Therefore, the moment you find out a dea-audit-lawyer/”>DEA investigation or audit of your Austin practice is pending, you should immediately contact a lawyer. He or she will advise you of the rights you have in this type of situation. Your lawyer will also discuss the best way to proceed as he or she represents you before and during the audit.
dea Audits and Investigations
Audits and investigations are conducted to determine whether healthcare providers remain compliant with the Controlled Substance Act. There are a variety of reasons that your practice has become the subject of a dea/defense-lawyers/nyc-dea-audits-investigations-lawyers/”>DEA audit or inspection:
• A patient or pharmacy has expressed concerns with your prescribing practices
• There appears to be deviations in your prescribing patterns when compared to others who prescribe similar medications
• Your practice is one of many random selections to ensure compliance
Generally, practitioners are dea/defense-lawyers/preparing-for-a-dea-inspection/”>inspected by the DEA one time every three years. However, prescribing certain drugs such as buprenorphine may require more frequent inspections. Having a Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 waiver may also spark more inspections.
Warrants and Notices of Inspection (dea Form 82)
The dea/defense-lawyers/preparing-for-a-dea-inspection/”>DEA does not need to obtain a search warrant for the inspection, unlike criminal searches. However, if other agencies are conducting the search for criminal proceedings and the dea is part of the criminal investigation, the agency must get a warrant before searching your practice or clinic.
The audit commences once a Notice of Inspection of Controlled Premises, or dea Form 82, is presented. Alternately, agency representatives may have an administrative inspection warrant to present to you prior to the inspection.
Giving Informed Consent for DEA Audits
If the diversion investigator presents a DEA Form 82, you must give informed consent before the inspection can begin. This is not simply a verbal consent that lets them on the premises; you must provide a written voluntary statement consent to the investigation.
Additionally, the statement should include acknowledgment of being informed of your constitutional right to not have the administrative inspection. Finally, the statement must also acknowledge that anything incriminating found during the inspection can be used against you in a criminal prosecution case.
The administrative search warrant is unnecessary if:
• You are applying for an initial DEA registration
• The inspection is for books and records listed on an administrative subpoena
• There is imminent danger to the public’s health or safety and the opportunity to apply for the warrant can take too long
Scope of Inspections
Keep in mind, just because the dea has a search warrant, they do not have the authority to inspect the entire premises. There are limits to what can be inspected. A recent ruling that expands the scope of inspections to patient records, but it is unclear whether this will be allowed under an administrative search warrant.
During the search, the dea may try to interview you or your employees. Any information from those discussions could be used against you during a criminal or administrative proceeding. Therefore, you should speak with a lawyer before speaking with the DEA to ensure the agency does not go beyond the scope of what the search warrant allows.
Audit Reports for Noncompliance
If noncompliance is found during the inspections, the DEA writes an audit report that details the noncompliant issues under the CSA. If noncompliance is found, the matter might be referred to the Department of Justice.
This is where criminal prosecution of what was found is considered. You may also face administrative dea/defense-lawyers/dea-registration-disciplinary-action/”>action against your DEA registration.
Seek Experienced ADEA Audit and Investigation Lawyers
Dea audit and investigation lawyers are experienced in defending our clients against audits, investigations and subsequent actions by the dea. We work with pharmacies, practitioners, distributors and others with a DEA registration.
Not only are we dedicated to protect your DEA registration, but to also protect your professional licenses, career and reputation. Allegations and investigations of noncompliance can cause damage to your professional reputation.
DEA Drug Diversion Reporting
Drug diversion is the illegal distribution/abuse of prescription drugs, or using them in a manner that wasn’t intended by the prescriber. If drugs are deflected from medical sources into the illegal market, this is a form of drug diversion. The diversion of drugs can occur at any point drugs are distributed from the manufacturer to the wholesale distributor, to pharmacies, or to the patient. In addition, members of the medical profession can also be involved in the process of diverting drugs.
The government is taking drug diversion seriously, because it often results in drug addiction, overdoses, drug related ER visits, and even death. There a few common types of drug diversion, which the dea most frequently investigates.
Common Types of Drug Diversion
Selling Prescription drugs: The dea/defense-lawyers/nyc-dea-audits-investigations-lawyers/”>DEA regularly investigates patients and individuals are who are selling prescription drugs, which are obtained legally.
Illegal Internet Pharmacies: The dea/defense-lawyers/nyc-dea-audits-investigations-lawyers/”>DEA regularly investigates rogue online pharmacies, that pretend that pretend they are legitimate. These pharmacies often try to sell controlled substances to individuals, without prescriptions. They evade state licensing authorities, by operating across international borders.
Drug theft: Robberies are a frequent source of drug diversion in the prescription drug supply chain. Drug theft can occur at any step of the supply chain, ranging from a manufacturer, to a pharmacy, to a patient.
Prescription pad theft: Printing and stealing prescription pads is another popular method of drug diversion.
