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.
What is a DEA Audit Exactly?
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.
DEA Audit Requires Informed Consent
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.
Refusal of Informed Consent
When the DEA registrant has refused to give his informed consent, the DEA then has to get an inspection warrant from the Federal Court. These types of warrants are commonly issued by the courts without a problem.
When Presented with an Administrative Search Warrant
When you receive an administrative search warrant, you should contact an attorney right away. Do not refuse to comply with having the search done or you could be arrested.
Non-compliance with the CSA on a DEA Audit
After a DEA audit is done and any noncompliance found, the DEA issues a report which details the issues that have been considered noncompliant to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The whole matter can be referred to the Department of Justice and criminal prosecution begun. Violations result in ever increasing penalties, from a Letter of Admonition to a prison sentence.
In order to protect your DEA registration, a DEA Show Cause Lawyer is a necessity. These attorneys are experienced in dealing with DEA investigations and with any enforcement actions that come about as a result.
Can You Get a DEA Number With a Felony?
So, can you get a DEA number with a felony? If you are registering for a DEA number and you have a felony on your record, it is important to know what to do in order to get a DEA Registration Number. Having this number is key to your career as without it, you won’t be able to prescribe medications to patients.
What is a DEA Number?
A DEA number is assigned to health care providers such as physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists and optometrists. It is issued by the Drug Enforcement Administration and allows the health care provider to write prescriptions or distribute controlled substances.
What is a Felony?
A felony is a serious crime and often defined by the amount of time a person convicted of one would stay in prison. Usually if the punishment is more than a year, it is considered a felony. Types of felonies and the punishments for them can vary from state to state. Medical careers can be adversely affected by having a felony on record.
How an Applicant for a Medical Job is Screened
When you are applying for a job with a healthcare organization, you will likely go through a screening process. The employer must ensure that you don’t have a felony on record and that you can be fully trusted with patients and with controlled substances. The screening process usually consists of a background check and also a review of the OIG (Office of the Inspector General) exclusion list as well as the GSA (General Services Administration) exclusion list. The background check will specifically look into any felony conviction related to controlled substances, as this would deny any job within the medical community. Once convicted of a felony that involved controlled substances, this issue will carry along with an individual forever.
What the DEA Considers a “Convicted Felon”
When a conviction for a felony shows up on a person’s record, obviously the DEA considers there to have been a felony conviction. Sometimes charges may be reduced or dismissed, but the DEA still can deny a DEA number. At times a person may plead no contest to a felony, and this is considered by the DEA as an admission of a felony offense.
Can you practice without a DEA license?
Many providers wonder if they can practice medicine without a DEA license. If a position does not require the provider to prescribe controlled substances, yes, the provider can continue without a DEA license. However, physician employment is uncommon from an employer who knows the physician cannot prescribe controlled substances. Those providers who are required to have prescriptive privileges must a DEA license or they will not be allowed to prescribe medications. For clarity sake, a DEA license, DEA registration and a DEA number will be used interchangeably.
What does the Drug Enforcement Administration Do?
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 Number and Search
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.
- 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 APP.
- 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 You Get a Drug Enforcement Administration License
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 and insurance.
- Register with the Drug Enforcement Administration by filling out a DEA Form 224.
- Pay the fees required.
- Renew the license as required.
What Does a Drug Enforcement Administration License Allow?
Many ask what does a DEA license allow? To work in a medical facility, you may need to get a DEA screening and registration. It depends on the capacity in which you will be working. Any new hire will get a screening, but particular healthcare providers within the facility will need a DEA license.
When a healthcare professional has a DEA number or license, he or she can prescribe and administer controlled substances. This is important for the person’s career as controlled substances are often needed by patients. The workplace will want to ensure they are compliant with all state and federal laws and are providing quality care to all patients, therefore anyone administering or prescribing any controlled substances will need to be licensed.
Getting Help in Obtaining a DEA Number
When you need to get justice relating to a denial of a DEA number, you can hire a DEA Show Cause Lawyer to assist. Show cause means that one party needs to explain, justify or prove something to the court. The attorney you hire will, with your help, provide more information for the judge so that he may rescind the denial.