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New CMS resource covers drug diversion prevention strategies

June 02, 2014 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has a new publication for health care providers about drug diversion.

"What is a Prescriber's Role in Preventing the Diversion of Prescription Drugs" is an eight-page resource that outlines common types of drug diversion and some clinical practices and prescribing principles that can help stop it. Drug diversion is best defined as the diversion of illicit drugs for illicit purposes, according to CMS. It involves the diversion of drugs from legal and medically necessary uses toward uses that are illegal and typically not medically authorized or necessary.

It also addresses civil and criminal penalties for submitting false statements or false claims to Medicare or Medicaid and for attempting to obtain a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery or deception.

The publication, available here, also discusses reporting suspected drug diversion. Certain ethical and legal restrictions, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule, may apply to such disclosures.

While the publication does not address the legal or ethical implications of reporting suspected diversion, dental practices should seek appropriate professional advice, including legal advice, from a qualified attorney, before making such a report.