LINDA S. CHEEK, MD
Born in Falls Church, VA
Former Air Force wife
Former High School Science Teacher
Second career physician at age 37
Mother of 2, grandmother of 4
Hobbies: Travel, horseback riding, guitar
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation—Great Strides of Virginia
BA in Biology at University of Texas at Austin,
MA in Guidance and Counseling at Phillips University
MD at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
American Pain Institute
For her complete CV for speaking, defense witness, or other, please go to Defense Witnessing
Dr. Cheek’s Journey to the Light
Being a second career physician starting medical school at the age of 37, Dr. Cheek already had some knowledge of natural healing. Having a mother who was a nurse, well versed in home remedies, she had experience in healing. When the professors at UTHSCSA would make comments like: “There is nothing to treat that” when Dr. Cheek knew otherwise, she knew from the start that medical school education does not have all the answers.
While learning acupuncture, Dr. Cheek was introduced to auricular therapy, a fascinating energy medicine. That led her to cleansing and other forms of energy medicine like homeopathy. The Hippocratic Oath states that the physician’s first job is to relieve suffering and “First do no harm”. Since most allopathic medicine does harm by stopping the healing process, Dr. Cheek’s purpose in her practice was to teach her patients how to heal disease through cleansing and the Seven Steps to Healing.
In order to teach her patients how to heal from disease and combat the general misconceptions of conventional medicine, she developed group counseling sessions that were required of all of her pain management patients. She was completely open with the government about what she was doing. The results she was getting with healing was unbelievable. But the government isn’t interested in helping people heal. They want people to die before they start drawing social security.
The First Attack
On February 26, 2006 her office was raided for the first time under the guise of Medicare/Medicaid fraud. She had done nothing fraudulent, had completely cooperated with sessions with Medicaid, explaining everything she was doing, and was never told to stop or change her procedures. For two years her lawyer went round and round with a room full of agents. He said to me, “I don’t know what you did, but I’ve never been in a room with that many government agents before.” He could do nothing to get the charges dropped. “They’ll go after $10.00 because they have the money [and the power] behind them.” Because her nurse practitioners had charged some visits to her Medicare number instead of theirs when she was out of town at a seminar, it seemed that going to trial was a lost cause. Even though their understanding was that as long as the nurse practitioner was continuing the doctor’s treatment plan with the doctor’s patient, the doctor’s number should be used, that didn’t matter.
A plea agreement was agreed upon, based on 6 patient visits. That made the “crime” cost the government a maximum of $66, since the difference in payment between the doctor’s number and the nurse practitioner’s was $11 per incident. That plea agreement was signed on December 7, 2007. The hearing before the judge was scheduled for February 28, 2008. The evening before, Dr. Cheek was called in to her lawyer’s office. The government had added the alternative medicine evaluations on pain patients as part of the fraud charges. That completely changed the picture. But since the plea agreement had already been signed, it was impossible to change. She was forced to accept charges that weren’t true and charged under false pretenses. Supposedly the US Attorney at the time, John Brownlee, was trying to get appointed to a judgeship. Only a $66 overbilling charge after 2 years investigation didn’t set well with him. So he personally rewrote the plea agreement which Dr. Cheek was forced to continue with.
Another thing she was surprised about was all the lies the US Attorney put in the argument before the judge. She was told that the judge knew that the government argument would be full of lies, not to worry. But when it came time to be before the judge, the Assistant US Attorney, Pat Hogeboom, spewed forth all those lies which the defense could not retaliate against. The judge accepted them as fact. Dr. Cheek could say nothing in her defense, or the judge would not accept the plea agreement and she would have to go to trial. So she had to sit there and agree to the charges. That was one of the hardest things she has ever had to do in her life—say she had done something intentional when that was not the case, and what they were saying she did hadn’t even been done.
Of course, the reason for all the lies was for self-gain and MONEY. By adding the financial costs of the alternative evaluations (which the patients paid from $40 to $75 out of pocket because it wasn’t covered by insurance), the government asked for remuneration. Judge Conrad awarded them $24,000 in restitution. That was a big surprise. Since Dr. Cheek was making no personal income at that time in her practice, that was a lot of money to come up with. Her practice, a rural practice made up of mostly Medicare, Medicaid, disabled, and uninsured, she had been only able to pay expenses through most of her startup practice. Judge Conrad also gave Dr. Cheek 4 years of probation instead of the projected 6 months.
