Recently I represented a physician who was accused by OPMC of inappropriately prescribing controlled substances. They had four different patients and I took at look at the records that the doctor had and indeed OPMC was absolutely right. The records were awful. Some of the office visits were not even listed on his chart. All you found was a prescription for Percocet or Oxycodone. When an office visit was recorded, it really was of no help at all. There was no rationale as to why he was giving the medication to these people.
What to do here because if we go to a hearing, he’s going to be found guilty of unprofessional conduct and he might lose his license or certainly he would, no doubt, lose his ability to prescribe prescription drugs. What would happen then is he would come off the preferred provider list by the health insurance companies and that would, in essence, put him out of business. I reached an agreement with OPMC and in exchange for the doctor to be able to have his DEA license and to not be limited in writing, formally, from prescribing controlled substances, he agreed that if he did prescribe them the Director of OPMC could look into the issue and perhaps modify the consent order that we signed.
What basically we are doing is keeping him from prescribing controlled substances while it not appearing that his license was limited in any way. He’s not going to come off the list of preferred providers of the insurance companies; he just will not be able to prescribe the controlled substances. That, actually, he can get by with. It’s the limitation, in writing, that makes it difficult and really would put him out of business. The way we framed it with OPMC allows him to say, and it’s true, that he has the ability to prescribe controlled substances. That allows him to stay in business and he would just have another doctor prescribe those drugs if they have to be prescribed to the patient. This is an innovative way of addressing a very serious problem, which really would have been terribly detrimental to his practice if it had gone forward in any other manner.
Walker Medical Law serves the greater New York area with high quality representation for physicians and other medical providers facing legal and license issues. If you need our legal services, contact our New York office for a consultation.