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New Wave of Discipline Against Physicians Not Complying with OARRS

Published: Jan 12, 2017 by Levi Tkach

During the January 2017 meeting of the Ohio Medical Board, the Board Members voted to issue Notices of Opportunity for Hearing to 11 physicians and massage therapists. The Notices outlined alleged violations of the Medical Practice Act by the licensees and notified the licensees that they are considering taking disciplinary action against their Ohio licenses. Of those 11 Notices of Opportunity for Hearing, four allege physicians violated Ohio’s law requiring use of the State run prescription drug tracking system, OARRS.

In September 2016, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy referred approximately 12,000 physicians to the Ohio Medical Board for possible disciplinary action. The Pharmacy Board based these disciplinary complaints on data collected through OARRS. These complaints no doubt led to the four Notices of Opportunity for Hearing referenced above; and we expect additional Notices of Opportunity for Hearing will be issued regarding alleged OARRS violations in the coming months.

Under the Ohio Medical Board’s rules, the failure to properly document an OARRS review can be considered the failure to use acceptable methods in selection of drugs or other modalities. The Medical Board may impose a $20,000 fine for each violation and impose any of the following additional sanctions: revocation, suspension, probation, and/or practice restrictions.

If you are a health care professional who has been contacted by the Ohio Medical Board or Ohio Pharmacy Board regarding your use of the OARRS system, you could be at risk of a substantial civil penalty or other disciplinary action. Those licensees who received Notices of Opportunity for Hearing only have 30 days to request a hearing and defend their licenses against sanctions.

If you received a Notice of Opportunity for Hearing, or if you simply have questions regarding the OARRS system and/or the Ohio Medical or Pharmacy Board requirements, you should consider contacting an attorney at Graff & McGovern, LPA, for a no-cost consultation. Levi Tkach is available to take your call at 614-228-5800.