DEA License Suspension Lawyer | DEA Registration Attorney
Having a DEA suspended can have wide-ranging effects on a career. It is smart to know why a doctor might have their DEA license suspended so any possible repercussions can be prevented.
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Why Would a Doctor Have Their DEA Registration Suspended?
There are certain things the DEA will look for when investigating possible fraud and diversion of controlled substances. When something listed below comes to light, a full investigation will be launched.
- The volume of prescriptions written: Although there are many reasons why a doctor may deal in a high volume of medication prescriptions, federal authorities consider it to be a red flag.
- The consistence of prescriptions: When the same medications are continuously being prescribed or dispensed, it can trigger an investigation by the DEA. This is not just doctors, but can include nurse practitioners, pharmacists and others.
- Errors in coding: Coding errors can lead to heavy criminal penalties and other federal charges, even when unintentional. When the coding errors involve billing for controlled substances, the DEA will get involved as well.
- Previous mistakes: If a physician has been targeted at any time in the past in relation to controlled substances, it will be generally true that they will be under continued scrutiny.
- Geographic location: When assessing a provider’s potential involvement in drug diversion crimes, the DEA considers the geographic location of the provider to be an important factor to take into account. There exist many “hot spots” around the country where abuse takes place, particularly for opioid abuse.
The Crimes that Affect a DEA License
There are a number of situations that can affect a physician’s DEA license. The DEA can deny an application or registration for a license, can suspend a DEA license or revoke the registration. Some of these issues are listed here:
- Falsifying a registration application with the DEA
- Suspension, revocation or denial of a state license
- When a provider has been excluded from participating in a Medicare or a Medicaid program
- When a provider has been convicted of a felony regarding a controlled substance
When the DEA is going to suspend a DEA registration, it first serves an order to show cause on the provider. This means that the provider has to show the reason why the registration or license should not be suspended. The provider has a right to request a hearing with an administrative law judge.
How Do I Reinstate My DEA License?
Once your DEA license has been surrendered, suspended or revoked, you will want to get it reinstated as quickly as possible. Having your DEA registration active is vital to your career, so it is something to take seriously. Popular questions include:
- Why would a doctor have their DEA suspended?
- How do I reinstate my DEA license?
- How do I surrender my DEA license?
What is a DEA License?
A DEA License is issued by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and gives a registered provider permission to prescribe controlled substances, such as Oxycodone, cocaine or morphine. You apply for the license by registering online on the DEA website.
Why the DEA May Revoke or Take Other Actions on a License
The DEA investigates criminal actions and will take actions against a license when there is proof of illegal activity. When they see a red flag related to a physician who prescribes controlled substances, they will start an investigation. They may see coding errors or a high amount of prescriptions coming from one office or facility. The doctor may work in a location that is known for opioid trafficking. Many different things can set off alarms. Some of the actions for which a provider can be prosecuted include:
- Falsification of prescriptions
- Selling controlled substances to people who don’t need them medically
- Diversion of drugs which are legal to an illegal market
How to Get the DEA License Reinstated
Getting a DEA registration reinstated is easier if the registration was revoked or surrendered in an administrative procedure rather than a criminal proceeding. But either way, it can most likely be done. After a revocation, there will be a waiting period before you can reapply. During this period you can work to address the reasons the license was surrendered or revoked.
You can apply for reinstatement online. But it is necessary to give full and absolute disclosure, including the history and all the events that led up to the surrender or revocation. You should prepare any statement explaining matters before you try and put it into an online application. You can expect to get interviewed by agents before your reinstatement will be approved or denied. These interviews will be done in person and will also be recorded. You will need to prepare for this and not just casually try and answer everything.
At any time during the reinstatement application, it is best to find an experienced DEA License Suspension Lawyer who can help you with all preparations. A DEA attorney has the knowledge of what concerns the DEA has and he can help you anticipate any questions asked. He will help you provide complete and accurate answers.
Getting an Attorney When Suspension is Imminent
Because a DEA license and registration is such an important part of a medical career, you should do everything possible to protect these. A DEA License Suspension Lawyer can help as he is familiar with the laws and regulations of a license. He can collect the information needed in order to reply effectively to the show cause order.
