NEWS ITEM: According to physician and medical staff recruiting firms, the most sought after healthcare providers are internists, family practitioners, hospitalists, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants. The healthcare sector continues to grow, the population is aging, and people need and deserve quality primary care.

NEWS ITEM: According to the AMA, many patients in dire need of prescription pain medication can’t get their meds, because of D.E.A. production and distribution quotas and resulting pharmacy shortages.

NEWS ITEM: A Los Angeles area osteopath is being prosecuted for multiple counts of murder, following the overdose deaths of three pain Rx-addicted patients.

If you are a healthcare provider, what should your takeaway be from this news trifecta? I’d say (a) primary care is solid work; (b) pain patients are going to call you at midnight before a holiday weekend to ask for an early refill, which their pharmacy may or may not give them, but you’ll still get the call; and (c) if you dare step outside whatever the DEA says the current line is, you’ll wax nostalgic for your bygone days as a medical resident when sleep deprivation and verbal abuse were the worst of your worries.

If you are a patient, what is your takeaway? That people around the country, who you don’t know, are addicted to pain medication in significant enough numbers that policymakers in Washington, who you you wouldn’t want to know, are telling your healthcare provider’s nurse, who you just met last week, that your pharmacist who you’ve known for years can’t dispense the medication you need in the quantity or dose required because your doctor, who you’ve known since you met her at your wife’s niece’s Bat Mitzvah three years ago, doesn’t know her practice as well as a bunch of narco agents. Frustrated? Take a pill – wait, I’m sorry. You can’t have one.

If you are law enforcement, what is your takeaway? That come hell or high water, the “crack down” on prescription drug abuse will continue, whether it deprives patients in need of medication because of production or distribution quotas, whether it fails to meaningfully and continually instruct healthcare providers in what to do now, instead of playing “gotcha” later over some purported failure or lapse, and whether you’re even defining what it is you’re pursuing, before you set off in pursuit of it.

Until the federal government stops treating a public health problem as a law enforcement problem – I don’t expect this to happen any time soon – there’s PAINKILLER LAW: CRIMINAL LAW COMPLIANCE FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS. There’s healthcare compliance, there’s HIPAA compliance, there’s compliance for every aspect of every practice – except, until now, compliance with the criminal laws governing the writing of prescriptions for pain medication. Do you overprescribe? Do you know what it means to overprescribe? What does the law in your state say? What does federal law say? What standards does your state’s Medical Board apply? What do you have to do now, to try and avoid or minimize problems later? What are the “recommendations” that suddenly morph into requirements when you’re placed under investigation – and which requirements you’re then accused of not having followed?

These are questions whose answers every healthcare provider deserves and needs to know. Let the Meister Law Offices help you verify, achieve and maintain criminal law compliance regarding prescription painkillers. PAINKILLER LAW: It’s good preventive medicine.

213.293.3737 The Meister Law Offices

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