The U.S. Attorney secured a guilty plea by a physician who practiced until early 2022, in federal court on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, to 31 counts of illegally prescribing patients opioids and other controlled substances and 20 counts of healthcare fraud.
According to court documents, the physician knowingly prescribed medically unnecessary controlled substances to patients outside of the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose. In doing so, court documents state that the physician caused health care benefit programs to be fraudulently billed for both office visits and the controlled substances.
As part of his conduct, the physician prescribed opioid medications to patients for extended periods, including for over a decade, with little change in regimen and despite knowing that the opioid therapy treatment had failed. Court documents go on to state that the physician also prescribed short-acting opioid therapy medications to patients for extended periods without establishing treatment goals, pain diagnoses, accurate examinations, and either without any medical imaging or with medical imaging that could not justify the opioid prescribing.
The physician admitted that he ignored warnings provided by prescription drug management organizations, insurance carriers, and state authorities about his high prescribing and danger to patients. He also admitted to ignoring and choosing not to act on patient requests to lower dosages.
He also admitted to engaging in sexual acts with patients to whom he directly prescribed controlled substances. He also admitted to delivering dozens of oxycodone pills to the home of a patient.