TX: Opioids: UTSW will have to pay $ 4.5 million if it fails to secure drugs

Healthcare Facility Drug Diversion

The DOJ states that two nurses had a fatal overdose in 2016 and 2018 because the medical center was unable to secure opioids.

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to resolve allegations of fatal overdose in two nurses in 2016 and 2018 due to inadequate monitoring of controlled substances, including fentanyl. The Ministry of Justice announced that it would pay $ 4.5 million: Tuesday news release.

The civil settlement for drug diversion is the largest amount paid in Texas and the second largest in the country, DOJ said.

The news on Tuesday was released after a three-year joint investigation by DEA and a US law firm following the news of two overdose at UTSW’s Clements University Hospital. The study began after the 2018 Dallas Morning News report found that nurses were overdose of fentanyl in patients.

DOJ, UTSW for 5 years Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Due to these violations, UTSW employees diverted regulated substances, including fentanyl, from UTSW’s Clements University Hospital and Zale Lipshy Pavilion. The DOJ states that the hospital was unable to record drug theft or material loss in a timely manner, violated the CSA, and violated the hospital’s obligations as a DEA registrant.

The DOJ claims that this killed two UTSW nurses in 2016 and 2018. On December 15, 2016, a UTSW nurse was found to have overdose fentanyl from UTSW’s Clements University Hospital and later died in a hospital toilet. On April 16, 2018, DOJ said another UTSW nurse was found to overdose opioids containing fentanyl from the same hospital and later died in the bathroom of another Clements hospital.

In addition to the DOJ’s failure to report the loss of regulated material to the DEA in a timely manner, the UTSW was unable to properly report “regulatory material distribution and” waste “” and the order documented form was incorrect. It states that there was. Receipt and distribution of regulated substances, all in violation of CSA.

According to the DOJ, the UTSW Settlement Agreement does not constitute an endorsement of liability, but the medical center has informed the DEA of the theft of controlled substances and significant losses in the above two hospitals. I publicly admitted that I didn’t. It was a timely method and some of the hospital center policies were not CSA compliant. The UTSW cooperated with the investigation, DOJ said.

The UTSW cooperated with the DEA’s investigation and began making changes before reaching a settlement, DOJ said.

In a news release on Tuesday, UTSW said two nurses died from opioid overdose at Clements University Hospital. After their death, the hospital center said they began to consider consultants and their policies and procedures prior to the DEA investigation. UTSW said it fully cooperated with the investigation.

“As a leading healthcare institution, we are committed to fulfilling all legal and ethical obligations in all aspects of our business, especially in line with our broad commitment to maintain safe clinical care and work environment, opioids. We are committed to following stewardship best practices. “UTSW said in a news release.

The settlement on Tuesday includes the following steps from UTSW:

  • Hospital centers need to hire an external auditor to perform unannounced audits of controlled substances focused on fentanyl and provide that data to DEA.
  • The hospital center will set up a training center designed to help employees identify symptoms of addiction and signs of drug diversion.
  • Hospital Center Launches Employee Compliance Hotline for Anonymously Reporting Suspicion of Drug Theft or Loss
  • The hospital center will install a security camera on the drug dispensing machine and provide images to DEA upon request.
  • The hospital center will create a database of employees who have been discharged or resigned due to drug diversion and will disclose relevant information upon request.
  • The Hospital Center will allow DEA to enter the UTSW facility at any time without a warrant to ensure compliance.

“We felt that the series of compliance failures we discovered justified millions of dollars in fines and rigorous corrective action plans,” U.S. lawyer Chad Meacham said in a news release. .. To mitigate the threat of opioid conversion by outlining more protocols than required by law. “

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