Health Care Professionals: It’s Time to Take Control of Controlled Substances!

Monday, November 26, 2018
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

In 2018, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) launched an informational website providing basic information pertaining to CS/CS/HB 21, the Controlled Substances Bill, and the important changes for prescribers and dispensers. The bill, effective in July 2018, addresses opioid abuse by establishing prescribing limits, requiring continuing education on controlled substance prescribing, expanding required use of Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, E-FORCSE and more.

Tools to Combat Opioid Abuse and Over-prescribing.

The enforcement of drug laws and prescribing regulations has been increasing in recent years, especially in Florida. The implementation of these databases and corresponding regulations are going to provide more tools for law enforcement and state medical boards to crack down on physicians. In order to avoid trouble, it is crucial that you take time to review your state’s prescribing and record keeping laws with an experienced health care attorney.

From experience, we have seen the database in Florida used mostly as a tool for prosecution of pain management physicians and pharmacists. We have represented physicians who have been the subjects of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigations. The DEA will often use undercover agents and informants to pose as patients, wired for audio recording. The DEA will often work with local law enforcement authorities and the Department of Health (DOH).

Other investigations and arrests may be initiated by a statewide prosecutor’s office, which is under the Attorney General. Still others have been initiated by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) where Medicaid funds are used. State and county law enforcement authorities appear to be more aggressive than ever in investigating and charging doctors and clinics involved in pain management prescribing and dispensing.

Take Control.

The industry that is the most regulated in the United States, with a myriad of complex state and federal laws and regulations, is the health care industry. You have the power to educate yourself on new laws and take control of you professional future to ensure your license is not at stake.

The DOH’s website provides specific information for those affected by the bill and links to other helpful resources, such as a Bill Information page, FAQs, informational Webinar, and more. 

Visit to stay on top and learn how the Controlled Substances Bill affects you!

Click here to read my prior blog on HB 21.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in the Representation of Health Professionals and Providers.

The Health Law Firm and its attorneys have represented physicians, pharmacists, nurses, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, health facilities and other health care providers in different cases involving allegations of over-prescribing narcotics and pain medications. These include criminal investigations by local police and law enforcement authorities, investigations by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), complaints against professional licenses by the Florida Department of Health, investigations and prosecutions by the Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCU), and other types of cases. Having attorneys familiar with the medical standards of care and guidelines for prescribing narcotics and having access to expert medical and pharmacy professionals who can testify as expert witnesses in such cases is also crucial. We have represented professionals in administrative investigations and administrative hearings at both the state and federal level.
To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

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Response to: Health Care Professionals: It’s Time to Take Control of Controlled Substances!
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Cheryll gilchrist says:

Why can't y'all sue the government for interfering with the care of patients and patient doctor privilege

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