Dr. Cheek saw all her patients for the last time in the month of May before her license was suspended. Throughout the summer she kept getting calls from patients in distress. They couldn’t find another doctor that would accept them. First, most of Dr. Cheek’s patients were in categories that other doctors in the area didn’t accept because they couldn’t make any money seeing them—the Medicare, Medicaid, disabled, and uninsured self-pay. And then if they could get past that hurdle, when they told the doctor’s office that their previous doctor was Dr. Cheek, they would be told “We’re not taking her patients.” Obviously the fear was that the target would be transferred to their back.
So when August rolled around and patients were running out of their medications and going into withdrawal. Dr. Cheek lifted up the problem to God at a breakfast of the background workers at the New River Valley Emmaus Walk. She was immediately introduced to another worker, Dr. Kathleen Schultz. Unbelievable! Dr. Schultz was a retired FP with experience (so she claimed) in pain management. She was willing to come to the office one day per week, see the patients, and renew their meds. So Dr. Cheek’s business, New River Medical Associates, hired Dr. Schultz locum tenens. She began work in September, 2008.
Dr. Cheek reapplied for her medical license at the first opportunity in October, 2008—5 months following her plea agreement and sentencing. The Virginia Board of Medicine made her jump through a few hoops first. She had to take a test to show competence. Although most of her practice had become a pain management practice, and several areas of family practice were foreign to her, like pediatrics, she achieved an 82 on the test. Then she had to attend some seminars on the law in medicine. Finally, on February 19, 2009, her license was restored. She reopened her practice on February 23, 2009. But because she still didn’t have a DEA certificate to write prescriptions for controlled drugs, Dr. Schultz stayed to provide for those patients on pain medicine. In order to protect Dr. Schultz from being associated with the government targeting, they decided to make Dr. Schultz owner of her own practice, not employed by NRMA after Feb 23.
That first day back at work was very stressful for Dr. Cheek. The biggest thing on her mind was “Can I remember how to do a History and Physical?” and “Will I do everything I need to do?” Because she had been able to write controlled substances since day one as a medical student, she completely forgot about the fact that she couldn’t write them anymore. So the first three patients she saw were given scripts for their standard medications which included pain medicine. Being on a computer patient record, the scripts just printed automatically, and Dr. Cheek automatically signed them. Two hours later it dawned on her that those scripts were not legal. (Now being not legal is different from being criminal, as will be explained later.) She called the patients, told them the scripts were not legal and not to fill them. One had already been filled. One was at a pharmacy, but Dr. Schultz called the pharmacy and had that script rewritten in her name. And one brought the script back to the office and got a replacement from Dr. Schultz. Dr. Cheek was open about her mistake—did not try to cover it up, and in fact, wrote the DEA agent informing him of the mistake.
For the explanation of the difference between illegal and criminal, here is the law from the Controlled Substance Act:
§ 841. Prohibited acts A.
- (a) Unlawful acts
Except as authorized by this subchapter, it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally
- (1) to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance; or
- (2) to create, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense, a counterfeit substance.
- (11) The term ”distribute” means to deliver (other than by administering or dispensing) a controlled substance or a listed chemical. The term ”distributor” means a person who so delivers a controlled substance or a listed chemical.
With respect to what Dr. Cheek did accidentally on that first day, the law specifically states that the person must perform the act knowingly or intentionally. The only presentation to the jury in Dr. Cheek’s case by the prosecution was the statement by US Attorney Jennifer Waering during her closing statement that “Dr. Cheek knew what she was doing” with a disgusted sound of her voice. But the government showed no intent or knowledge of illegal distribution. And Dr. Cheek admitted herself to making the mistake in her letter to DEA agent Steven Tomaziefski.
Another misuse of the CSA was charging Dr. Cheek with prescriptions where the substance was never “delivered to an ultimate user”. Two of the charges were for prescriptions that were held at the pharmacy and were never filled due to Dr. Cheek’s own diligence and her stopping their being filled. Any yet, because those prescriptions were not returned to Dr. Cheek, the US Attorney added them to the charges.
