We trust our doctors to provide us with the best care possible, but sometimes they engage in activities that are unethical and even illegal. This was the case for a physician assistant in Maryland. The doctor, from Baltimore County, recently pled guilty to prescription drug crimes and sexual contact with patients.
The 66-year-old man is facing charges of conspiracy to distribute and dispense prescription drugs after distributing several prescription drugs to patients. However, the fentanyl, oxycodone, methadone and alprazolam he prescribed to patients were not for legitimate medical purposes.
While working at the Rosen-Hoffberg Rehabilitation and Pain Management clinic in Towson, the physician assistant saw 35 customers a day and generated a significant amount of revenue for the clinic. This was because he was overprescribing opioids to patients with the goal of retaining them as customers and billing them for services.
The physician assistant would automatically fill out patients’ prescriptions based on the medication and dosage the patient received at the previous visit. All he would have to do was add a signature or stamp to activate the prescription.
In 2016, Maryland’s top three prescribers of oxycodone worked at the Rosen-Hoffberg Rehabilitation and Pain Management clinic. The physician assistant made the third-most Medicare claims of all oxycodone prescribers in the entire state. He was the only one at the clinic who was charged with any crimes.
Baltimore City officials alleged that the clinic ran a pill mill. In February 2018, federal agents raided the clinic. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, was part of the raid. They hauled out carts of file boxes looking for evidence showing that the clinic received kickbacks from opioid manufacturers. It was determined that the clinic received in excess of $175,000 from pharmaceutical companies. The doctors had prescribed opioids to approximately 90% of their patients.
Some of the patients became addicted to the opioids or misused them. Some were accused of selling pills. Some tested positive for illegal drugs. Some even overdosed. Instead of discharging the patients, the clinic continued prescribing them more drugs. Many overdosed and died.
The physician assistant is also accused of inappropriately touching female patients. He often engaged in sexual misconduct with them during tests. While patients complained about the man’s behavior to the clinic’s owners, they never fired him. The owners do not face any criminal charges in this case.
Doctors are supposed to act in an ethical manner when dealing with patients. Overprescribing medications, particularly highly addictive opioids and engaging in sexual contact with patients are two actions that are frowned upon.
If you are a medical professional accused of drug crimes, sexual misconduct or other crimes, you need aggressive defense from a legal professional. You could face license loss, jail sentences, fines and more. Seek legal help from a Columbia prescription drug crime lawyer at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. He will protect your legal rights. To schedule a free consultation, call (410) 774-5987 or fill out the online form.
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