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IL Drug Conspiracy Defense LawyerMedical providers who work with controlled substances are required to follow multiple laws and procedures, and they are likely to face scrutiny about their practices of prescribing and dispensing drugs. Doctors, pharmacists, and other providers are required to register with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and they must maintain this registration in order to be able to continue prescribing, administering, or dispensing controlled substances. The DEA will often investigate suspected cases of drug diversion, and in addition to pursuing criminal charges, it may suspend or revoke a provider’s controlled substance registration, which can lead to other consequences that affect their ability to continue practicing. Conspiracy to possess, dispense, or distribute a controlled substance is one offense that the DEA will be looking to address, and providers will want to be aware of the types of activities that could lead to an investigation.

Texas Doctor Sentenced in “Pill Mill” Conspiracy

One recent case illustrates the types of activities that may lead the DEA to pursue drug conspiracy charges. An oncologist in Fort Worth, Texas was convicted of conspiracy to dispense a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. He and several associates were accused of operating a drug ring and writing prescriptions for drugs such as hydrocodone and oxycodone that they knew would be diverted and sold illegally.

The people involved in the conspiracy used recruiters who would work with homeless people and others in the community to pose as patients and obtain prescriptions. In many cases, these “patients” would be seen by a clinic manager rather than a doctor, and they would then fill prescriptions at local pharmacies that were complicit in the scheme. The drugs would then be sold on the street.

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IL license defense lawyerDoctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals can face a great deal of scrutiny as they provide services to patients, especially when they prescribe or dispense controlled substances. In some cases, a professional may be accused of drug diversion, in which controlled substances are provided to patients for non-medical purposes or allowed to be illegally sold or delivered outside of the medical supply chain. Drug diversion is a serious offense, and it may lead to the suspension or revocation of a provider’s DEA registration, as well as the loss of a medical license, criminal charges, and other penalties. To avoid these types of consequences, medical professionals will want to make sure they are following the correct policies and procedures regarding controlled substances.

Preventing Drug Diversion

In many cases, a provider is accused of drug diversion based on their practices of prescribing or dispensing controlled substances to patients. To avoid these types of accusations, providers will want to be aware of how patients may attempt to obtain illegitimate prescriptions for controlled substances. A patient may show exaggerated symptoms or provide unconvincing explanations for why they need to receive a prescription in a short amount of time, or they may not cooperate with medical exams or allow a doctor to review their medical records. Patients who have specific requests for certain types of drugs or who seem to have extensive knowledge about a particular medication may be looking to obtain controlled substances for non-medical purposes.

When prescribing drugs, providers will want to make sure they fully evaluate patients to determine their pain medication needs. They should also use alternative pain relief treatments whenever possible and require patients to agree to pain management contracts to minimize the possibility of drug abuse. By following the requirements of their state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), medical professionals can avoid claims that they have issued illegitimate prescriptions for controlled substances.

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IL defense lawyerLicensed professionals invest a great deal of time, money, and effort to obtain the necessary education and training to practice in their chosen profession. After meeting all the requirements to obtain a professional license, a person will want to make sure they can maintain their license and avoid any issues that could affect their ability to continue working. Professionals should be aware that certain types of criminal convictions could lead to disciplinary action, and they will want to work with an attorney to address these issues and avoid the loss of their license.

Criminal Convictions That May Lead to License Suspension or Revocation

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) oversees licensed professionals, and it may choose to pursue disciplinary action against those who are convicted of certain types of crimes. Offenses that could lead to the suspension or revocation of a professional license include:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI) - Offenses related to drunk driving may result in discipline by the Illinois Medical Board, the Illinois Board of Nursing, or other IDFPR divisions that oversee medical professionals. These convictions may indicate that a person struggles with substance abuse, and a professional may be able to avoid or minimize discipline to their license if they receive treatment and meet the requirements put in place by the IDFPR.
  • Drug crimes - Medical professionals or others who prescribe or dispense controlled substances may face accusations of drug diversion or trafficking or other related offenses. In addition to facing discipline to their professional license, a person may face the loss of their DEA registration, as well as other consequences that affect their ability to practice.
  • Fraud - Criminal offenses related to the theft or misuse of other people’s financial or personal information may result in disciplinary action if they are related to a person’s profession. For example, medical professionals may face discipline because of a conviction for healthcare fraud, or the Illinois Real Estate Board may discipline a professional for offenses related to obtaining money under false pretenses.
  • Other felony offenses - Most of the time, professionals will face disciplinary action following a felony conviction. These offenses may include assault (including domestic assault or other domestic violence charges), robbery, burglary, or violent crimes

Contact Our Illinois Professional License Defense Lawyer

If you are facing discipline to your professional license because of a criminal conviction or for other reasons, The Law Offices of Joseph J. Bogdan, LLC can provide you with representation before the IDFPR. Attorney Bogdan will advocate on your behalf and work to minimize the consequences to your license and your career. To get the legal help you need with your IDFPR case, contact our Illinois professional license defense attorney at 630-310-1267 and schedule a free consultation today.

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IL license defense lawyerBecause of their important role in providing for the care and health of their patients, Illinois nursing homes are subject to oversight from both the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to ensure they are in compliance with regulations. With the additional risks that the COVID-19 pandemic poses for nursing home residents, additional guidelines have been put in place to promote their safety. Now more than ever, it is important for nursing homes to take the necessary measures to avoid violations that could impact their licensure.

Guidelines for Illinois Nursing Homes During COVID-19

Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, CMS has issued guidelines for the safe operation of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities throughout the United States. For example, nursing homes must:

  • Require staff to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, gloves, gowns, and visors
  • Regularly screen residents, staff, and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19
  • Use proper hand hygiene
  • Follow a plan for testing and monitoring residents and staff for COVID-19
  • Restrict visitation, communal dining, and group activities

CMS has also instituted a system for removing some restrictions in phases for nursing homes that are able to control the spread of COVID-19.

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IL license defense lawyerIllinois takes nonpayment of court-ordered child support very seriously. In an effort to encourage parents to stay compliant with child support orders, Illinois has enacted several “punishments” for non-paying parents. Parents who do not pay child support can face wage garnishment, property liens, and the suspension or revocation of their licenses. A parent who is in child support arrears can lose their driver’s license, hunting or fishing license, occupational license, and even their professional license.

Illinois Can Suspend Your Professional License After a 30-Day Delinquency

You might assume that only egregious nonpayment of child support can result in a license suspension or revocation. However, Illinois law states that even a 30-day delinquency is enough to prompt a professional license suspension. When a delinquent parent receives a notice about past-due child support, he or she has 60 days to pay current and past-due child support. The parent also has a 45-day window to request a hearing to contest the notice. If the parent fails to become current with child support, he or she is considered delinquent and is in danger of losing his or her licenses.

Professional Medical License Suspension or Revocation is Possible

When a person loses his or her fishing license, they simply lose access to legally enjoy their hobby. Losing a professional license, on the other hand, is a completely different situation. Without a valid professional license, you may not be able to legally continue doing your job. Failure to pay child support can result in the suspension or revocation of your:

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