71 y/o OB/Gyn George Kudmani MD of Louisville, KY is the next doctor attacked by the government for money. He was found guilty Jan 26, 2017, on 26 of 29 federal charges of unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances that were “not for a legitimate medical purpose and beyond the bounds of a professional medical practice” and health care fraud. The health care fraud counts are so that the government can impose fines and basically get paid back the moneys paid to the doctor for his years of service. Doctors, be forewarned: associate with government insurance and you will be working for nothing. In fact, you will pay out of pocket to serve government insured patients.
The two counts of health care fraud were for allegedly submitting claims for medically unnecessary Transvaginal Ultrasounds (TVS), TVSs not performed, and billing for TVS reports that were never prepared for patients, and for writing prescriptions for medically unnecessary controlled substances including Oxycodone, Alprazolam, Clonazepam, Hydrocodone, Phentermine and Carisoprodol. It is interesting how DEA agents and US Attorneys can determine, without having attended medical school, what prescriptions are medically necessary and what aren’t. He was, however, acquitted of 2 counts of causing two patients’ deaths and one count of money laundering for buying a 2012 Honda Accord with cash which the government claimed stemmed from unlawful activity—i.e, his medical practice.
Stemming from a raid on his home and office in 2012, the charges were based on the doctor’s lower-than-normal charges for office visit. He charged only $75 for a first-time exam, and $35 for follow-up visits. But still the government charged him with a “drugs-for-cash scheme”. In reality, those charges show him to be a caring, compassionate physician who continued to work instead of retire so that he could help people. And the people of Louisville, Kentucky thank him by sending him to jail and destroying his and his family’s lives. This was actually the second time through trial. The first trial actually took place in March, 2016, at which time it was declared a mistrial.
Prior to the first trial, Dr. Kudmani stated “Patients will be called to the court, and they will testify on my behalf that what they are taking is needed for their health, so they can work. If they don’t take the pain medication, they cannot work to support their families.” At the trial, Dr. Kudmani testified that he has never prescribed medication for someone who didn’t need it. He also said he’s never given unnecessary ultrasounds or charged for procedures that he did not perform. He did admit he would write prescriptions for controlled substances without an exam. He said he did it because he knew the patients were in pain, but he said he did not pocket any cash. Since follow-up exams for pain management really just determine if the pain is still present, which is subjective, there really is no need for a physical exam. Older doctors, such as Dr. Kudmani, are more used to simply determining the patient’s need and writing the prescription. That decision-making is actually protected by Title 21, the Controlled Substances Act, which exempts doctors from prosecution for evaluations done as a physician in the office. But the government has ignored that exemption, and continues to bring doctors to trial in front of an ignorant jury. We need to educate the people that this is wrong.
United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr., in his media propaganda, made use of the new diagnosis code opioid use disorder, which basically categorizes all chronic pain patients as addicts:
“Dr. Kudmani recklessly prescribed drugs to those suffering from opioid use disorders with no legitimate medical purpose.”
The trial lasted seven days and the jury deliberated approximately nine hours before finding him guilty. Sentencing is scheduled for June 6. In addition to up to 30 years in prison, Dr. Kudmani faces a $13,750,000 million fine and a 3-year period of supervised release.
We need to order our legislators to restate, beyond a shadow of doubt, that doctors evaluating and treating patients cannot be prosecuted under Title 21. Please call your legislators today and tell them that.