How Do I Surrender My DEA License?
If you have been asked to surrender your DEA license voluntarily, this article has information you should know. It is important to understand what surrendering your DEA license means to you and your career. Anyone who has registered with the DEA must stay abreast of the requirements which come with carrying a license.
When a DEA agent comes to you and demands that you surrender your DEA license or registration, you should just tell him no. It happens too often – an agent comes to your practice and asks you about how you prescribe controlled substances. All the questions are answered, but at the end of the interview, suddenly and surprisingly, the agent tells you that you are in trouble and it would just be easier on you if you voluntarily surrender your registration. He may tell you that if you don’t, they will revoke it anyhow. The agent has you fill out a form. Unfortunately, this is a bad decision.
Don’t Voluntarily Surrender Your DEA Registration
Do NOT voluntarily surrender your DEA license or registration. If you do, it can start administrative actions against other professional licenses that you hold. You very likely will not be able to reapply for a DEA license. There will also be delays which hurt your ability to return to practicing after the completion of the matter. It can take years to complete the civil or criminal proceedings. Also when you voluntarily surrender your registration, you are waiving your right to have a hearing. If you don’t voluntarily surrender your license, the DEA has to submit an order to show cause, and this means that you will have an opportunity to have a hearing.
Why DEA Agents Want You to Surrender Your Registration
The question is: why would DEA agents try to get you to surrender the DEA registration? This is mainly due to a backlog in cases that are pending adjudication. While providers or practitioners wait for the final decision in the case, they continue to prescribe controlled substances. Obviously, for those involved in criminal activities, it could mean a year of them continuing with their crimes, until the case is completed. It is understandable that the DEA would want to curb this activity, but unfortunately for those who are innocent, surrendering their registration is a bad move for their career.
What the DEA Does in the US Today
The Drug Enforcement Administration or the DEA is a branch of the U.S. government. It is also a law enforcement arm. The purpose of the agency is to enforce all controlled substance regulations and so prevent drug trafficking, lower abuse of drugs and lower the death rate from the use of drugs. This organization not only addresses organizations that grow, manufacture or distribute illegal drugs, but also they regulate and license prescription drug distribution.
Jobs that Require a DEA License and Registration Without a Denial
A DEA license means that you have been approved to prescribe controlled substances. Once you have the license, you can prescribe certain medications to patients. If you are going to work at a medical facility, you will most likely need to be screened and get such a license in certain jobs. There are particular jobs within the medical community that require a DEA license. Below are some of them:
- Physicians: Obviously, a physician will need a DEA license as in his or her practice, prescribing medications is a key duty.
- Nurses: A nurse not only must get a state license to practice and go through a credentialing process, but he or she must also get a DEA license in order to prescribe medications, namely controlled substances which are subject to strict regulations.
- Nurse practitioners: These advanced registered nurses perform many duties, including administering medicine for patients.
- Physician Assistants: A PA is authorized to issue prescriptions for controlled substances and so must register with the DEA for a license.
- Pharmacists: Pharmacists, of course, dispense medications and advise patients on dosages, etc. They must be in legal compliance with the DEA, like any doctor or nurse.
- Optometrists: These professionals not only do eye exams and prescribe corrective lenses. They also will prescribe medications to those who have eye diseases. They therefore must have a DEA license.
- Dentists: A dentist sometimes needs to administer a controlled substance to a patient, for example, pain pills. He therefore needs to have a DEA license to legally dispense controlled substances.
- Veterinarians: It doesn’t matter whether or not these professionals treat humans or animals, if controlled substances pass through their hands, they will need to be licensed to prescribe or administer them.
How to Get Your DEA License and Certificate
Any health care provider who will deal with controlled substances will need to get a DEA license or number. This is how to obtain one.
- You must meet state licensing requirements, such as having a license to practice medicine.
- Register with the Drug Enforcement Administration by filling out a DEA Form 224.
- Pay the fees required.
- Renew the license as required.
