Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys Brian Irving and Lisa Rivera discussed heighted scrutiny within the long-term care industry related to drug diversion and compliance with the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Healthcare organizations, and not just diverting employees, are more often being held accountable for diversion of controlled substances.

“When controlled substance diversion is discovered at a healthcare organization, the federal government no longer takes the view that it should simply focus on the potential prosecution of a diverting employee,” said Lisa. “Instead, the government is demanding answers about how the diversion could have occurred, and when it should have been discovered, focusing on the organization’s record keeping, security and reporting practices.”

With more employees now having access to a facility’s drug supply, the stakes can be higher. “This may lead to more opportunities for diversion,” said attorney Brian. “We often work with providers to ensure that the appropriate safeguards are in place and access to controlled substances is limited to that needed. But providers can also monitor and audit their safeguards to ensure they are being followed and remain sufficient. Providers that are proactive about controlled substances compliance will be in the best position to withstand inevitable government scrutiny.”

“The government has significant discretion in how it seeks to resolve potential violations of the Controlled Substances Act,” Brian added. “Providers that take controlled substance compliance seriously — and can demonstrate those efforts to the government — will be in a much better position with respect to the government.”

The full article, “Providers Increasingly On the Hook for Employees’ Drug Thefts,” was published by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News on March 4 and is available online. To read more about fraud recoveries related to the Controlled Substances Act and other regulations, download a copy of the firm’s Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Review.