Her DEA certificate should have been recertified by the end of March, 2009. When that didn’t happen she started calling the DEA. Every person she talked to, through to Walter Staples in Richmond, gave her the run around. By May, 2009 she knew she was being targeted again. Her questions to the DEA agent went unanswered. She explained the process she and Dr. Schultz were using to take care of the pain patients. She asked for guidance, and to be told if anything they were doing wasn’t right. Naturally if the DEA agent had told her then what they charged her with later as being criminal, she would have stopped. But as the law was written, she and Dr. Schultz were doing everything legal.
To make sure that mistakes did not get through and get filled, Dr. Cheek had also written a letter to the pharmacies she allowed her patients to use, explaining that she was back in practice, but did not have authorization to write controlled drugs. She asked the pharmacist’s help in stopping any prescriptions that came through that were controlled. But at trial the pharmacists perjured themselves, due to threats of prosecution since they were the ones to “dispense” the drugs to the patients.
Dr. Schultz continued to be the physician of record for 18 months. Obviously the government didn’t consider the arrangement to be too harmful to the population. They were just allowing charges to accumulate to justify their salaries/promotions/being. In the end, over 18 months approximately 80 scripts had been called in for patients for Dr. Schultz. That averages one per week. Considering Dr. Cheek was evaluating 8-12 new patients per week, that does not represent an attempt to “distribute”, but an attempt to prevent harm to patients that have suddenly had their pain meds stopped by government interference.
The Second Attack
The second attack began in June, 2010 as a result of Dr. Cheek fighting the denial of her DEA certificate. She requested an administrative hearing with the DEA. The DEA agent Steven Tomaziefski, had denied her certificate stating that it would be “against public interest”. In order to fabricate reasons to deny her certification, the government conducted a raid. They confiscated 52 patient charts in the process. There were still no charges filed. Life continued on as it had been, with Dr. Schultz the doctor for pain management if the patient did not want the alternatives of prolotherapy or cleansing that Dr. Cheek offered. The only difference was that Dr. Schultz called in her own scripts. She continued to call in scripts of patients she had not personally seen but were reported to her by Dr. Cheek by phone call. That was by her decision, not Dr. Cheek’s. But even though the government specifically stated at Dr. Cheek’s trial that Dr. Schultz could not legitimately prescribe medicines for patients that she did not lay hands on, she was never charged with any crime. Instead, she committed perjury for the government.
In September, 2010, at a Board of Medicine review, Dr. Schultz was a witness for Dr. Cheek. They both explained the process they were using in patient care. Dr. Schultz’s testimony was so supportive that when it came time for her to testify at Dr. Cheek’s DEA administrative hearing in October, the US Attorney filed a target letter against her to shut her up, informing her that she was a target of an investigation and she might be charged with criminal activity. So she opted to not testify. The DEA Administrative Hearing decision can bee seen here: https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/actions/2011/fr1028_4.htm
The government had been working on Dr. Schultz since June, 2009. This was not known to Dr. Cheek until her trial. But on October 28, 2010, Dr. Schultz wore a wire for the government when she came to the office. She had relinquished her medical license at the US Attorney’s office the day before, so she could no longer prescribe medicine and patients were once again thrown to the street. Patients were in the waiting room and Dr. Cheek had to inform them that they would get no refills. The government hoped to catch her saying something or doing something on the tape to incriminate her. All they got was her asking Dr. Schultz if she knew any other doctor who could work for 3 weeks. She anticipated that she would get her DEA certificate on November 22, because there was no justification for them saying her practice was “against the public interest”.
Immediately Dr. Cheek started looking for a physician to send their patients to. Within 2 days, with God’s help, she found a physician in Roanoke—a doctor who even headed the methadone clinic. But his assistance lasted longer than the three weeks because the DEA judge upheld the denial of the certificate stating it would be “against public interest” even though none of the requirements for that denial were met. The new doctor saw the patients at his office until he was forced to quit the end of December when DEA Agent Tomaziefski stopped by his office and said threateningly “We’re watching you.” So he quit seeing Dr. Cheek’s patients. Then she, again with God’s help, found a locum tenens physician living in Roanoke who came down to her office once a month. All of the patients still needing prescriptions came in one day and he refilled their meds. He also ended up being harassed by the Medical Board and the DEA. In April, 2011, he made his last visit. After that, patients were forced to travel hours to get medication or withdraw off. Nine patients died, that Dr. Cheek is aware of. With no doctor to help, Dr. Cheek closed her office. She lived the next 2 years off of selling her possessions, renting her home in Dublin on VacationRentalByOwner.com, and a home equity loan.
