Dig­nity to pay $1.55 mil­lion over lost nar­cotic drugs

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Bob Her­man

Dig­nity Health has agreed to pay $1.55 mil­lion to re­solve claims it mis­han­dled con­trolled sub­stances.

The 37-hos­pi­tal sys­tem based in San Fran­cisco will pay $1.25 mil­lion im­me­di­ately, with the re­main­der to be sub­mit­ted as de­ferred pay­ment pend­ing twoyear com­pli­ance and an ac­tion plan.

The Jus­tice De­part­ment’s Drug En­force­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion in­ves­ti­gated Dig­nity af­ter one of its hos­pi­tals, St. Joseph’s Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Stock­ton, Calif., lost more than 20,000 hy­drocodone tablets from its out­pa­tient phar­macy in 2010 and 2011. Fed­eral officials said hy­drocodone, a nar­cotic pain med­i­ca­tion, is of­ten ob­tained from le­git­i­mate health­care sources and then pushed onto the black mar­ket.

The DEA found that sev­eral Dig­nity fa­cil­i­ties in the Sacra­mento, Calif., area had not prop­erly recorded the sta­tus of pre­scrip­tion drugs and other con­trolled sub­stances. Dig­nity said it has al­ready worked with the govern­ment to cre­ate an ac­tion plan.

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