an approved facility whereby I am required to do as they recommend in order for my license to be returned to an active status. After years of fighting I resigned to submit to their recommendations and presently going through an expensive re-entry process to restore my license. We need a class action suit in Pennsylvania! Are any lawyers or others willing to help?

      Liked by 1 person

      • they sure try to bleed you dry , yes file a suit . Since when does the medical board trump a judges decision. abuse of power . You dont need a class action do it on your own. best to you. horrendous

        On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 6:42 PM, Disrupted Physician wrote:

        > Edward Alexander commented: “I live in Pennsylvania and have similar > complaints. When my license was suspended I argued my case before the > Administrative Judge and won. But instead of returning my license, the > Board of Medicine placed my license in an inactive status pending my eva” >

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Jil
          Thanks for your comment. I would like to file suit, but may need a lawyer vs doing myself. Any suggestions? I did file a Pro se writ of mandates with PA state Supreme Court, but they denied without comment. If you are aware of a legal direction to take would be much appreciated. Also interested in working with group(s) to resolve the PHP/BOARD problem and abuse. Thanks again.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Jil
          Thanks for your comment. I would like to file suit, but may need a lawyer vs doing myself. Any suggestions? I did file a Pro se writ of mandamus with PA state Supreme Court, but they denied without comment. If you are aware of a legal direction to take would be much appreciated. Also interested in working with group(s) to resolve the PHP/BOARD problem and abuse. Thanks again.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. […] In January of 2015 a Federal class action lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Michigan agai… and found health care providers were subject to the same referral system using these out-of-state facilities. The suit alleges constitutional violations related to the forced medical treatment of health care professionals and the “callous and reckless termination of professional licenses without due process.” 12 […]

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Disrupted Physician and commented:

    Survey indicating same patterns across the country–Looking for attorneys familiar with (or more importantly willing to learn about) professional health program legal issues who can file similar suits including here in Massachusetts.

    The issues are the same and include:

    1. False assessments and diagnoses.
    2. Forensic fraud and falsified drug and alcohol tests.
    3. Collusion with third party commercial labs to commit fraud.
    4. Establishment clause violations.
    5. HIPAA Violations.
    6. Anti-trust violations.
    7. Ultra vires acts as non-profit agencies including the unlawful practice of medicine.

    My survey indicates some states worse than others and North Carolina, Washington, Florida and Massachusetts are over-represented as far as misconduct and ethical violations.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I have these same concerns her in WA, in a forced agreement with WPHP.

    I would be very interested in collaborating with others in a class action suit.

    Liked by 3 people

      • I am going through the intake process for the 2nd time. The first was voluntary (d/t self-reported DUI). I refused to sign a monitoring agreement. My license was suspended. Attorney fees and time led to reinstatement. Nursing board sanctioned my license. I agreed to a consent order (which included restarting HPRP). Second assessment completed 2 years sfter the DUI. I was given the diagnosis of alcohol abuse:mild. Are they giving diagnoses based on historical “snapshots” in time? I have no choice but to enter into an agreement. HORP is s Hitler-esque, regime without oversight. They need the numbers to justify their ongoing existence.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I am going through the intake process for the 2nd time. The first was voluntary (d/t self-reported DUI). I refused to sign a monitoring agreement. My license was suspended. Attorney fees and time led to reinstatement. Nursing board sanctioned my license. I agreed to a consent order (which included restarting HPRP). Second assessment completed 2 years sfter the DUI. I was given the diagnosis of alcohol abuse:mild. Are they giving diagnoses based on historical “snapshots” in time? I have no choice but to enter into an agreement. HPRP is s Hitler-esque, regime without oversight. They need the numbers to justify their ongoing existence.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Sorry Folks Arizona takes the cake on this one.
    While they have their own “board approved” psych docs, who will write whatever.
    so you are forced to counseling, that is a problem .
    I went to court whore, because of a hospital I quit 6 months later they filed “bizarre” conduct while I was there, but in the HOUSING they owned, no work involved.
    There psych said, that an alleged assault over 5 decades ago, that I needed 6 months of counseling, twice a month. I refused my career license is revoked. AZ is the worst.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. […] In January of 2015 a Federal class action lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Michigan agai… and found health care providers were subject to the same referral system using these out-of-state facilities. The suit alleges constitutional violations related to the forced medical treatment of health care professionals and the “callous and reckless termination of professional licenses without due process.” 12 […]

    Like

  11. I would love to speak or learn more about what we can do about this problem in our state of WV as well. My husband is currently traveling for the rest of the evaluation in Alabama for the week. All of this bc he accused him of drinking too much at a work cocktail party! There was no DUI, no passing out somewhere, he was at work on time the next day and fully functional. All of his weekly and biweekly drug tests have been negative. Hes been compliant with everything and we are concerned how far the PHP is going to go with this. It is very scary and has been humiliating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I approve! This is what we need- let’s work together on this collectively and loudly! These are criminals and they need to be held accountable now. And don’t let Greg Skipper fool you by his faux sympathy regarding the etg

      Like

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