Finally, Dr. Cheek was indicted—172 counts of oxycodone distribution and 1 count of using her office to commit a crime. Since she had never distributed oxycodone illegally or used her office to commit a crime, the indictment was laughable to her. She did not understand how the government has turned the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) into a tool to attack good doctors doing their job. See the page on government tricks to learn how this is done.
Because all of Dr. Cheek’s property was frozen by the US Attorney, she had nothing to use to hire a lawyer. So she was appointed a Public Defender. The first public defender appointed was Randy Cargill in the Public Defender’s office. However, with her first meeting with him, Dr. Cheek was put off. He immediately ignored the fact that she was innocent, and told her she was stupid if she didn’t go for a plea agreement. Dr. Cheek did not know that they get bonuses for plea agreements. He stated “a blind monkey could win this case”—ie the government, not her. Since she was innocent, she wanted a lawyer who would fight for her innocence, so she requested a different attorney and Mr. Cargill removed himself from her case. She was then appointed a private attorney, Rhonda Overstreet. She thought this would be better, thinking that a private attorney would be more interested in winning the case. That was a mistake as well. Ms. Overstreet spoke a good line, but in court did not do anything she had promised. For example, she suggested to Dr. Cheek that they use the same expert witness for their case, Dr. Mark Swanson, as the government used. But when Dr. Swanson was on the witness stand, she did nothing to ask him questions for the defense. When asked why not, Dr. Cheek got the answer from Shaun Potter, Rhonda’s assistant, that “we don’t want him to be on the witness stand any longer than necessary”. So how were they planning to use him to be her expert witness if they had no intention of asking him defense questions?
Dr. Cheek expressed to Ms. Overstreet the fact that the government broke the law in their actions following the visit of a CS (confidential source or someone coming into the office pretending to be a patient, but wearing a wire). Dr. Cheek did not accept this person as a patient for herself or Dr. Schultz, and yet a prescription for Lortab was called in by someone in the government pretending to be Dr. Cheek’s nurse. Ms. Overstreet just shrugged her shoulders and said “What do you expect?” She didn’t act surprised or know what could be done about it. Finding out on her own through investigation of the law while in prison, this constitutes gross government misconduct. Every criminal lawyer should know this, and put it before the court at the time of trial, because gross government misconduct is automatic acquittal. Ms. Overstreet did nothing about that, or any other action of the government that constitutes gross government misconduct—the forced perjuries, the lies on the witness stand by government agents. She let is all pass by and didn’t even point it out in her closing.
Another problem Dr. Cheek faced was not being given time in the course of the trial to even have a defense. At the time the trial was set, the prosecution allowed 2 weeks on the court calendar. Then when the trial commenced, they stated it would take 3 weeks, but there were only 2 weeks allowed. The prosecution took up 8 days out of the 9 that were on the calendar for their case. Having to give time for closing remarks and jury deliberation, there was no time left for the defense. If they had started presenting a defense, the judge would have had to have a continuance mid-trial, and come back at a later date. Since all of the evidence presented even by the prosecution showed that nothing had been done by Dr. Cheek that could be considered criminal, she thought that making the jury come back at a later date would be worse than having them make a decision with what had been presented by the prosecution. She did not know that juries consider the defendant guilty until proven innocent, and that if the defendant doesn’t testify, he/she must be guilty. That was another problem—Ms. Overstreet recommended to Dr. Cheek that she not testify. Dr. Cheek agreed, thinking that the trial had gone so much in her favor that her testimony wasn’t needed. It did not occur to her that her own lawyer would not be working in her best interest.
