Why highlight the sentencing of a doctor who did not have enough support for his practice to avoid such significant ramifications? Well, it is sometimes through the most egregious examples we can learn simple tips to help those of us trying to be compliant. Here, clearly the highlighted conduct is so far outside the realm of acceptable, comment is not necessary. However, review of distribution and prescribing of controlled substances is a hot topic on regulator's minds at the moment, which means we should all look to better our documentation habits and protections in place.
A simple way to start is to address safeguards in place for controlled substances. For more on safeguarding controlled substances, visit our prior newsletter.
In addition to safeguarding actual stock of controlled substances, now is the time to address any potential documentation deficiencies you may have related to medical necessity and prescribing or distribution of controlled substances. Unfortunately we live in a time where if you did not document it, it didn't happen - the patient did not present with the complaint, you did not perform adequate examination, you did not evidence proper evaluation, and your course of treatment was not substantiated. Lastly, do not forget to abide by any requirements for checking any online registry prior to prescribing controlled substances (if applicable) (absolutely applicable if you practice in NY
), and do not forget to document!