Once your DEA license has been surrendered, suspended or revoked, you will want to get it reinstated as quickly as possible. Having your DEA registration active is vital to your career, so it is something to take seriously. You can appeal a rejected application or a rejected renewal. Applications that have been rejected are not the end of the world, but you will need to take action quickly for effective appeals. DEA licenses are vital to physicians’ careers or anyone in the field of nursing.
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A DEA License is issued by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and gives a registered health provider permission to prescribe controlled substances, such as Oxycodone, cocaine or morphine. You apply for the license by registering online on the DEA website and filling out an application. Part of that is registering with the Drug Enforcement Administration by filling out a DEA Form 224. Every three years, you must renew the registration. Applications usually take three weeks to a month to be approved.
Why the DEA May Revoke or Take Other Actions on a Registration
The DEA investigates criminal actions and will take actions against a license when there is proof of illegal activity. When they see a red flag related to a physician who prescribes controlled substances, they will start an investigation or a DEA audit. They may see coding errors or a high amount of prescriptions coming from one office or facility. The doctor may work in a location that is known for opioid trafficking. Many different things can set off alarms. Some of the actions for which a provider can be prosecuted include:
- Falsification of prescriptions
- Selling controlled substances to people who don’t need them medically
- Diversion of drugs which are legal to an illegal market
How to Get My DEA Registration Reinstated
Getting a DEA registration reinstated is easier if the registration was revoked or surrendered in an administrative procedure rather than a criminal proceeding. But either way, it can most likely be done. After a revocation, there will be a waiting period before you can reapply. During this period you can work to address the reasons the license was surrendered or revoked. The same would apply if you had attempted to renew your DEA license and were rejected.
You can apply for reinstatement online. But it is necessary to give full and absolute disclosure, including the history and all the events that led up to the surrender or revocation of your DEA registration. You should prepare any statement explaining matters before you try and put it into an online application. You can expect to get interviewed by agents before your reinstatement will be approved or denied. These interviews will be done in person and will also be recorded. You will need to prepare for this and not just casually try and answer everything.
Finding Legal Help in Getting Reinstated
At any time during the reinstatement application, it is best to find an experienced DEA License Suspension Lawyer who can help you with all preparations. A DEA attorney has the knowledge of what concerns the DEA has and he can help you anticipate any questions asked. Attorneys versed in DEA law can help you provide complete and accurate answers on a reinstatement application.
How Do I Surrender My DEA Certificate?
So, how do I surrender my DEA license? If you have been asked to surrender your DEA license voluntarily, this article has information you should know. It is important to understand what surrendering your DEA license means to you and your career. Anyone who has registered with the DEA must stay abreast of the requirements which come with carrying a license.
When a DEA agent comes to you and demands that you surrender your DEA license or registration, you should just tell him no. It happens too often – an agent comes to your practice and asks you about how you prescribe controlled substances. All the questions are answered, but at the end of the interview, suddenly and surprisingly, the agent tells you that you are in trouble and it would just be easier on you if you voluntarily surrender your registration. He may tell you that if you don’t, they will revoke it anyhow. The agent has you fill out a form. Unfortunately, this is a bad decision.
Don’t Voluntarily Surrender Your Registration
Do NOT voluntarily surrender your DEA license or registration. If you do, it can start administrative actions against other professional licenses that you hold. You very likely will not be able to reapply for a DEA license or registration. There will also be delays which hurt your ability to return to practicing after the completion of the registration matter. It can take years to complete the civil or criminal proceedings. Also when you voluntarily surrender your registration, you are waiving your right to have a hearing. If you don’t voluntarily surrender your license or registration, the DEA has to submit an order to show cause, and this means that you will have an opportunity to have a hearing to defend your DEA registration.
