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Doctors aren’t generally fond of lawyers. Mention the profession and they’re likely to envision hordes of pesky malpractice attorneys, ready to sue at the drop of a hat.

But physicians should be paying more attention to another kind of lawyer: state and federal prosecutors. They work in conjunction with a huge array of investigative and regulatory agencies enforcing the nation’s health care fraud and abuse laws — which are both civil and criminal in scope. And as the opioid epidemic continues to escalate, they are becoming increasingly aggressive.

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