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DEA Doctor Investigations Lawyers

Facing a DEA Investigation? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’re a healthcare provider who prescribes or dispenses controlled substances, facing a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation can be an incredibly stressful and disruptive experience. The DEA is known for being tough on anyone suspected of violating the Controlled Substances Act, and its investigations can result in serious consequences even if no criminal charges are filed.

However, what most providers don’t realize is that they don’t have to face a DEA investigation alone. With the help of an experienced healthcare attorney, it’s possible to navigate the process and protect your interests.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about DEA investigations, including what the agency does, what happens during regulatory visits and diversion investigations, what to do if you receive notice of an investigation, and what actions the DEA may take if violations are found.

## What Does the DEA Do?

The DEA was established in 1973 as part of President Nixon’s “War on Drugs.” Its mission is to enforce controlled substances laws and regulations related to prescription drugs. The agency works with state and local law enforcement agencies to investigate drug-related crimes such as illegal prescribing or dispensing of controlled substances by healthcare providers.

The agency also conducts regulatory visits or diversion investigations on pharmacies that dispense controlled substances (including online pharmacies) to ensure they’re following all applicable laws and regulations. Depending on why they were initiated (e.g., a complaint from a patient), these inspections can be serious—even if no criminal charges are filed—and may include penalties from civil lawsuits or revocation of registration for prescribing controlled substances.

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To minimize any negative consequences for your practice or business during an investigation that you’re subject to by the DEA; contact your lawyer so he could help navigate through the process better.

## What Happens During a Regulatory Visit?

The first thing which takes place when under review by the Drug Enforcement Administration is that there will be written notice provided to you indicating that they will conduct a regulatory visit or a diversion investigation. If it is a regulatory visit, the agent may ask to see your registration for the controlled substances and your state license if applicable. More so, he or she may scrutinize the medical records of specific patients. However, before providing any information to them, it is important always to contact an experienced healthcare attorney before communicating with agents.

## What Happens During a Diversion Investigation?

Diversion investigations take place when there are suspicions of controlled substances being illegally diverted from legitimate medical use. The DEA may conduct one of these investigations based on patient complaints or law enforcement agencies (including state licensing boards) reports regarding drug-related crimes such as prescriptions without any accurate examination carried out by practitioners or patients’ illegal possession of prescription drugs.

If the allegations prove genuine, criminal charges can be brought up against the practitioners in federal court which carries stringent penalties if convicted, including imprisonment time. Henceforth it is vital to treat these investigations with utmost seriousness from beginning till end so that there won’t be a negative impact on your practice’s reputation/business.

## What Should I Do if I Receive Notice of a Regulatory Visit or Diversion Investigation?

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Upon receiving notification of an ongoing routine regulatory visit or diversional investigation, contacting An experienced healthcare attorney would be the logical thing to do since they can help you interpret your rights and obligations during this investigative process and advocate on your behalf in conversations with DEA agents.

It is essential always to have legal representation throughout these scenarios because anything said within these interactions could later on show up evidence in court should criminal charges occur eventually. This way, employing an experienced legal representative protects privacy laws like HIPAA while providing relevant information needed for DEA reviews/investigations.

## What Happens After an Investigation?

An investigation can lead to varying consequences depending on its outcome findings:

– Civil claims against practitioners or his/her firm
– Exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid programs
– Suspension or revocation of DEA registration
– Filing of Criminal charges against practitioners or his/her employees
– Federal and/or state fines levied on the firm/practitioner
– State disciplinary actions taken

Apart from these, corrective action plans, probation periods, the inclusion of new standard operating procedures in your business among several others may also come into effect.

## Table: DEA Investigation Consequences

|Actions That May be Taken Against Party | Description |
| — | — |
|Civil Claims |Claims filed by a government or another individual on behalf of patients who have been improperly prescribed medication/have suffered injury from drug use |
|Exclusion from Medicare/Medicaid Programs |Programs that focus on financially aiding those who are in low-income brackets or disabled for their health care necessities. If excluded it disallows patient access to services provided by those programs. |
|Suspension/Revocation of DEA Registration |Registration required to prescribe controlled substances. Suspension temporarily incapacitates this ability while revocation entirely removes this ability without proper restoration processes. |
|Federal Criminal Charges |Charges filed by the federal government as a result of investigations conducted relating to diversional activities done by individuals/entities |
|State discipline actions |Actions taken by the state authorities (exams, suspensions, public censures) imposing penalties and consequences based on the finding in an investigation|
|Federal/State Fines if any |Payment made as punishment for non-compliance with guidelines/regulations set down. [Lessen the consequence]|

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Practitioners can improve security measures within businesses and other practices to better secure drugs’ prescription and control over prescriptions; limitation of drug prescription length

## Conclusion

DEA investigations are incredibly stressful experiences for healthcare providers who face them. However, with a knowledgeable and experienced healthcare attorney on your side, you can navigate the process with ease and protect your interests. Remember, it is crucial to take these investigations seriously from start to finish, ensuring that represents the healthcare practitioner’s interests during interviews or communication with DEA agents.

Always consult a professional consultant in situations like this so that you receive only the legal advice. Don’t let future penalties that could arise due to negligence and complacency be an afterthought.

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