Don’t Trust This Doctor

Cropped shot of a medical professional filling out paperwork

“Trust the diet from the Medical Doctor that practices what he preaches,” says the book review of “The Age of Globesity,” authored by Dr. Frank Patino. And for all appearances, Dr. Patino was a man to trust. When he wasn’t busy as an award-winning physician in the local community and creating the fat reducing diet called the Patino Diet, Dr. Patino was also known for financially supporting several Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters and distributing holiday hams to the people in need. But this fitness crazed physician was really a fraudster in disguise. Because everything Patino did as a public figure, was cover for a massive $250 million health care fraud scheme behind the scenes. The worst part is he exploited vulnerable patients struggling with addiction to do it.

Patino owned multiple clinical laboratories in Michigan. Within his clinics, Patino excessively prescribed highly addictive opioids to his patients. In exchange for opioids, these patients would receive facet joint or nerve block injections in their spine. Although these spinal injections were purportedly intended to treat chronic pain, Patino injected the patients regardless of whether they had back pain or not. Patino was ruthless in his scheme. If patients refused to accept the injections, Patino would withhold their prescriptions for opioids.

Over the course of approximately five years, Patino steadily increased the potency of the opioids he prescribed, ultimately making him the top prescriber of 30 milligram oxycodone within the state of Michigan. From January 2012 through July 2017, Patino billed Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurances to the tune of $112 million by prescribing more than 2 million dangerous and addictive painkillers, including oxycodone and fentanyl. Patino billed Medicare for more of these injections than any other provider in the country. Maybe the lead biller of opioids should be questioned instead of being paid! Because Patino gave the drugs to so many patients, he placed a security guard in the parking lot of his offices.

Finally, someone questioned Patinos record breaking bills. On January 30, 2023, Patino was found guilty of health care fraud and sentenced to 16.5 years in prison and restitution of $30 million to Medicare and Medicaid.

Great job by the FBI with the investigation of this case.

Today’s Fraud Of The Day is based on article “Well-known Livonia doctor gets prison time in massive painkiller fraud scheme” published by Click Detroit on February 4, 2023

A well-known Livonia doctor has been sentenced to prison for prescribing millions of dangerous painkillers as part of a massive fraud scheme, officials said.

Dr. Frank Patino, 68, was well-known in fitness and mixed martial art circles and published a book based on his “Patino diet.” He was arrested the morning of June 27, 2018, and his offices in Livonia, known as Patino Laboratories, were raided by federal authorities.

Prosecutors said Patino prescribed more and more potent opioids to patients so they would become addicted and buy more.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.