News & Analysis as of

Drug & Alcohol Abuse

OIG Work Plan – October 2017 Update

by Baker Ober Health Law on

The OIG added five new items to its Work Plan with its October 2017 monthly update. This is a decrease from the nine new items added to the Work Plan with the September 2017 update. (For more information on last month's Work...more

The Opioid Crisis: Declaring a National Emergency and the Effect on Remote Prescribing through Telemedicine

by McDermott Will & Emery on

On July 31, 2017, President Donald Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis recommended that he declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency. In August 2017 and again on October 16, 2017, the...more

Combating Opioid Abuse in the Workplace: A Proactive Approach For Employers

by Bowditch & Dewey on

Imagine your employee “Bob” has recently missed a lot work for unexplained reasons. Bob’s coworkers notice that he sometimes “nods off” while working, and his supervisor just reported to you that Bob became enraged while...more

The case for capacity: Supreme Court of Canada upholds employee’s termination based on breach of “no free accident rule” in...

by DLA Piper on

Managing employee drug and alcohol addictions has long been a thorny issue for employers. Because addiction is accepted as a mental disability, it is a delicate balancing act to ensure employee privacy and human rights are...more

Striking the Right Balance in Workplace Behavior and Privacy

by Burr & Forman on

Employers often struggle with the balance between effective employee management and oversight and respect for employee privacy in the workplace. Striking the right balance is a difficult task for employers seeking to uphold...more

Finding Common Ground in the Healthcare Debate: Federal, State, and Local Governments Respond to the Opioid Epidemic

As stories and statistics of the opioid crisis become increasingly prevalent in our national discourse, we are seeing a stronger, more innovative, and more aligned push for interventions across communities, government...more

OIG Work Plan – September 2017 Update

by Baker Ober Health Law on

Beginning in June 2017, the OIG began making monthly Work Plan updates. These monthly updates create some practical challenges for health care providers and compliance professionals trying to make operational and compliance...more

Expanding Litigation Against Prescription Distribution Channel Constituents In Wake of Opioid Epidemic

by Locke Lord LLP on

In the battle against prescription opioid (e.g., oxycodone and hydrocodone) addiction waged by law enforcement agencies, healthcare providers, and politicians on both sides of the aisle, there has been a swell of civil...more

FDA Approves First-Ever Mobile App for Addiction Treatment

by Knobbe Martens on

The FDA recently approved the marketing of the first-ever prescription digital therapeutic to be used in the treatment of substance use disorder (SUD)....more

Citing the Opioid Abuse Epidemic, New Jersey Proposes Far-Reaching Restrictions on Pharma-Prescriber Interactions

by Stinson Leonard Street on

In an effort to curtail the opioid abuse epidemic, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie proposed a new rule on August 31, 2017 that would make New Jersey the latest state to adopt "gift ban" type restrictions on interactions...more

Quest Diagnostics Report Reveals That Prescription Drug Misuse Remains Widespread

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

A new Quest Diagnostics report released on September 6, 2017 reveals that over 50% of drug test results showed evidence of misuse of prescription drugs. The report, entitled “Prescription Drug Misuse in America: Diagnostic...more

Opioid Epidemic Declared a National Emergency; Proposed Law Calls for Mandatory E-Prescribing of Controlled Substances to Curb...

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Today, in a move that is widely supported by those in both political parties and across the country, President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. Doing so will allow for additional resources to be used...more

Antidotes for America’s Addiction Crisis

Opioid addiction and abuse has exploded into a national epidemic. Every three weeks, America faces a death toll equivalent to the September 11th attacks due to drug overdoses, 75 percent of which are from opioid use. ...more

Worth Another Look: Children of the Opioid Epidemic

In January of 2017, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) published a list of the top 10 issues that will be before state legislatures across the nation this year. While we’re just over a quarter of the way...more

DOJ and OIG Focus on Opioid Abuse: Medical Professionals Who Overprescribe May Be Targets

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

Two recent announcements reflect that the U.S. Government is taking aggressive steps to address opioid abuse by identifying and targeting the involvement of medical professionals in facilitating opioid abuse involving Federal...more

Medical Board of California Circulates Opioid Prescriber Guidance

by Nossaman LLP on

Recently, the Medical Board of California circulated an open letter, known as a Prescriber Guidance Letter to all practitioners in California who prescribe opiates. The letter was authored by a statewide workgroup on...more

Connecticut Enacts Legislation Intended to Curb Opioid Drug Abuse

by Robinson & Cole LLP on

On June 30, 2017, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law An Act Preventing Prescription Opioid Diversion and Abuse (Public Act No. 17-131). This legislation addresses opioid drug abuse in Connecticut by...more

Connecticut Enacts Legislation Intended to Curb Opioid Drug Abuse

On June 30, 2017, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law An Act Preventing Prescription Opioid Diversion and Abuse (Public Act No. 17-131). This legislation addresses opioid drug abuse in Connecticut by...more

NJ Gov. Chris Christie Seeks to Ease HIPAA Restrictions in Cases of Opioid Overdose

Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told reporters that he is in talks with representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Justice about easing HIPAA restrictions in...more

The Joint Commission Releases Pain Assessment and Management Requirements

The Joint Commission (TJC) recently released new and revised pain assessment and management standards and elements of performance for its hospital accreditation program. These standards, effective January 1, 2018, follow an...more

Avoiding Diversion: New Tennessee Law Imposes Potential Obligations on Employers When Healthcare Providers Fail Drug Tests

Tennessee lawmakers are cracking down on nurses and other healthcare providers (HCPs) diverting medications for personal use. A law going into effect on July 1, 2017, (yes—next week) puts an obligation on employers of HCPs...more

Supreme Court Upholds Termination for Breach of Drug and Alcohol Policy

by Bennett Jones LLP on

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal Corp., 2017 SCC 30 is good news for employers. The Court upheld the prior decisions of the Alberta Court of Appeal and Alberta Human Rights Tribunal,...more

OIG Report Details Decline in Healthcare Fraud Recoveries

by King & Spalding on

Last week OIG released its semiannual report to Congress, which details the results of OIG’s operations for the first half of the 2017 federal fiscal year. Healthcare fraud recoveries by OIG totaled $2.04 billion during the...more

Drug Companies – Peddlers of opiates?

Opioids put nearly 1.3 million people in the hospital in one year. Yet another example of the devastating effects of Fentanyl and other opiate abuse in our country. We have had a front row seat to this epidemic in Palm...more

Sobering Results: Recent Study Suggests Drug Use Is Up Among American Workers

A recent study conducted by the drug testing company Quest Diagnostics indicates that the rate of positive drug test results among the U.S. workforce is at a 12-year high, driven by increased cocaine, amphetamines, and...more

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