Why Agents Want You to Surrender Your Registration
The question is: why would DEA agents try to get you to surrender the DEA registration? This is mainly due to a backlog in cases that are pending adjudication. While providers or practitioners wait for the final decision in the case against a DEA registration, they continue to possess their registration and to prescribe controlled substances. Obviously, for those involved in criminal activities regarding a controlled substance, it could mean a year of them continuing with their crimes, until the case is completed. It is understandable that the DEA would want to curb this activity, but unfortunately for those who are innocent, surrendering their registration is a bad move for their career.
Legal Help for DEA License Surrender
If you refuse to surrender your DEA registration and therefore have the opportunity to schedule a hearing, this is when an attorney comes in very handy. DEA Registration attorneys can help you successfully resolve any administrative, civil, or criminal action regarding your registration. A DEA License Suspension Lawyer will protect you, your registration and thus your career. It can be vital to your future to protect your DEA registration.
Why would a doctor have their Registration Suspended?
So, why would a doctor have their DEA suspended? Having a DEA suspended can have wide-ranging effects on a career. It is smart to know why a doctor might have their DEA license or registration suspended so any possible repercussions can be prevented. If the DEA registration is suspended or revoked, it can have wide ranging impacts on the entire career as well as the personal life of the person. Not being able to prescribe a controlled substance when needed to a patient limits a physician’s practice.
What Red Flags the DEA Looks For
There are certain things the DEA will look for when investigating possible fraud and diversion of controlled substances and before cancelling someone’s registration or certificate. When something under the heading of health care fraud or those items possibly violating the law listed below come to light, a full investigation will be launched into the DEA registration.
- The volume of prescriptions written: Although there are many reasons why a doctor may deal in a high volume of medication prescriptions, federal authorities consider it to be a red flag.
- The consistence of prescriptions: When the same medications are continuously being prescribed or dispensed, it can trigger an investigation by the DEA. This is not just doctors, but can include nurse practitioners, pharmacists and others.
- Errors in coding: Coding errors can lead to heavy criminal penalties and other federal charges, even when unintentional. When the coding errors involve billing for controlled substances, the DEA will get involved as well.
- Previous mistakes: If a physician has been targeted at any time in the past in relation to controlled chemical substances, it will be generally true that they will be under continued scrutiny. Any previous malpractice or even theft within the health industry will certainly spark an investigation. A bad report by a co-worker or patient or another can start an investigation. Reporting can come from any quarter.
- Geographic location: When assessing a provider’s potential involvement in drug diversion crimes, the DEA considers the geographic location of the provider to be an important factor to take into account. There exist many “hot spots” around the country where abuse takes place, particularly for opioid abuse.
The above items, when under investigation, give reason to find good fraud defense for the person accused.
The Crimes that Affect a DEA License
There are a number of situations that can affect a physician’s DEA license. The DEA can deny an application or registration for a license, can suspend a DEA license or revoke the registration based on investigation or reports by others. Some of these DEA concerns are listed here:
- Falsifying a registration application with the DEA
- Suspension, revocation or denial of a state license
- When a provider has been excluded from participating in a Medicare or a Medicaid program (any sort of Medicare fraud)
- When a health care provider has been convicted of a felony regarding a controlled substance
DEA Show Cause Orders
When the DEA is going to suspend a DEA registration, it first serves an order to show cause on the provider of health care. This means that the health care provider has to show the reason why the registration or license they have from the DEA should not be suspended. The provider or registrant has a right to request a hearing with an administrative law judge. It is the business of that judge to determine if the suspension of the healthcare registration is valid or not. Registrants always have recourse but should have an attorney by their side for their own safety.
Getting an Attorney When Suspension is Imminent
Because a DEA license and registration is such an important part of a medical career in healthcare, you should do everything possible to protect these. A DEA License Suspension Lawyer can help as he is familiar with the DEA laws and regulations of a license. He will do the research required to ensure you are in compliance with all rules and regulations. Attorneys can collect the information needed in order to reply effectively to any DEA show cause order. You need a defense lawyer familiar with the law to protect your interests. A good lawyer will have the care and resources to help you.