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Trump administration ramps up physician investigations

Managing pain is a difficult task. There are no bright line rules. Physicians must listen to their patients and use their training combined with their best professional judgment to come up with a plan. This plan may include the use of prescription narcotics like opioids.

Our country is currently in the midst of an opioid crisis. President Donald Trump is taking steps to address this problem. Although the goal of ending this crisis is a noble one, the methods may be flawed.

One method involves the use of a new unit to monitor physicians. The unit, referred to as an opioid fraud and abuse detection unit, is composed of twelve assistant U.S. attorneys and a group of analysts. This group will review data to determine if a physician is illegally prescribing opioids.

Accusations of such violations are serious. It is not uncommon for SWAT teams in full tactical gear to raid pain clinics in Texas to gather evidence to build a case against an accused physician. Physicians have had their medical license revoked and even faced prison time due to allegations that they have prescribed opioids in a manner that does not align with acceptable practices. Allegations that lead to criminal charges similar to those faced by illegal drug dealers.

Physicians indicted on such charges are often faced with a difficult choice: fight the charges or take a plea deal. The fight is more difficult than many may expect. A physician in this situation may have his or her resources confiscated by officials.

It is important that any physician or physician’s group that finds themselves the subject of an investigation act promptly. An attorney can work to defend you against the accusations, while also working to get back confiscated documents so you can continue your practice while navigating this legal issue.