Perjury on the witness stand was committed by the DEA agent Steven Tomaziefski. He had also committed perjury in the Grand Jury in order to get Dr. Cheek indicted. Then the main government witness, Kathleen Schultz, DO, committed the unforgivable sin of giving the false testimony she had been taught by the government agents. She stated on the witness stand that Dr. Cheek had never communicated with her for the prescriptions that were called in. Dr. Cheek’s lawyer was informed of that being a lie, and that Dr. Cheek had the phone records to prove it. But Ms. Overstreet did nothing in cross examination, and let that perjury remain. She also refused to admit the phone records in the record with some lame excuse that the time we spent on the phone was too short. But it did show that we talked on the dates of the prescriptions being called in, and would have proven that Dr. Schultz, the main witness, was a liar. As a result of the fiasco of her trial and lack of a defense, Dr. Cheek proposes that federal public defenders get paid more for convictions than they do for winning. Maybe through kickbacks, maybe through deals where other defendants they get paid better for get lighter sentences. But something isn’t right about a lawyer not defending her client in court to the best of her ability.
When the jury returned the verdict of guilty to the 172 counts of oxycodone distribution, Dr. Cheek was floored in surprise. She was also heartbroken because it was her misunderstanding that minimum mandatory sentencing of 5 years per count was still in effect. That meant, to her, that she was going to spend the rest of her life in prison. She just sat there at the table with her head in her hands. Later she learned that mandatory minimums had been stopped, and the sentence was up to the judge. She said “the sentencing hearing is as important as the trial”. The fact that the jury found Dr. Cheek innocent of the last charge of using her office to commit a crime shows that they probably convicted her not on the facts presented in the case, but just on the stigma that “oxycodone distribution” hangs on anyone being charged.
At the forfeiture hearing the Judge confiscated the office building anyway, in spite of the jury’s finding Dr. Cheek innocent of using it to commit a crime. Obviously that was the point of the entire proceeding. The judge couldn’t let the office building go, or the work would be for nothing.
In preparation for the sentencing, Ms. Overstreet gave Dr. Cheek the instruction to get witnesses of character. She even gave her permission to talk to Dr. Schultz and the nurse that, up until the trial, were off limits because they were government witnesses. That was something else she didn’t do as a lawyer. She stated she tried to communicate with these two witnesses so we could meet with them before the trial, but she really never did that, per the witnesses after the trial. She never intended to meet with them.
Based on Ms. Overstreet’s instruction, Dr. Cheek proceeded to talk with the nurse and Dr. Schultz to get character witnesses for the sentencing. At the time of the visit with Dr. Schultz, she found out how the government forced her to commit perjury. Dr. Schultz was 78 years old at the time and was beginning to suffer some dementia. She stated at the time of the visit, “They visited and talked with me so many times, I forgot what the truth was.” So what they had done was plant in Dr. Schultz’s head the lies they then got her to say on the witness stand. When she testified she spoke so hesitantly and questioning that anyone could tell she was being led by the prosecution. But somehow the jury still bought the bill of goods.
The government didn’t like the fact that Dr. Cheek found out about the perjury. When Dr. Schultz agreed to testify for her, Dr. Cheek emailed her with a summary of their conversation one week after the fact. Immediately, Ms. Overstreet got a email notification from Ms. Waering the US Attorney, that Dr. Cheek was “forcing herself on the witnesses”. They were obviously hacking into either Dr. Cheek’s or Dr. Schultz’s emails. But they made the mistake of saying Dr. Cheek did this at a time when she had a perfect alibi. She was sitting in her living room with her probation officer. Otherwise she would have had other charges filed against her. At the time of the sentencing, though, the government still got the extra charge of obstruction of justice filed. Supposedly the pre-trial bond that prevents defendants from communicating with government witnesses lasts beyond the trial to the sentencing date. Even though Dr. Cheek’s lawyer gave her permission written in an email, the judge told Dr. Cheek “You should have asked me about doing that. I would have told you No!. When trying to get the email from her lawyer admitted in the record, her own lawyer stopped it by declaring client-lawyer privilege. So for finding out that the government breaks the law to convict the innocent, Dr. Cheek got an additional 6 months added to her sentence.
The trial occurred in February, 2013. The sentencing occurred in October, 2013. Because her husband was handicapped physically with cerebral palsy and blind with retinitis pigmentosa, Dr. Cheek thought that maybe her sentence would be carried out on home confinement. But that didn’t happen. Judge Glen Conrad sentenced her to 33 months in prison which would become 26 months with good time. He didn’t even allow her to go home and settle her affairs, selling her belongings. And Dr. Cheek’s lawyer didn’t prepare her for going straight to jail either. But that is what happened. Immediately after the sentencing she had to kiss her husband goodbye in the courtroom and she was escorted to the city jail.
