Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the nationwide operation to charge unknowing physicians and other health care providers with Medicare/Medicaid fraud last Thursday. AG Sessions pointed the finger, saying it indicates that some doctors, nurses and pharmacists “have chosen to violate their oaths and put greed ahead of their patients.” But the truth is, Mr. Sessions is the one to violate HIS oath and put greed ahead of ethics and justice.
One target of this monstrosity of government deceit is Bridget McCune, 41, of Destin, FL, one of two sales representatives for Northside Pharmacy a compounding pharmacy based in Haleyville, AL that did business as Global Compounding Pharmacy. Mrs. McCune was charged with conspiracy and money laundering. Another victim of this horrendous action against not only the providers but the citizens of this country was another sales rep for Northside Pharmacy, Kelly Norris-Hartley, 41, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., also charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud.
Both ladies caved and took a plea with the understanding of receiving a reduced sentence if they testify to whatever lies the government tells them to say against other people, probably the owners of the business. The government motto: Go to where the money is and threaten the little guy to lie or go to prison. Ms. McCune also agreed to forfeit $401,628 and Mrs. Norris will forfeit $287,698 to the government as proceeds of illegal activity. That is probably their salaries for their work. That’s what it’s all about–the government stealing money from legitimate businesses and their employees doing their job. Even though they took pleas, they will probably still do time in prison. Sentencing is up to the judge, and is not agreed upon at the time of the plea. Most people don’t realize that. Since there is now big money in filling prisons and supporting more DOJ jobs, my guess is they will still do 4+ years in prison. Mrs. McCune faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine of not more than $250,000 on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud. On five counts of health care fraud, she faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of not more than $250,000. On two counts of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, she faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of not more than $250,000.
The basis for these charges is that the pharmacy “used a marketing scheme that increased sales of expensive medications without regard for patient need or medical necessity.” Acting U.S. Attorney Robert Posey stated in a news release, “Schemes like this defraud Medicare and other health insurance systems by pushing unnecessary medications and driving up the costs of health care.”
Who determines medical necessity? Now it seems to be the DOJ. But by law, it is supposed to be the doctor. According to Title 21, Chapter 13 Subchapter 1 Part A Â§802, (56)(c) better known as the Controlled Substances Act, “the practitioner, acting in the usual course of professional practice, determines there is a legitimate medical purpose for the issuance of the new prescription.”
Both of these sales representatives are wives of doctors. The government is probably also going to go after the doctors as well. Bridget’s husband, Dr. Mathew McCune of Dynamic Pain & Wellness, was associated with Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. However, his name is no longer included in the physicians listing on the hospital’s website. He has offices in Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Crestview and Milton.
The government is creating crime again where there is no crime. They claim that Global Compounding Pharmacy purposefully hired sales representatives who were married or related to doctors and other prescribers. Is their entire sales force made up of these two ladies? And Mrs. McCune left the company in 2016. They are basically crying “crime” for standard business practices in the pharmaceutical world. Sales reps go to doctors, explain the benefits of their drugs. They usually get paid by salary and commission. This is global (no pun intended).
The government is trying to limit patient access to compounded pain medicines. But these have a place in a good practice. First, there are creams. These are applied directly to the area of pain. The medicine works locally and doesn’t cause all of the systemic effects of pills. Lower strengths get the job done. This should be supported, not turned against the doctor who uses them or the company trying to teach their benefits to physicians. Second, pills can be created that don’t contain acetominophen. Also specific amounts can be prescribed instead of the set amounts in standard pills. Bottom line–only the doctor knows and has the lawful right to decide what is medically necessary, as stated in the CSA. This out-and-out illegal targeting of people in the medical profession for money has got to be stopped.