Painkiller Law: Criminal Law Compliance for Health Care Providers
The Meister Law Offices provides criminal law compliance to healthcare providers who write or dispense prescriptions for painkillers. We provide comprehensive assessments of a medical office’s, clinic’s, or a pharmacy’s business organization and practices, prescription and examination procedures, advice to patients, monitoring of patient prescription use, internal controls, and other aspects of provider services. We collect and analyze exhaustive and detailed data about your practice, all confidential to you and our firm, of course, in order to advise you about how you are in compliance, and guide you to compliance in any area that may require additional attention. Our goal is to make sure that our clients are fully compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. Compliance ensures good patient care, adherence to the standards of medical ethics, a better chance for fair treatment by law enforcement, and a practice’s or pharmacy’s continued business success.
If you are a healthcare provider authorized to write prescriptions, or if you are a pharmacist dispensing prescriptions for pain medication, or if you are a medical patient who suffers from severe pain, then you’re no doubt seeing a big and scary change in the way you are being scrutinized by the government about how you do your job, or even what kind of medicine you can take. Millions of people suffer from chronic, severe, debilitating pain. Thankfully, medication exists to help bring patients needed relief. But the medications are powerful: Opioids, as they are called, have the same active ingredient as heroin, and many Americans have become addicted to prescription pain pills. Law enforcement has seen this alarming trend, and it is responding nationwide with an urgency that frequently crosses the line into recklessness, biased investigations, slipshod and uneven enforcement, and overreaction. Good doctors are being lumped in with bad ones, upstanding practitioners are being smeared and injured along with corrupt ones, and patients in need of medication are sometimes left unable to obtain it, because law enforcement agents substitute their own judgment for that of trained medical professionals.
If you are a healthcare provider authorized to write prescriptions, you have no doubt become concerned in recent months at the dramatic and alarming spike in enforcement activity by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state Medical Boards and Boards of Pharmacy, and local law enforcement agencies, aimed at doctors, physicians’ assistants, medical clinics, and pharmacies. You have probably read of raids on clinics and medical offices in which law enforcement believes providers are writing unnecessary or excessive prescriptions. If you are a pharmacist, the DEA wants to know if you are “diverting” prescription pills, that is, selling Oxycontin or other drugs on the black market. If you are a patient, your healthcare provider may suddenly and bizarrely be unwilling to write you a new prescription or renew your existing prescription.
Law enforcement’s interest in cracking down on prescription painkiller abuse and questionable medical practices will only continue, not abate, in the future. And since competent practitioners are just as much at risk of law enforcement action as those few providers who actually deserve more scrutiny, every healthcare provider and pharmacist needs to take proactive steps to protect their license, their reputation and their livelihood.
For more information on how the Meister Law Offices can help your medical practice or pharmacy achieve and maintain compliance with the law and regulation of prescription painkillers, call or email us today to arrange a free consultation.