Tennessee laws regarding controlled substances require health care practitioners to document a patient’s medical necessity. Failing to maintain adequate records may lead to allegations of fraud or unlawful distribution.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 11% of U.S. adults experience pain on a daily basis. As also noted by the CDC, some health care practitioners may not have received sufficient training in prescribing pain medication.
Health care practitioners may face legal issues when writing a prescription
A patient who misuses or overdoses medication may raise serious legal issues for a licensed practitioner. As noted by the CDC, at least 11.5 million U.S. patients reported they misused their pain prescriptions during 2016.
Due to widespread abuse, health care practitioners may need to help their patients avoid addiction. Patients may require continuous or frequent monitoring to determine how their condition responds to medication. A practitioner may also need to regularly modify prescription dosages based on a patient’s changing prognosis.
Prosecutors may use a lack of an examination or medical records as evidence
As reported by WKRN News 2, law enforcement officials charged over a dozen Tennessee doctors and nurses with offenses related to illegally prescribing pain medication. Among them was a former nurse who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances. She allegedly prescribed pain medication to individuals and friends without examining them first.
By not carefully monitoring and documenting a patient’s condition, a health care practitioner may raise suspicions of prescription fraud or unlawful distribution. It may help to counter charges of wrongful actions, however, by maintaining well-kept records, documenting improvements and adjusting dosages.