X-rated Rx

58435332 - medical doctor writing prescription on white isolated background

The Rx symbol is found on doctor’s prescription pads, as well as on signs in pharmacies. (Here’s your medical lesson for the day: Rx is derived from the Latin word “recipe,” which means “take”.) A Mount Holly, North Carolina physician was definitely “on the take” when he used his family practice to commit Healthcare fraud and Identify Theft.

Today’s Fraud of the Day article is about a Mount Holly doctor who prescribed pain medication in exchange for sex acts, then stuck Medicaid and Medicare with the bill. The family practice physician, who was approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to provide an office-based opioid treatment program for patients with pain management and substance abuse issues, had a totally different idea on how an opioid treatment program should run. (He victimized his patients by dolling out prescription pain meds in exchange for sex. I’m sure this is not what the DEA had in mind when the doc was given their stamp of approval.)

According to court documents, the so-called “family physician” solicited sexual encounters from female patients over approximately nine months. (He was supposed to treat them for pain management or substance abuse issues.) In exchange for the illicit encounters, the physician prescribed Schedule II, III and IV controlled substances like Percocet to his victims. During those nine months, the doc had sexual encounters with seven patients. (You’ll have to read the article to find out more about those encounters, but brace yourself, it’s disturbing.)

After three brave women came forward to report the physician’s abuse, the doc’s medical license was suspended for sexual misconduct allegations. (Charging documents alleged that the doctor had threatened to stop treatment and prescriptions if his victims did not comply.) His illegal actions caused some of the patients to submit claims to North Carolina’s Medicaid program and Medicare to fill their prescriptions at local pharmacies. (The government healthcare programs lost at least $9,910 as a result of his despicable acts.)

The Department of Justice reports that the 65-year-old family physician pleaded guilty to drug distribution, healthcare fraud and aggravated identify theft charges. He is awaiting sentencing for his crime involving the illegal distribution of controlled substances to seven female patients in exchange for sex acts. Let’s hope that the justice system prescribes an appropriate Rx for this X-rated doctor, who violated the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, Former Mt. Holly physician admits to prescribing pain medicine to female patients for sex acts,” posted on WBTV.com on June 1, 2018.

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – A former Mount Holly physician admitted to prescribing pain medication to female patients in exchange for sex acts Friday in federal court.

According to the Department of Justice, Dr. Michael Alson Smith, 65, pleaded guilty to drug distribution, health care fraud and aggravated identity theft charges, in connection with the illegal distribution of controlled substances to female patients in exchange for sex acts.

According to court documents, from at least January 2017 to October 2017, Dr. Smith began to solicit sexual encounters from female patients who he treated for pain management and/or substance abuse.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.