Legal Assistance if Denied a DEA License
If you have applied for a DEA license and been denied, it’s not hopeless. You always have a chance to appeal any decision. Hire a DEA License Denial Lawyer to get the best chance of getting your license.
How Long Does it Take to Get a DEA License?
So, many inquire how long does it take to get a DEA license? When you have graduated from a medical program and are ready to start your job as a nurse practitioner or other medical personnel, you will need to be prepared to write prescriptions for medications. The privilege of writing a prescription comes from the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) as they license those who need to do that for their patients. Getting a license becomes vital for those that prescribe as part of their duties.
The DEA license is permission for prescribing controlled substances in a health care capacity. You must become registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration to earn this right. You can apply online.
Applying for the DEA License
You can apply for your DEA license online at the website of the Drug Enforcement Administration. There are six sections that have to be completed with information you provide on your background, state license, business activity and prescribing schedules. Your state license would be the license you have in your state of residence to practice in that state. You can only apply for a DEA license when your state license to practice is active.
It takes about 30 minutes to fill out the application, and it will take four to six weeks to get the license / DEA number. That time frame is only valid providing the application is complete. Ensure you get the fastest processing possible by making sure the application is filled out in its entirety. Also be sure to sign and date it. You fee must be included.
What is a DEA Audit?
Knowing what a DEA audit is can mean the difference between keeping your license for administering controlled substances and having that license taken away or even a prison sentence. Always be prepared for a DEA audit and know your rights.
The DEA is a law enforcement agency in the U.S. government. They can assess both criminal and civil penalties. The DEA audit is a security practice conducted by this agency. They make unannounced inspections in order to audit locations and laboratories where registered controlled substances are stored. They ensure that the person licensed to have these controlled substances in their possession stays in compliance with the CSA (the Controlled Substance Act). They verify security practices as well as record keeping practices.
How Often DEA Audits are Done?
Some providers are inspected once every three years, but occasionally inspections are more frequent if the provider has and prescribes buprenorphine. Drug treatment centers and other DEA registrants who are not practitioners usually get inspected every five years. The inspections can occur any time, including late in the day or around holiday weekends.
When an inspection is about to take place and the provider is presented with a DEA Form 82, the registrant has to give informed consent before the inspection can begin. The person states in writing that he is told of his constitutional right not to have an inspection and that if anything incriminating is found, it can be used against the registrant in any criminal proceedings.
DEA Responsibility in Healthcare Investigation of Applications
The DEA plays an important role in investigating healthcare fraud that involves prescription medication. They investigate and prosecute registered and non-registered entities and individuals in illegal prescribing of drugs under a number of federal statutes, both civil and criminal.
In the medical community, a doctor, nurse, or other provider often need to be able to prescribe medications. In order to do so, they must obtain a DEA license which permits them to prescribe controlled substances to their patients. This license is registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the person who has it must conform to certain rules and regulations.
A controlled substance is a chemical compound, single chemical or other drug or ingredient that has been identified as restricted by the state or by federal law. The law restricts who can use, possess, prescribe, transport, or manufacture these substances.
Criminal Health Care Fraud Defense
There are a number of criminal actions that the DEA will investigate when they have heard of something illegal going on. It could be reported by a patient or by another doctor. There can be very significant consequences for someone who is convicted of crimes under this license. Some of the actions investigated and for which criminal prosecution is pursued are the following:
- The sale of a controlled substance: Doctors and/or nurses have access to controlled substances and if they begin to sell them (also known as drug dealing), they are in for some harsh penalties.
- Diversion of legal drugs to an illegal market: Pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and other providers who supply controlled substances to those who don’t need them for medical reasons face stiff penalties.
- Falsification of prescriptions: This can come under the heading of diverting prescription medications and is a crime.
Consult with Chelle Law Attorneys for DEA License Surrender
If you refuse to surrender your DEA registration and therefore have the opportunity to have a hearing, this is when an attorney comes in very handy. He can help you successfully resolve any administrative, civil, or criminal action. A DEA License Suspension Lawyer will protect you and your career.