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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

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The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

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We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

DEA Administrative Audit at a Physician’s Office

By Spodek Law Group | March 18, 2022
(Last Updated On: July 27, 2023)

Last Updated on: 27th July 2023, 04:35 pm

DEA Administrative Audits at Physician Offices: Why It Matters and How to Find the Right Lawyer

Receiving notice that the DEA plans to conduct an administrative audit at your physician practice can induce panic. However, with proper preparation and guidance from experienced legal counsel, you can tackle a DEA inspection head-on.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll explain what prompts DEA audits, how they work, the potential fallout, and most importantly, how to find the right lawyer to assist through the nerve-wracking process.

Understanding DEA Administrative Audits

The Drug Enforcement Administration routinely conducts administrative audits of physicians and other DEA registrants to ensure full compliance with the Controlled Substances Act and Code of Federal Regulations.

These intense inspections stem from the DEA’s role in preventing diversion and misuse of controlled pharmaceuticals. Auditors search for any evidence of mismanagement of controlled drugs.

Some red flags that catch the DEA’s attention and prompt audits include:

  • Unexpected rise in controlled substance prescribing volume
  • Multiple patients filling controlled Rx at different pharmacies
  • Prescribing high-risk drugs like opioids without medical need
  • Unusual prescribing patterns compared to peers
  • Patient overdose incidents
  • Lapsed or inadequate diabetes education for insulin prescribing

Any hint of impropriety with controlled substance handling can lead the DEA to your door. Their goal is to detect deficiencies and violations.

The Audit Inspection Process

DEA tactical diversion auditors typically show up unannounced at a registrant’s place of business. However, written notice may be provided 1-2 days in advance.

The intense audit process normally involves:

  • Interviewing the physician, staff, and potentially patients
  • Inspecting all records related to controlled substances
  • Reviewing security safeguards for controlled drugs
  • Evaluating prescribing patterns and medical rationale
  • Assessing compliance with recordkeeping requirements
  • Comparing inventory logs to actual supplies
  • Testing staff knowledge on diversion control policies

In large group practices, audits can last weeks. For an individual physician, expect at least several days of scrutiny. Intimidation tactics may be used urging quick compliance. Don’t let your guard down.

Potential Consequences of Failed DEA Audits

The risks of a failed DEA audit are massive for physicians. Discovered violations can prompt:

  • Loss of DEA registration and ability to prescribe controlled drugs
  • Hundreds of thousands in fines and civil penalties
  • Permanent damaging marks on your national DEA record
  • Referral for criminal investigation if egregious issues like diversion or illegal distribution
  • Ruined professional reputation

Even minor administrative lapses can result in mandatory training programs, temporary surrender of registration, or practice restrictions. The DEA takes all noncompliance seriously.

This makes surviving audits with your reputation and registration intact crucial. Having expert legal counsel protects you.

How an Experienced Attorney Can Help With Audits

Enduring a DEA inspection is harrowing without proper backup. A lawyer well-versed in administrative law and DEA audits is invaluable for:

  • Advising you on response strategy when audit notice is received
  • Accompanying you onsite during the inspection
  • Interjecting to prevent “unauthorized questioning” by auditors
  • Ensuring you avoid unintentional admissions or consent to expansions of scope
  • Detecting when auditors overstep boundaries and objecting
  • Negotiating with auditors on your behalf to limit intrusions
  • Drafting responses to any negative audit findings
  • Launching appeals if sanctions are proposed

Think of your attorney as your shield. Their presence keeps auditors in check and prevents careless mistakes. Don’t go it alone.

Recognizing When You Need a Lawyer

The key is engaging counsel at the first hint of a looming DEA audit. Once you receive formal notice, it may be too late to fully prepare.

Signs that you should line up an attorney include:

  • Written notice of an upcoming DEA audit
  • DEA requests to “SCHEDULE SOME TIME” to inspect your controlled substance records
  • Pharmacies informing you of DEA inquiries about your prescribing habits
  • Letters from insurers questioning your controlled substance scripts
  • Patients mentioning DEA agents asked them about your practice
  • Learning a patient treated by you suffers an overdose

View any of the above as red alerts to immediately contact a lawyer. Getting counsel involved early is critical.

How to Find the Right DEA Audit Attorney

Not all lawyers have experience specifically with DEA audits. You want an attorney intimately familiar with the proper protocols and criminal liability. Look for these credentials:

  • Extensive background in healthcare law and regulation
  • Past experience advising clients through DEA audits
  • Former employment with the DEA
  • Graduate degree in pharmacy or medical field
  • Specialized training in controlled substance laws
  • Membership in the American Academy of Healthcare Attorneys

Conduct detailed research to identify subject matter experts. Some smart ways to find the right DEA audit lawyer include:

  • Get referrals from state and county medical societies
  • Check authorship of articles on DEA audits in medical journals
  • Search speaker lists at physician CME conferences on DEA topics
  • Review recognition lists like Super Lawyers for Healthcare category
  • Ask hospital compliance officers which lawyer they engage
  • Search LinkedIn for lawyers with DEA backgrounds now in private practice
  • Schedule introductory calls and ask pointed questions about experience

Vet any potential hires meticulously. Audit expertise and credibility make a huge difference in preventing violations or sanctions.

A Lawyer Stands Above the Rest

After connecting with leading healthcare law practitioners nationwide, one lawyer separated himself as preeminent in the field of DEA matters – Todd Spodek of Spodek Law Group, located in New York.

Todd possesses over 20 years of healthcare defense experience. He previously served as Senior Trial Counsel inside the DEA Chief Counsel’s Office.

His deep knowledge of DEA audit procedures, criminal law, and CSA regulations is unmatched. Todd offers masterful guidance at all phases of audits.

He is revered for artfully negotiating with agents during inspections to steer away from trouble areas. Todd’s presence keeps auditors focused only on clearly legal scopes of inquiry.

No lawyer garners more widespread praise and recommendations from the medical community. Physicians consider Todd a trusted confidant through invasive audits.

Without question, Todd Spodek stands atop the legal field in DEA compliance. If you are facing a DEA audit, hire Todd for comprehensive counsel and vigorous advocacy.

Reach out to Todd for a preliminary consultation by contacting Spodek Law Group at (212) 300-5196 or visiting https://www.spodeklawgroup.com. His elite expertise makes all the difference.


Staring down the barrel of a DEA audit can be harrowing for any medical practitioner. But having a specialized lawyer at your defense helps control the damage. Leaning on an attorney intimate with DEA procedures will keep your hard-earned reputation intact.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

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