Avoid Medical Board Discipline for Prescribing Opiates

Avoid Medical Board Discipline for Prescribing Opiates

Michael V. Favia Defends Illinois-Licensed Physicians and Healthcare Professionals Prescribing Opiates

In representing and defending Illinois physicians before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Responsibility (IDFPR), IDFPR attorney Michael V. Favia is acutely aware of the challenges faced by doctors prescribing opiates. A former Chief of Prosecution for the Department, Favia has been on both sides of the administrative legal system and process. He knows what happens and helps healthcare professionals with proactive and preventative measures and systems as well as he defends doctors before medical boards and the state when prescribing opiates is at issue, for example.

There are Legitimate Medical Reasons to Prescribe Opiates

Patients have chronic pain. Pain doesn’t always indicate its source. What we know today about the brain and nervous system today is impressive. The medical history of treatment for pain inspires todays researchers who continue learning, discovering and sharing. A satisfying moment for a doctor and their patient, when the pain level is no longer robbing someone of a happy life can be a reminder why so many physicians are in the business of helping people.

Some solutions to problems have serious side effects. A serious side effect of prescribing opiates is abuse, addiction and diversion.

People Abuse Opiates and Abuse the Trust of their Doctors

No doctor practices medicine because all their patients tell the truth. People lie. People abuse opiates. Many physicians struggle with a sour view of humanity after being lied to and abused over years, not only by deceitful patients trying to score some drugs, but also by the pressures of the business of medicine and it’s ever growing machine.

It is no wonder many great doctors suffer from the effects of a broken system where many feel they are expected to perform miracles with hands tied behind their backs.

When Should Physicians Prescribe Opiates?

Should be prescribing opiates to this patient? Are there reasonable alternatives? When there is medical indication documented with objective evidence and the patient’s complaints of pain naturally follow, do prescribe opiates in your best medical judgment.

After a comprehensive examination and patient history coupled with proper imaging is conducted, you have also conducted UDTs, a CURES and ORTs, do prescribe opiates in your best medical judgment.

Even if these checklists are satisfied, you must first also provide informed consent and obtain a patient-signed pain agreement for chronic pain.

Document Everything, Every time, with Every Patient

If you wanted to document every move you make you would have gone to law school and become a lawyer, not a doctor. All kidding aside, when you get into the habit of paper working your every move, you stand in a better position to catch the situations where your patient is a drug diversion specialist who knows how to trick you. The professional painkiller seekers know where to go, on what day and every detail from how to talk, act and what to wear to trick you.

Pay attention to red flags and use all your tools and staff resources to be proactive and never miss signs.

When you build the habit of making notes about every who, what, where, why and when; we can spend more time assessing and reacting to work in the present, with the reassurance that whatever happened 30 minutes ago is well-recorded and can be defended later if necessary.

In professional discipline, a consistent and systematic process for documentation can be your best asset. Showing your consistent attention to the process shows the medical board you followed appropriate protocol, because you documented it. Even if you did same in your head, without documentation there can be reason to question same.

Can You Afford to Risk Even a Simple Reprimand?

Nothing can undo years of building a career in medicine quicker than a negative pattern of patient care and practice that leads to discipline. Putting the medical board aside for a moment, the hospital and medical organization administrators are charged with evaluating and reducing risk and exposure to liability.

Listen to this podcast featuring professional licensing attorney Michael v. Favia on healthcare licensing.

From an IDFPR, medical board and state regulatory perspective, any discipline can be a red flag in the future. What may seem trivial and not of great concern by some can be a signal of a pattern to others. Also, be mindful that every state has its own standards and professionals tasked with regulatory oversight of licensed physicians.

Tips for Avoiding Medical Board Discipline

In professional license defense practice, Chicago attorney Michael V. Favia and his team of associated attorneys and professionals frequently review and share smart tips for Illinois doctors, dentists, nurses and related healthcare professionals who battle against fraud and wrongdoing when prescribing opiates.

Michael V. Favia recommends a recent article published in The Health Law Ticker, Avoiding Medical Board Discipline when Prescribing Opiates.

Why Wait for Discipline to Add Michael V. Favia to Your Team of Professional Advisors and Assets?

Michael V. Favia has talked frequently about his efforts in trying to help doctors who tried to represent themselves, which does not always go well. Knowing both sides of license prosecution and defense puts him in a unique position to offer the best defense against the risk of discipline.

Contact or call Michael V. Favia & Associates and get to know Favia and his team. They can help you look at your medical practice and procedures to help you fortify your defenses against the traps in prescribing opiates. Call and make an appointment today by dialing (773) 631-4580.