Orthopedic surgeon makes a living prescribing controlled drugs

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Corporate and Financial Investigations Department conducted an investigation of an orthopedic surgeon. The investigation revealed that the surgeon no longer performed surgeries as a part of his practice. Instead, he made his living prescribing controlled drugs to patients (sometimes for years) with no improvement in their condition. The investigation showed many of the prescribed drugs were medically unnecessary.

The investigation was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. As a result of the DEA investigation, the surgeon forfeited his DEA license to prescribe controlled drugs.

Despite having forfeited his license, the surgeon continued to write prescriptions to patients for controlled drugs. He was convicted of two counts of delivery of a controlled substance and sentenced to 30 days in jail and 24 months of probation. 

He also is facing a separate trial on a seven-count felony complaint. The complaint alleges that he delivered non-narcotics, including Roxicodone®, Norco® and Xanax®, to undercover drug officers posing as patients. Those charges carry a maximum of seven years in prison. 

We urge Blue Cross and Blue Care Network members who suspect health care fraud to call our Anti-Fraud Hotline at 1-800-482-3787 or to report fraud at bcbsm.com.