As a result of all of this gross government misconduct, attacking an innocent physician for doing her job, Dr. Cheek lost her family (except for her wonderful husband who stood by her)—her sister, her 2 sons, and 2 grandchildren, who estranged themselves from her. She lost her home and everything in it, including personal keepsakes. She lost her office building—her retirement income. She is now destitute, living at the mercy of her husband and living off a minimal social security check. She lost everything because the United States government is more interested in grabbing doctors’ assets than they are ending the rampant drug abuse in the country.
As a result of the attack on Doctor Cheek, the people in SW Virginia are still hurting, still in pain, not receiving the healing she provided, and the problem is worsening. When she started getting the results of remarkable healing at the beginning of her use of alternative medicine, she offered her services to the government to help teach other doctors. Naïve that the government was interested in saving money from unnecessary medical procedures, was she fooled. Now, 10 years later, those “acceptable” medical procedures have created an entirely new chronic pain condition which has no cure in conventional medicine: adhesive arachnoiditis. And yet the government still forces physicians to perform these procedures on unsuspecting patients.
If there is anyone to blame for the current “opioid epidemic”, it is the United States government. And now that you know what is going on, both in the DOJ and in the DHHS, you are a responsible party to this evil if you do nothing.
I offer my services to teach and spread the knowledge about the REAL cause of drug abuse, and the evil being perpetrated by the Department of Justice today.
Please support Chronic Pain Patient Advocacy Week, April 23-30, 2018. Support and attend the White Coat Protest Rally Tuesday, April 24, and the Congressional Briefing on Thurs, April 26. Link for information : Homepage.
Letters to Presidents
President Bush, 2006
I wrote the following letter after the first raid. The president never replied. Instead, I heard from my lawyer, “You’ve communicated with the President?” I said “Yes, and how do you know about it?” He replied, “The US Attorney’s office told me.” So the President’s office sent my letter to the Justice Department who funneled it down to the Attorney charging me with a crime. You see, they all work together against us. It isn’t a case of one branch protecting our rights against the overreaches of the other 2.
October 15, 2006
Dear Mr. President:
I am a 57 year old 2nd career physician in Southwest Virginia. I am a graduate of UT Austin for my BA and UTHSCSA for my MD. In my previous career I was a teacher for 20 years, 10 of which was spent in Texas, mostly in San Antonio, where I lived with my then, Air Force husband. I came to SW Virginia to be of help to the rural underserved population. Why, then, sir, would I ever consider committing Medicare or Medicaid fraud? I am the most unfraudulent individual you could ever care to meet. I have instead, saved the government probably hundreds of thousands of dollars in my health care in the past 5 years. And yet US Attorney, John Brownlee, appointed by you, is prosecuting me.
Most of my patients are government insured. That is because no other doctor in the area will serve them. You see, sir, I treat pain. I am a family practice physician, but in my study of alternative medicine, I can validate pain that conventional doctors can’t. I can also treat it conventionally and alternatively, which is what I have been doing. The conventional treatment does nothing for the patient but maintain the pain. The alternative treatment that I have done has healed conditions that conventional medicine has no treatment for. I have taken patients that were on disability and helped them to the point that some of them now work two jobs. I have seen psoriasis covering the body be completely gone in 1 month without drugs.
Once in this country there used to be a saying “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” Not so anymore. Do something different and the government (your government) charges you with fraud. If we don’t allow individual physicians to demonstrate what they can do in the alternative world, we will be stuck with an ever-increasing cost of health care with a society that continues to get sicker and sicker.
Now why was my office raided February 28th by 20 federal, state, and local drug enforcement and Health Services agents? Th
e first reason was the fact that I treat pain. The government, run by your appointed US Attorneys, is closing down doctor’s practices all over the country for treating pain. Mr. Brownlee, in particular, has targeted SW Virginia for this action. Here he is, the son of your Undersecretary of the Army, creating fear in the hearts of every doctor for prescribing a pain pill. All over SW Virginia you will find notices in doctor’s offices “WE DON’T TREAT CHRONIC PAIN”. So what we have here is a catch 22. You are sending our young men over to a foreign land against a formidable enemy to get their legs and arms blown off, only to come back to a country that refuses to treat their pain.
