Maryland physician takes plea deal in fraud, drug charge case
A 76-year-old physician recently entered a plea in his criminal case. The physician, who has multiple offices in Maryland, is accused of prescribing pills without first giving patients an exam as well as filing fraudulent insurance claims. He pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud as well as the drug charge of distributing prescription medication.
From 2007 to 2011, the physician apparently wrote numerous prescriptions for Schedule II drugs without administering medical exams on his patients. Schedule II drugs include oxycodone, morphine and codeine. The investigators said that he prescribed these medicines to patients without having any legitimate medical purpose. They also claimed that the physician had knowledge that his patients were abusing or selling the drugs but prescribed them anyway.
An undercover agent went for a walk-in visit in one of the physician’s Maryland offices on April 13, 2011. The agent claimed that the physician prescribed him oxycodone pills and gave him marijuana without performing any medical examination. During the same time, the physician also allegedly billed numerous healthcare benefit organizations for services that were either not medically necessary or not actually given at all.
The terms of his plea agreement dictate that the Maryland man will spend two years confined in his home as a part of probation, and he must forfeit $615,000. For a man of his age, being confined to his home would be more beneficial than a jail sentence as far as his health goes, and it is possible that this could have been taken into account when he was offered the plea agreement. No matter if a plea deal is offered or not, every individual accused of a drug charge or healthcare fraud has the right to choose what that person believes is the best choice in his or her criminal defense.
Source: somdnews.com, Doctor pleads guilty to prescription drug distribution, health care fraud, Amanda Scott, Feb. 12, 2014