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Missouri Doctor And Team Accused Of Illegally Prescribing Opioids

“In the United States, opioid use disorder (OUD) and opioid overdose were once rare,” writes Dr. Andrew Kolodny for the American Medical Association, “But over the past 25 years, the number of Americans suffering from OUD increased exponentially and in parallel with an unprecedented increase in opioid prescribing. Today, OUD is common, especially in patients with chronic pain treated with opioid analgesics, and opioid overdose is the leading cause of accidental death.”


Because opioid overdoses leading to death are so rampant, the nation’s epidemic is one that receives constant attention from authorities. Thankfully, as our blog has extensively covered, many of those worsening the opioid epidemic have been brought to justice. As recently reported by the Eastern District of Missouri branch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 66 year-old, David A. Parks is one of them.


Missouri doctor accused of writing illegal prescriptions and health care fraud.


According to the report, Parks conspired with 58 year-old, James M. Bilderback and 43 year-old, Michelle J. Scheer. The Missouri-based trio was charged with one count each of conspiracy to illegally prescribe controlled substances and five counts each of illegal prescribing of a controlled substance.


Parks ran his practice, David A. Parks, M.D., P.C. in St. Louis. Bilderback was the clinical manager and clinical research coordinator there. Scheer worked at the front desk. Parks and Bilderback, both Jefferson County residents, were also indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, eight additional counts of illegal prescribing of a controlled substance and 15 counts of making false statements related to health care matters.


The trio knowingly prescribed controlled substances for years.


According to the indictment, the team’s illegal actions took place between July 6, 2016 and December 31, 2021. During that time, the three individuals intentionally prescribed Schedule II controlled substance prescriptions including hydrocodone, oxycodone and dextroamphetamine-amphetamine salts. The prescriptions were made outside of the usual course of professional practice and for no legitimate medical purpose.


“The conspiracy’s goal was to maximize their patient population and, in turn, their profit, the indictment says,” details the U.S. Attorney’s Office, “Parks and Bilderback, the indictment alleges, also conspired to defraud Medicare, Missouri Medicaid and private health insurers by billing them for claims for services that falsely and fraudulently identified Parks as the provider, including at times when Parks was out of the country.”


Parks was rarely present at the clinic.


According to the report, he would usually come in to work for just one or two days per week for a few hours at a time. His staff used pre-signed prescriptions so that patients could obtain controlled substances. They neither had to be evaluated nor even have their medical records reviewed. In many cases, Parks was taking domestic or international trips. Sometimes, Bilderback or another staffer would forge Parks’ signature.


In the spring of 2019, prescriptions could be processed electronically. Parks and Bilderback then gave the cell phone used to approve prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances to Sheer and other staffers. Although they had no prescribing authority, they used the cell phone to make unilateral prescribing decisions about prescriptions. They included the changing of dosages, quantities and types of controlled substances. Doing so both increased the addictive effects of the drugs and the potential for overdoses.


Are you an attorney working a healthcare fraud case?


The clinical experts at Allegiant Experts coordinate and support courageous whistleblowers that shine lights on fraud, waste and abuse. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation. Call 407-217-5831 or email

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