What is PHMP “Cooperation”

A licensee who has chosen to enter the VRP, enters a program the PHMP administers and is monitored daily by a PNAP, Sarph, or other Board case worker. The touchstone of every program is binding the licensee to “cooperation”.  Cooperation requires each participant to insure their assigned case worker perceives “cooperation” at every level of the program. Cooperation of everything and anything a case worker requires is the fundamental part of the agreement.

Perceived cooperation starts before the PHMP/PHP contract is signed, regardless of whether the respective professional board has executed the Consent Agreement. (See my blog discussing the 6 to 9 months between entering the PHMP/PHP and receiving the formal consent agreement.) Cooperation begins with the initial assessment, not contesting the untrained social worker’s specious conclusion of an impairment, and enrolling in the designated drug or alcohol treatment regiment at their location for which they have a financial interest.

Compliance means signing releases for entire medical histories, work evaluations, drug and alcohol test reports, and employment monitoring documents and then paying for all such documents. Compliance means not working in the specific areas of professional practice of which your case worker unilaterally decided was against the program. Compliance means going to drug or alcohol testing facilities on time, complying with their specimen donation protocol, and paying for all associated costs every day or week even when you are not working because your case worker unilaterally decided that you can’t work.

Compliance means eating certain foods, undergoing certain medical procedures, and releasing all pharmacy records. Compliance can also mean (according to your designated caseworker) not contesting certain certain chain of custody mistakes or errors in specimen collection, chain of custody, or specimen retesting requirements. Compliance could also mean not seeking earlier evaluations for return to work or termination of the PHMP program upon completion of the time set forth in the PHMP contract.

Compliance, or lack of compliance, could also mean acknowledging or not agreeing to a positive/failed drug test for a substance not permitted in your PHMP contract. Noncompliance is not admitting to a violation.  Caseworkers seek admissions of violating the drug or alcohol provision of the contract.  These admissions constitute an automatic basis to terminate or extend the PHMP contract.

At this juncture a lack of admission/compliance prompts every caseworker to change their demeanor. Rather than an advocate, caseworkers become policemen seeking to secure evidence/admissions. Admissions of violating the drug policy for any type of banded substance are used against the PHMP participant in a Rule to Show Cause petition for termination or revocation proceeding. Minor violations of drug and alcohol policy (based upon complete abstinence) are treated the same as major violations of the program for prescription medications.

Counsel is necessary to help navigate these issues of compliance or noncompliance. Statements made to caseworkers are always used against the participant. They are placed into pleading language presented to the board as a basis for termination or revocation. Call me to discuss.

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