Why am I writing this letter now? I consider it God’s timing, not mine. I just received in the mail today a denial by Medicare of $12,400.00 worth of claims of patient visits from May through August. The reason given for the denial was that the visits were not deemed a “medical necessity”. Included in this transmission is a copy of the Medicare EOB. Now since most of these visits were for evaluation and treatment of pain, I would like for you to hear from the patient that the visit was not medically necessary. Since I am opposed to the use of acetominophen because it clogs the liver and blocks its detoxification action, I prescribe mostly schedule 2 opiates. Due to the fiasco of the DEA since November 2004, opiates have to be prescribed every month. So why are these visits being called “not medically necessary”? I have been seeing Medicare patients for the last 6 months without being paid because I have been under review as a result of your attorney’s raid. I believe that the transmission I just received is an indication that Medicare has decided that I am not a physician they want to do business with. So I guess that means the government does not want me to save them any more money, or heal their insured. It would appear that the government wants their patients to remain sick, die early (probably thus saving money in the future with SSI), and continue to fund the hospitals, pharmaceutical industry, and insurance companies. Is that your underlying plan for the country’s health care?
Since I run an immaculate practice of pain management, the prosecutors have nothing to charge me with there. So with that as a dead end, they are turning to my alternative practice of cleansing. I have been cursed with the fact that I am usually ahead of my time. In the 1960s I fought the dress code that did not allow pantsuits on Virginia college campuses. In the 1970s I was one of the first officer’s wives in the US Air Force that worked at my own career, teaching, instead of playing bridge. And now I can see that in health care, alternative medicine is the true medicine of the future. Allopathic medicine will someday be looked back at like we look at bloodletting of the 1700’s. Did you know that conventional doctors, bleeding him for pneumonia, killed our first president? Today people are dying every day because of conventional medicine. The medicine I have learned, for which I travel to Toronto to learn from the master, Dr. Gueniot from Belgium, is the future of true health. I provided this medicine to my patients through their office visits, getting them off drugs, and saving thousands of dollars per patient in not doing expensive tests and procedures that matter “nada” in the real scheme of things. So what does the government do but charge me with fraud. Instead of being charged with fraud, I should be hired by the government to teach others what I know and save this country from severe incapacitating chronic disease. The chronic diseases are hitting younger and younger people, all because of our diet and lifestyle, in addition to the evils of conventional medicine. I just had a patient show a compression fracture of her 9th thoracic vertebra at the age of 46. Osteoporosis is going to hit younger and younger people. And just look at the rheumatoid diseases, lupus and fibromyalgia, and how they are showing up in younger and younger people. Instead of being afraid of alternative medicine, the government should be embracing the knowledge provided by doctors such as myself, as that is what can save our country from eventual health care collapse.
The next week Dublin is home to the Moving Wall—the recreation of the Vietnam Veteran’s memorial. The location is directly across from my office. How ironic that it should be here the same week that I find out that the government is refusing to pay for my services. There is an international airport in Dublin as well, that would accommodate your plane. Might I suggest that you come personally and tell the veterans that I see that they can no longer receive pain management? I invite you to come to my office and see the kind of work that I do, and the people that I serve. We’ve already suffered the elimination of Virginia Premier, the HMO for Medicaid. They told me in April that they no longer wanted my services. 300 patients were thrown to the wind to find another physician on their own. As no one treats pain here, most were unable to do so. Most didn’t want to do so. So most of them have continued to see me as private paying patients for the last 6 months. Supposedly they can change to regular Medicaid in November, but since this is the second time they have been told they can change, and then it was reneged on, I won’t hold my breath. I invite you to come to my office and explain to those patients why the government has created such a financial hardship on them.
Again, I consider the timing of this action, and this letter, the work of God. I work under the message in Isaiah 61:1-4:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and resort the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
I was sent to SW Virginia for a purpose. Right now my purpose is to lead the fight against pain management prosecution and for the recognition of alternative medicine as the medicine of the future. The timing of this letter, 3 weeks before elections, was not my doing. But I do believe it is newsworthy, and will be forwarding a copy to the major news media.
