Federal laws require physicians and owners of pain management clinics to maintain strict and thorough records. Patient files must include the type and quantity of controlled substances prescribed or administered.
As noted by The Florida Legislature, the records maintained onsite must remain available to law enforcement for at least two years. A failure to keep adequate records may lead to lost, stolen or inaccurate information and trigger an investigation. Should an investigation take place, officials do not require a subpoena or warrant to retrieve patient and prescription files.
Investigators may recommend criminal charges
If law enforcement suspects a health care practitioner of carelessness or illicitly prescribing pain medication, an investigation may begin. In some cases, an undercover agent may pose as a patient and make an appointment to obtain a prescription.
Based on the findings, an individual may face charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. A prosecutor, however, must prove to the court that the actions actually violated the law.
Florida pain management clinic owners plead guilty
Officials charged two owners of a Florida pain management clinic with conspiracy to unlawfully dispense and distribute controlled substances. As reported by ABC7 WWSB news, a federal judge sentenced them to prison terms of less than four years after they pleaded guilty. The prosecution claimed that they played a role in prescribing pills without a legitimate medical purpose.
An individual involved in health care or pain management may have good intentions when helping patients overcome their suffering through medication. Poorly kept records or loose interpretations of test results may, however, trigger an investigation and require a legal defense.