Make no mistake about it – drugs are scary. Now, don’t get us wrong. We’re well aware that prescription medications are made with the intent of providing relief for a wide variety of ailments. When prescribed by a doctor for a specific patient with a specific medical issue, meds are generally healthful choices. However, when in the wrongs hands, attained by illegal means and abused for recreational purposes, drugs can have disastrous effects on people.
You’ll notice that the Allegiant Experts Blog has paid pretty close to attention to this subject matter in recent months. It’s no secret that the United States is currently facing an opioid epidemic. However, opioids aren’t the only types of drugs that are being attainted illegally. In fact, prescription medications of all kinds are often used in schemes to defraud our nation’s health insurance programs.
Scott Novick is guilty of operating a “pill mill”.
51 year-old, Scott Novick of Hollywood, Florida is one of the most recent perpetrators of health care fraud to go down for operating a “pill mill”. As reported by the United States Department of Justice today, the pain clinic and pharmacy owner was just sentenced to 78 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for his role in a $2.2 million Medicare fraud scheme. Novick was also ordered to forfeit approximately $1.4 million.
“Novick had previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud,” informs the DoJ report, “As part of his plea agreement, Novick agreed to liquidate several financial accounts worth approximately $1,329,886, the proceeds of which were ordered at sentencing to be paid back to Medicare.”
Novick owned American Pain Management.
The pain clinic had locations in Broward and Palm Beach County. He also owned Pacific Pharmacy in Miami, Florida where the majority of the prescriptions written by American Pain Management were filled. As part of his guilty plea, Novick admitted to submitting approximately $1.2 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare.
The claims were for pain management services that were purported to be rendered by a doctor who worked at American Pain Management. However, Novick was aware that the claims were fraudulent and not eligible for reimbursement. In addition, he admitted to disguising his ownership of Pacific Pharmacy by falsely naming a relative as its owner in order to continue dispensing controlled substances.
Novick’s deceit ran deep.
The admission of deception, says the DoJ, came as a response to legislation passed by the Florida Legislature that prohibited pain clinics from dispensing controlled substances directly from the clinic. Novick also had concerns about federal anti-kickback laws and admitted that he knew the doctor at American Pain Management was prescribing controlled substances at inappropriately high levels. As well, he knew the drugs had not been prescribed for legitimate medical purposes.
“In fact, Novick knew the doctor would sign prescriptions for patients without conducting a visit with the patient,” reads the DoJ report.
Are you an attorney who is currently trying a health care fraud case?
If so, please don’t hesitate to contact the Allegiant Experts team to find out how our clinical expertise may help your case. Give us a call at 407-217-5831 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.