One of the most stressful events that can happen in the course of your medical career is to receive a notice that the Drug Enforcement Administration or another federal or state agency is auditing your practice. Their allegations against you will probably include over-prescription or improper prescription. If this happens to you, don’t lose hope. You have options for preparing your defense.
Take immediate action
When the Drug Enforcement Administration brings cases against doctors, they begin with an audit. The purpose of this audit is to attempt to gather evidence that would support a charge for failure to keep adequate records, intent to distribute controlled substances unlawfully, improper labeling of controlled substances, deviation from accepted medical treatment principles or other similar prescription-related charges.
It is essential that you hire an experienced attorney as soon as you learn that you are going to face an audit. The more proactive you are in your defense, the greater chance you will have of making it through your audit without criminal charges.
Your attorney will be able to counsel you as to how to respond to questioning during your audit. They will help you to be truthful without incriminating yourself or making statements that can be used against you later in a criminal trial.
You can appeal from the consequences
During or after your audit, it’s possible that the board that governs disciplinary actions in your profession could suspend or revoke your medical license.
The same attorney that represents you in your investigations from governmental agencies can also represent you in your disciplinary board hearings. Even if the board temporarily suspends your license, your attorney can assist you in appealing that decision and making a case for restoring your license after the audit.
An audit can be an unnerving experience, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your career. By being proactive, you can prepare yourself to present the strongest possible defense to your charges.