Illicit Prescribing: The dea looks for this type of behavior when it examines providers. If the dea sees unnecessary prescriptions, or large quantity prescribing of tablets/capsules, then it’ll investigate the provider for running a pill mill.
Ways to prevent drug diversion
Below are some precautions prescribers can take to avoid a potential dea/defense-lawyers/nyc-dea-audits-investigations-lawyers/”>DEA investigation.
- Exercise caution when patients use/request a combination of layered drugs for additional effects.
- Document heavily when you choose to prescribe narcotics. Write information about the patient to support your prescription. If you choose not to, also have extensive documentation.
- Protect access to your prescription pads.
- Keep your dea and license number confidential.
- Ensure that prescriptions are written legibly and clearly, in order to prevent forgery.
- Move to electronic prescribing to avoid paper forgery.
- Adhere to refill policies and educating office staff.
- Request patients bring unused narcotics.
- Use PDMP’s to monitor patient prescribing, before you refill or add new medications.
- Refer patients with extensive pain management needs to specialized practices.
- Communicate with pharmacists, and providers, in order to report suspicious behavior and in order to prevent distribution.
Penalties for Drug Diversion
New health care reform initiatives have resulted in many changes to healthcare programs. These changes have resulted in more stringent penalties for the submission of false statements/claims and any illegal activities related to prescription drugs. The Affordable Care Act requires state medicaid agencies to suspend payments to physicians who have committed committed fraud, or who may have committed it. In addition, providers terminated for Medicare or Medicaid, are also terminated by Medicaid and the CHIP in all states.
In addition, attempting to divert drugs by misrepresentation, fraud, deception, or forgery, is a felony in most states and is punished by prison and/or fines. In the US Department of Health and Human Services, there are a range of law enforcement tools which can be used in order to impose sanctions and actions on healthcare providers, ranging from recoupment and restitution, to suspension of provider license, exclusion from participation in health care programs, and imprisonment.
How should drug diversion by reported
If a prescriber believes there is drug diversion occurring, then the activity should be documented, and then reported. Local law enforcement agencies should be notified. The dea should be reported when it involves theft/loss of controlled substances.
DEA Drug Diversion Investigations
Raiser & Kenniff, PC, has immense experience helping healthcare providers facing dea/defense-lawyers/dea-drug-diversion-defense/”>DEA drug diversion investigations, get justice and legal help. We help physicians, physician assistants, pharmacists, and others, with all legal issues related to dea drug diversion. We represent clients accused by the dea/defense-lawyers/dea-drug-diversion-defense/”>DEA of drug diversion in administrative, criminal investigations, and prosecutions.
The reasons used to validate and justify law enforcement actions taken by the dea/defense-lawyers/dea-drug-diversion-lawyers/”>DEA on suspected drug diversion takes all types of shapes and sizes. Drug diversion is a very common charge, which can result in a wide array of penalties. Drug diversion is when prescription drugs are improperly used for illegal purposes. Anyone involved in the chain of custody/sale/possession can be charged with dea/defense-lawyers/dea-drug-diversion-lawyers/”>DEA drug diversion activities. For example, a doctor who sells pills can be charged with drug diversion related penalties, in addition to the drug dealer, and the person who purchases the drugs. Often, charges are combined together by prosecutors in order to push for harsher penalties – both civil and criminal.
dea drug diversion investigations vary widely. Many involve participation from law enforcement agencies, and other local officials. Typically, a joint task force will collect as much evidence as possible before taking actions. After gathering the evidence, they’ll pursue formal charges, and setup sting operations in an attempt to pose as drug dealers, so they can catch the healthcare provider in the act of drug diversion – in order to justify an arrest, or seizure of evidence.
Many states have attempted to stop drug diversion with their own laws. Most states have statutes which are applied to secure evidence of wrongdoing. For example, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention notes that over 23 states have laws which prevent patients from getting more than 30 day supply of medication. Most states also have limits on the emergency dispensing of medicine. dea drug diversion investigations often focus on healthcare providers who fulfill orders they shouldn’t.
Statements Made to dea/defense-lawyers/dea-drug-diversion-lawyers/”>DEA Investigators Regarding DEA Drug Diversion Activities
Depending on the severity of your case, you may face criminal charges. Even if you don’t face criminal charges, your case might be referred to a prosecutor, in addition to state licensing authorities. Criminal charges stemming from alleged dea/defense-lawyers/dea-drug-diversion-lawyers/”>DEA drug diversion is very common among nurses, physicians, pharmacists. As a result, you have to be cautious when responding to state letters of investigation pertaining to dea/defense-lawyers/dea-drug-diversion-lawyers/”>DEA drug diversion allegations. Any statements you make to a state licensing investigator, can, and will, be used against you in both criminal and civil charges. Our firm works with all types of healthcare providers, in all stages of the investigation process. Whether it be a multiple count federal indictment, to a minor licensing issue. Our dea drug diversion lawyers have experience representing doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and all other healthcare professionals who are accused of drug diversion.
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