Florida Doctor, Clinic Owner Charged With Drug Trafficking in Orlando Area
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
An Orlando based pain clinic that had patients from the panhandle to Miami has come under investigation according to Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation agents. The owner of the clinic, A Stop Pain Management, as well as it’s doctor were arrested on April 20,2016.
Prescribing Drugs Unnecessarily.
According to authorities, patients paid $250 to $300 per visit to see a doctor at A Stop Pain Management on East Colonial Drive and left with a prescription for hydrocodone or oxycodone.
Between November 2014 and November 2015 alone, clinic employees prescribed 800,000 such pills, MBI Director Ron Stucker said. “The doctor and the business were prescribing drugs unnecessarily, without medical necessity,” Stucker said.
Not The First Run-In With Law Enforcement.
The state’s Department of Health (DOH) shut A Stop Pain Management down in 2011, after finding out the clinic’s former doctor had dispensed more than a 72-hour supply of an opioid to a patient who was not going through an insurance company to obtain the drug. The doctor allegedly surrendered his federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration that allowed him to prescribe controlled substances. But the clinic reportedly kept operating without a properly licensed physician.
Additionally, DOH officials later allowed the clinic to re-open. DOH officials also filed an administrative complaint against the clinic’s doctor, alleging that he improperly prescribed controlled substances and did not keep proper records in 2013. The clinic’s owner is currently being held in Orange County Jail on a $1.9 million bond. The clinic’s doctor is also currently being held on a $1 million bond.
This is far from the first time pain clinics have been in the news for crimes such as this, click here to read one of my prior blogs on a similar case.
The “Big Deal” With Overprescribing.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a report in June 2013, to address prescription drug abuse which it believed to be a serious and growing problem in the United States. It reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) characterized prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. In 2010, it was found that approximately seven million people in the United States, were misusing prescription drugs. Furthermore, overdoses of prescription painkillers ranks as one of the leading causes of accidental death in the U.S.
Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in the Representation of Health Professionals and Providers.
The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, CRNAs, pain management doctors, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists and other health providers in different cases involving allegations of overprescribing narcotics and pain medications, in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigations, FBI investigations, Medicare investigations, Medicaid investigations and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers. These include criminal investigations by local police and law enforcement authorities, investigations by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), complaints against professional licenses by the Florida Department of Health (DOH), investigations and prosecutions by the Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCU), and other types of cases. We have represented professionals in administrative investigations and administrative hearings at both the state and federal level.
To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.
Lotan, Gal. “Pain-clinic owner, doctor arrested on drug-trafficking charges.” Orlando Sentinel. (April 20, 2016). Web.
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.
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