OIG’s Battle with Opioid Abuse Continues
The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) ongoing target of opioid fraud and abuse of taxpayer’s money will continue as the U.S. opioid crisis continues. The latest takedown was Rodney Moret, MD, age 67, who was sentenced to “75 months’ imprisonment for participating in conspiracies to distribute prescription pills illegally and to defraud,” according to the OIG website. Moret’s monetary crimes include dispensing of over $15 million in prescriptions drugs and another $6 million in healthcare fraud. Broken down his “pill mill” crimes include:
• Illegally distributing over 700,000 dosage units of Hydrocodone, (Vicodin, loratab),
• Illegally distributing more than 240,000 dosage units of Alprazolam
• Illegally distributing over 2 million mL of promethazine with codeine cough syrup
• Sexually molesting or harassing addicted female “patients” who were at the clinic to receive controlled substance prescriptions.
• Billing Medicare for examinations and tests not conducted properly, or at all.
• Filling prescriptions to marketers who sold the drugs on the street
OIG Special Agent Lamont Pugh III said, “Physicians who in engage in this type of behavior put patient health and safety at risk and exacerbate the opioid crisis. The OIG will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that those who commit these criminal acts are held accountable.”
Besides the 75 month’s imprisonment, Moret’s license to practice medicine was revoked.
If you want to read another recent OIG opioid crisis take downs, read the article “Opioid Fraud: OIG’s Largest Healthcare Takedown in History.”
To learn how accurate coding and better documentation can help raise red flags when patient abuse is present, see the article, “Help Combat the Opioid Crisis by Following Guidelines and State Rules.”