Attorney general releases film on drug diversion by health care providers.In October 2006, Attorney General William Sorrell William H. Sorrell is the current attorney general of the state of Vermont, United States. Originally appointed by Governor Howard Dean in 1997, he has won re-election five times since then in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. Sorrell was born and resides in Burlington, Vermont. released a film that highlights a growing problem in Vermont's health care system--drug diversion by health care providers. The film ("When Healing Hands Healing Hands (妙手仁心) is a 1998 Hong Kong medical drama series that ran on TVB Jade. It focuses on the lives and loves of the doctors and nurses at the fictional Yan Oi Hospital in Hong Kong. Harm: Drug Diversion In the terminology of the Drug Enforcement Administration, diversion is the use of prescription drugs for recreational purposes. The term comes from the "diverting" of the drugs from their original purposes. in Vermont") was produced by the Medicaid Fraud Medicaid fraud The fraudulent billing of Medicaid by physicians or other health care providers, especially international medical graduates and psychiatrists. See Medicaid. & Residential Abuse Unit of the Attorney General's office and features the stories of four health care providers convicted of drug diversion. The powerful film contains interviews with the offenders, surveillance footage of actual crimes, and conversations with victim families and other health care and law enforcement professionals.
Appearing at the release of the film, Attorney General Sorrell stated, "The powerful grip of drug addiction drug addiction
or chemical dependency
Physical and/or psychological dependency on a psychoactive (mind-altering) substance (e.g., alcohol, narcotics, nicotine), defined as continued use despite knowing that the substance causes harm. can turn caring hands cold. My office is working hard with health care and law enforcement professionals to combat drug diversion from both ends. We are encouraging both active prevention and prosecution efforts. Vermonters need to know that the diversion of drugs by the very persons taking care of the sick and dying will not be tolerated."
Drug diversion is a crime that has affected each Vermont county in recent years. Every county with a residential care facility has experienced drug diversion by health care providers. Because of their abundance of on-hand drugs and their number of patients or residents requiring such drugs, nursing homes and hospitals are a particular focus of prevention and prosecution efforts. "Administrators and colleagues need to be aware of signs of addiction or abuse," said Attorney General Sorrell. "Early detection and action preserves the integrity of patient care, removes a source of drugs for the offender, and may be the best chance for the offender to confront his or her addiction."
The effects of drug diversion are far-reaching. While the four offenders shown in the film are a registered nurse, two licensed practical nurses li·censed practical nurse
Abbr. LPN A nurse who has completed a practical nursing program and is licensed by a state to provide routine patient care under the direction of a registered nurse or a physician. , and a durable medical equipment Durable medical equipment is a term of art used to describe certain Medicare benefits, that is, whether Medicare may pay for the item. The item is defined by Title XVIII the Social Security Act:
The 36-minute film will be distributed to health care programs and law enforcement for training, education, and prevention purposes. The film succeeds in emphasizing the value of prevention and detection and encouraging health care providers to seek substance abuse help for themselves or others. The film also succeeds in providing a sharp reminder that drug diversion is a criminal offense for which offenders suffer criminal consequences, including incarceration Confinement in a jail or prison; imprisonment.
Police officers and other law enforcement officers are authorized by federal, state, and local lawmakers to arrest and confine persons suspected of crimes. The judicial system is authorized to confine persons convicted of crimes. and license sanctions.
The film was produced in collaboration with Vermont filmmaker Kenneth Peck and is currently being distributed for training purposes to both health care and law enforcement agencies A law enforcement agency (LEA) is a term used to describe any agency which enforces the law. This may be a local or state police, federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). .
Copies of the film can be obtained by contacting the Medicaid Fraud & Residential Abuse Unit at 43 Randall Street, Waterbury, Vermont 05676 (telephone: 802-241-4440; email: email@example.com).