For healthcare providers, few things are as troublesome as a surprise visit from the DEA. Even if the DEA says they are doing a routine audit, agents can find information which leads them to believe there are violations of the Controlled Substances Act. DEA investigations can result in the suspension/revocation of your DEA registration. This means the potential loss of your medical license, or even criminal prosecution. Before you speak to DEA agents, or voluntarily do anything for the DEA, you should consult with a DEA defense attorney who has experience dealing with matters involving the DEA.
At the Spodek Law Group, we’ve handled many different aspects of DEA investigations, and can help healthcare providers avoid potential DEA issues – such as loss of DEA registration, medical license suspension/revocation, loss of hospital privileges, or worse. With our knowledge of the law, we can help you fight back against allegations of misconduct by the DEA or other federal agencies.
What are potential issues that might result in a DEA Physician Investigation
When the DEA conducts its regular audits, it looks for misconduct. In addition to regular audits of medical providers, the DEA can also conduct an investigation based on tips from patients. In addition, the DEA also looks for unusual patters of activity which may indicate the healthcare practice is a pill mill, which is issuing unnecessary prescriptions for controlled substances. The DEA agents will be looking for evidence of unlawful prescribing of controlled substances, or other violations such as possessing/dispensing a controlled substance, or other forms of drug diversion and drug trafficking.
DEA inspections, or investigations, can include a review of your prescription logs, inventory of controlled substances, list of patients who are prescribed controlled substances, and other business practices of yours, for example
Even though there may be a legitimate explanation for some, or all, of these issues – they will be viewed with suspicion from investigators. The DEA is actively looking for doctors who write medically unnecessary prescriptions. If you practice hasn’t kept proper records of patients and prescriptions – or if you’re issuing a large amount of prescriptions for controlled substances statistically compared to other drugs – this could be a red flag and create a DEA investigation into your medical practice.
The attorneys at the Spodek Law Group successfully represents healthcare providers facing drug diversion and trafficking investigations by the DEA. Drug diversion is when prescriptions drugs are being used improperly, for illegal reasons. For example, a doctor who sells Oxy pills to a drug dealer could face drug diversion criminal penalties, in addition to the drug dealer – and anyone who purchases the drugs. Charges can be combined by prosecutors in order to push for a heavier sentence.
In DEA investigations of doctors drug diversion, law enforcement agencies are observing suspected drug providers. They are going to gather evidence they can use in court, and may pursue formal charges, or setup sting operations. Some states have also tried to stop drug diversion with their own laws. These statutes can be applied to secure evidence.
This is a serious issue, and you have to address it – head on. You should talk to an attorney as soon as possible.
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