A doctor in addition to three nurse practitioners were recently arrested in Alabama after an opioid indictment officially accused them of managing a “pill mill” out of a medical office.
Medically unnecessary opioids were allegedly given to many different patients. A doctor’s office in Montgomery was tied to the Opioid indictment.
According to the indictment paperwork, the office prescribed oxycodone, fentanyl, hydromorphone, methadone, and hydrocodone in addition to numerous other addictive drugs on a regular basis over the course of several years.
The opioid indictment also accuses that doctor’s office of billing health care providers for unnecessary patient examinations carried out with their office.
Allegedly, these medical examinations had no legitimate medical purposes and the provision of opioids was outside the dispensary and distribution recommendations for a professional medical practice.
Unsubstantiated and vague medical conditions were named in the opioid indictment with regard to the patients who received prescriptions for these highly addictive drugs.
Up to 30 days of medications were given to patients for unclear medical conditions and then those patients were required to have a follow up appointment involving an in-person physical examination.
The opioid indictment states that this was medically unnecessary care. Patients would then take the prescription from the alleged pill mill to get them filled at pharmacies under health care benefit program coverage.
No legitimate medical need existed for the prescription of such highly addictive medications, according to the opioid indictment paperwork.
The medical providers were also accused of billing health care benefit programs for the visits required of the patients for the physical examination under false and fraudulent pretenses for up to $75 per visit.
Drug conspiracy and distribution charges in addition to health care fraud charges were officially lodged against the nurse practitioners and the involved doctor.
Increasingly, news reports and academic studies highlight the very addicted nature of opioids.. Given the high risk of a patient becoming reliant on these medicines, it’s recommended that doctors provide them only when other options would not work or when the painkillers are truly necessary.
Some cities, counties, and other government entities have watched a sharp uptick in the number of taxpayer dollars that must be used to address the opioid epidemic.
Healthcare costs associated with helping those patients as well as managing fatal overdoses have been catastrophic in some areas. The opioid crisis has taken a toll on many communities throughout the country.
When healthcare providers unreasonably rely on these methods for treating patients or participate in fraud to recover insurance money illegally, this can form the basis of a healthcare fraud suit.
Information necessary to obtain an opioid indictment or similar claims may be brought forth after an investigation by the government.
If you have concerns about an opioid case, consult with the attorneys at McDonald Worley – the consultation is free.