Stop Pain Prescription Fraud
Trusted Medicare/Medicaid Fraud Lawyer in Atlanta
Whistleblowers who know about pain pill mills can stop patient harm and save taxpayers money. Each year, Medicare and Medicaid are unnecessarily paying hundreds of millions of dollars to physicians who are overprescribing pain pills and other prescription drugs. By filing a False Claims Act lawsuit, a whistleblower can recover between 15% and 30% of what the Government collects from the physician’s office that is overprescribing.
Do you know a doctor who is writing prescriptions for painkillers and pharmaceuticals that patients do not need? Turn to our experienced Atlanta pain prescription attorney for trusted whistleblower advocacy. Lee Wallace has been included in the list of Georgia Super Lawyers® and one of the top 100 Trial Lawyers. She is a proven legal professional with a proven record.
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The Financial Fraud Problem: What Happens to U.S. Taxpayers
Doctors who overprescribe pain medications such as Percocet, Vicodin, Neurontin, and OxyContin, can wind up seriously harming patients, and defrauding Medicare and Medicaid in the process. Medicare and Medicaid get charged for the drug, even though the patient had no actual, medical need for it.
The Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that Medicare paid $9.7 million for painkiller medications prescribed by one, single doctor from California. The report looked at 87,000 general-care physicians, and found that the California doctor was costing Medicare 151 times what the average physician did.
The California doctor was not alone. The report concluded that 736 of the physicians in the study were “extreme outliers” who were issuing exceptionally large numbers of pain medication prescriptions.
According to an article on Medicare and Prescription Drug Abuse by Patricia Salber, the founder and host of The Doctor Weighs In, Medicare suffers when pain medications are overprescribed to seniors: “These drugs were all paid for by the beneficiaries’ Part D plan-usually with a relatively small co-pay. That means that Medicare is paying the lion’s share of the costs and therefore is subsidizing the abuse.”
The Even Greater Problem: The Risk of Harm to Patients
When pain prescriptions are overprescribed, taxpayers end up shelling out money for unnecessary prescriptions, but the even greater risk is that the over prescriptions can cause patient harm. According to CDC’s Prescription Painkiller Overdoses report, among women, deaths from overdoses of prescription painkillers have increased by 400% since 1999. 18 women and 27 men die every day because they overdosed on prescribed pain meds. CDC says the problem is a “growing epidemic, especially among women.” And for each person who dies of an overdose, countless more end up with devastating addictions to painkillers.
Examples of cases involving doctors accused of overprescribing pain medications:
- In 2012, a Phoenix City, Alabama doctor settled a False Claims Act suit brought against him. The doctor was accused of giving patients $2.2 million dollars’ worth of unnecessary pain injections, which he then billed to Medicare. In fact, he admitted to Georgia and Alabama medical examiner boards that the injections had been unnecessary. Furthermore, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia said that the Alabama physician had allowed an unlicensed medical assistant to give 80% of the unnecessary shots.
- A Tennessee doctor was imprisoned for prescribing unnecessary pain medication to patients. The Government said that the prescriptions were made to patients who were seeking drugs, and who had no medical justification for needing the medications.
- In 2001, a Florida doctor was jailed and ordered to pay restitution for her role in a scheme to defraud Medicare. The Department of Justice said the physician was routinely writing “large quantities of prescriptions for highly addictive paid medication.”
To find out more about how you can be a whistleblower when you know about a physician who is oversubscribing pain pills and other drugs, don’t be afraid to come forward. You are not only doing taxpayers a favor, but you can also recover a percentage of the settlement the government collects.
Contact our team at (404) 550-4615 to learn more about whistleblowing pain prescription fraud.