Over the past few years, there have been cases in Ohio where nursing home staff members have stolen medication to feed their own addiction or that of a loved one. These thefts have compelled Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to ramp up efforts to prevent this drug abuse diversion of medications and pain patches. In a release, he states, “Every time this happens, a real patient is deprived of the medication they need to get well.”
Next week, all of Ohio’s care facility administrators will receive a letter from DeWine reminding them of their obligation to report suspected illegal activity and to let them know that investigation assistance is available through his office’s Medicare Fraud Protection Unit (MFPU).
MFPU has a team of agents that investigate suspected crimes against residents of care facilities—abuse, neglect and drug diversion. Law enforcement agencies that lack the resources to carry on such investigations can call on the MFPU for assistance.
DeWine reminds LTC staff that they have a mandatory duty, required by law, to report “suspicions of abuse, neglect, or drug diversion.”