Temple will pay $130K to settle drug diversion claims

Temple University Health System will pay the U.S. government $130,000 to settle civil claims related to poor monitoring of controlled substances. The system agreed to follow a detailed Compliance Assessment Plan to review and monitor policies and procedures related to controlled substances.

The case dates back to November 2004, when Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested Temple University Hospital's then-Chief Resident of Anesthesiology for selling 60 vials of Ketamine, a schedule III controlled substance, to a DEA undercover agent. A later search of the doctor's home uncovered 47 vials of Ketamine, eight vials of Fentanyl, 11 vials of Midazolam and one vial of morphine.

DEA investigators audited the hospital and uncovered more possible discrepancies. Among them, dispensing records were missing for schedule III-V controlled substances, and the closing inventory of schedule II-V controlled substances was wrong.

In early 2007, an anesthesiologist working at Jeanes Hospital bypassed the computerized distribution system and took 35 vials of Fentanyl and five vials of morphine for his personal use. In March 2007, hospital staff noticed the theft, suspended the physician from medical staff and notified DEA and local police.

A compliance assessment plan that Temple University Health System must follow relating to controlled and dangerous substances will require four facilities--Temple University Hospital, Boyer Pavilion, Jeanes Hospital, and Northeastern Ambulatory Care Center--to submit documents over the course of three years.

To learn more:
- read the Philadelphia Business Journal article
- here is the settlement agreement

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