FLORIDA’S PILL MILL BILL CONTAINS LOOPHOLES

money-pile.jpgTALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA (May 10, 2011) – Florida’s legislature scored a big win with the passage of the bill to target pill mills, prescription drug dealers and users. Supporters of the bill consider the loopholes minor.
House Bill 7095 bill makes provisions for a state prescription database and requires drugstores to log the sale of every prescription pain pill. It does not, however, require doctors and pharmacists to check the database before handing the patient their pills. Mandating a database check could catch abusers through cross-referencing all places where they fill prescriptions.
Certain doctors and practices also fall under an exemption for registration with the database. Board-certified pain specialists, such as anesthesiologists, neurologists and surgeons can dispense pain meds without registering the transaction. Non-exempt physicians must register their office, have an inspection and follow set standards of patient care. With more than one-half of Florida’s pain clinics run by board-certified pain doctors, potential for abuse runs high. State officials offer that the class of exempted doctors generally are much less likely to abuse the system.
The last loophole concerns the lack of drug testing for patients. The medical board wanted patients to undergo regular drug screenings if they receive pain medications, but lawmakers struck down the idea in order to get the bill passed. Regular testing could cost patients $44, each or $60 million, collectively, per year.
Loopholes aside, the bill provides stiff penalties for abusers. An automatic six-month license suspension and $10,000 fine awaits doctors found guilty of prescription abuse.
Healthcare Fraud Blog Publisher, Attorney Robert Malove, is an expert criminal trial lawyer as recognized by The Florida Bar. Mr. Malove has extensive experience in the area of health care fraud defense.
Mr. Malove has extensive experience in the area of pill mill defense and represents the Florida Academy of Pain Medicine, Florida Academy of Physician Assistants, American Academy of Pain Management, and Florida Society of Neurology and has filed an amicus curiae brief in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the Florida statutes regulating the operation of pain clinics, i.e., pill mills.
If you, or someone you know is facing prosecution as a result of aggressive law enforcement activity of pill mills or doctor shopping, make sure you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the issues.
Federal Healthcare Fraud Strike Force teams are currently operating in 9 locations: Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, Detroit, Brooklyn, Tampa, Baton Rouge, Dallas and Chicago.
If you or someone you know is a healthcare provider and in need of serious pill mill defense, doctor shopping or any healthcare fraud defense, please contact attorney Robert Malove, co-author of the noted treatise,
WHITE COLLAR CRIME: HEALTH CARE FRAUD (West)(2010-2011 ed.) to arrange an immediate consultation.