In our ongoing series of posts we’ve taken a look at a variety of laws in the New York penal code, and in the process we’ve stripped away a lot of the confusing legalese that’s involved in order to get at the meaning behind the words and really understand what each of the definitions and charges actually entail. In this post, we’re specifically going to get into the various charges included in healthcare fraud so we can better understand what all of this means. To start with, though, we’re going to need to better understand what a controlled substance is, and how these things are regulated.

Basically, a controlled substance is a drug or chemical which has its manufacture and/or possession regulated by the government, such as drugs or prescription meds that are considered a controlled drug.

Now in the United States, the organization that’s responsible for suppressing drug use as well as distribution is the DEA, and they do this through the controlled substances act. Some of the chemicals that are actually used to produce illegal drugs are also considered controlled substances in quite a few countries, and this is despite the fact that they might not have the same kind of pharmacological effects of these drugs. The various substances are classified by schedule, and they all consist of psychoactive substances. These controlled substances don’t include prescription items like antibiotics.

Some states actually have statutes that are put in place against healthcare providers that prescribe or administer substances that are listed in the Controlled Substance Act. This doesn’t, however, stop providers who are licensed from self-prescribing any meds that aren’t listed on the various schedules.

Hopefully that preliminary description of controlled substances and their various uses helped out a bit, and allowed you to get a broader view on how these substances operate as a whole. And now that we’ve gotten this description out of the way, we can go ahead and move on to giving a detailed description of what exactly healthcare fraud is in relation to controlled substances.

Fraud and deceit related to controlled substances.

As far as this charge goes, no one will willfully obtain a controlled substance, prescription for a controlled substance or official prescription form by fraud, or by the concealment of a fact, or by using a false name or false address. They also can’t make a false statement in any prescription, application, order, or record that’s required in the public health law, or falsely present themselves as a licensed manufacturer, pharmacist, or other registered person, for the purpose of obtaining a controlled substance. They also can’t make a forged prescription or attach a false label to a package that contains controlled substances, or imprint a false or forged code number or symbol to a controlled substance.

Possession of some type of false or forged prescription for a controlled substance is presumptive evidence of their intent to use the same in order to illegally obtain a controlled substance. Also, possession of a blank prescription form by someone who wasn’t lawfully issued it will be presumptive evidence of their intent to use it in order to illegally obtain a controlled substance. Anyone who’s supplied with a controlled substance or prescription by one practitioner and then intentionally withholds or fails to disclose this fact is guilty of a violation of this article. Fraud and deceit related to controlled substances is considered a class A
misdemeanor.

We hope that wasn’t too complicated, and that it made the crimes related to healthcare fraud more clear for you. We believe that once you break down the complicated letter of the law into more easily digestible parts, the whole process becomes much easier to handle. This is important for any of the laws we’ve been handling, but this is especially the case when it comes to issues regarding healthcare fraud, as controlled substances and prescription medications add an extra level of complexity to the issues. So if you’re facing any sort of legal trouble or think that you might face something like that in the near future, it’ll be best for you to get in touch with Joseph Potashnik and Associates, PC. It just might be the best thing you do today.