It wasn’t supposed to be like that. No one was going to get hurt, the medical doctor thought. Just prescribe some pain medication here and there, make a few extra dollars and everyone is happy.
Until the dead bodies started piling up.
There were a total of five deaths, people who had prescriptions allegedly written by one doctor for Oxycodone, Methadone or Hydrocodone, all controlled substances. Authorities say that in each instance the prescriptions were written without a legitimate medical purpose and beyond the bounds of professional medical practice.
Health care fraud
That’s not all. In addition to being charged with the unlawful distribution or dispensing of pain medication to 30 patients, the doctor is also accused of health care fraud. The good doctor allegedly fraudulently billed various health care benefit programs and submitted fraudulent claims for patient health care counseling.
The charges say that on May 26, 2011, June 15, 2011, and June 22, 2011, the doctor supposedly saw more than 100 patients on each of the dates, by himself, and spent approximately 3 minutes or less with each patient, and fraudulently billed various benefit programs for those office visits at a higher code than the service provided.
He is also accused of directing a staff member, who was not a licensed counselor, to provide drug education classes to patients. Those were billed as 15-30 minute counseling sessions at times when the doctor was out of the office.
If convicted at trial, Dr. Jaime Guerrero, with offices in Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana, faces up to life in prison, a $2,750,000 fine and a three-year period of supervised release.
In another case of professional misconduct:
- An Ohio doctor was sentenced in West Virginia to two years in prison for writing more than 160 illegal prescriptions in 2013 and 2014. Dr. Robert Timothy Hogan II, 33, of Coolville, Ohio, had pleaded guilty to traveling in interstate commerce and using a communications device to facilitate a felony. Hogan traveled between Athens County, Ohio, and Wood County, West Virginia, and used his cell phone to facilitate a prescription arrangement with a person who wasn’t his patient. Hogan received half of the pills when the prescriptions were filled. The doctor issued more than 160 illegal prescriptions for more than 17,000 pills. Hogan was an internal medicine doctor at Camden Clark Medical Center.