I wrote to you years ago when you were running for office, letting you know of the plight of rural physicians trying to make a living serving the government insured. I never heard from you then, and I don’t expect you to take my offer of a visit now. After all, it is your US Attorney that is prosecuting me, so it must be your health care program.
Linda S. Cheek, M.D., D.A.A.P.M.
President Obama – 2009
June 25, 2009
President Barrack Obama
Dear Mr. President:
I am asking you to intervene in the DEA war against doctors who treat pain. Pain is the one reason patients come to doctors more than any other. Have you ever had pain? I’ve had occasional pain from sacroiliitis and bursitis. When an attack occurs I can understand how my patients feel. I’m lucky my pain goes away and I am generally pain free. My patients have chronic pain. It never goes away. In addition to their pain they have to constantly live with the fear that their doctor will be taken away because of the government attacks. I am one such doctor living with the fear of government attack. But just as Rosie Parks wouldn’t move to the back of the bus because her feet hurt, I won’t budge in my convictions because my patients hurt. Rosie Parks made it possible for you to be President today. Hopefully my actions will be as important someday in the treatment of pain in Virginia and elsewhere in this nation.
I am a felon for healthcare. I pleaded guilty to one felony count Medicare/Medicaid fraud February, 2008. I am guilty of helping patients heal, putting people on disability back to work, and saving the government millions of dollars. I lost my license to practice medicine in May, 2008. I applied for its reinstatement in October, 2008 and achieved reinstatement on Feb 13, 2009. I immediately applied for my DEA certificate on that same day. It has now been 4 ½ months, and I still don’t have my certificate. Supposedly it is going to take a waiver from the Attorney General to get my certificate. For some reason, the law states that being excluded from Medicare/Medicaid means that the DEA certificate is automatically not issuable. I do not know why one situation precludes the other. Why should billing fraud, which every doctor in this country could be found guilty of, mean that a doctor cannot prescribe medications needed by patients that are not even involved in Medicare or Medicaid?
After my license was rescinded last year, my patients were unable to find a doctor. Other doctors would not take them because
- They were self-pay/Medicare/Medicaid patients or
- They were patients with pain.
As they ran out of their pain meds that I had written for them, a doctor came to my rescue. She is still working with me to help write the scripts for controlled drugs that I cannot write. Even though I have asked the DEA to tell me if there is anything wrong with our arrangement, the local DEA officer refuses to give me a response. He continues to say “It’s under investigation.” The investigation includes DEA officers traveling all over Southwest Virginia, going to pharmacies looking for scripts for controlled drugs that I have supposedly written. I have told them that any scripts I have signed (only one of which I know about) were simple mistakes, but they seem to be determined to build a case against me. I anticipate any day they will roll in to my office to arrest me for something. I am not the only physician that treats pain in Southwest Virginia that they have attacked. Just this January they rescinded the DEA certificate of a 76 y/o physician in a neighboring town, probably in hopes of closing him down.
The DEA should be investigating criminals selling drugs and making drugs, not doctors that are writing legitimate pain medications for legitimate patients. As a former US Attorney once said at a seminar, “The reason they go after doctors is because that’s where the money is and the guns aren’t.” Well, I don’t have either. But I do have an endorsement by God to do his work helping the poor and the hurting. God has been taken out of our government, and we are going to pay the price as a nation. I am ready to meet the devil in our government face to face.
I ask you to end the persecution of my patients and me by the US government. The Attorney General can waive the law that prevents me from getting my DEA certificate. I am asking you to use your executive privilege to request the Attorney General to reinstate my DEA certificate for schedule 2-5 medications. I request that you reevaluate the mission of the DEA and correct the abuse of power that they have used in their attacks on doctors. And I request that you work toward changing Medicare/Medicaid laws that prevent patients from getting care. The link with the DEA certificate is one problem. Also the linking of organizations receiving government money not allowing them to work with doctors excluded from Medicare/Medicaid prevents my patients from having tests run at our area hospital. One patient is now dying. Her test to identify her lung cancer was refused at a hospital because I sent them an order for Dr. Schultz, my associate.
I also want to inform you of a challenge I presented to my Congressman, the Honorable Rick Boucher. I have developed a program that ends disease, gets people back to work and saves money. Instead of bankrupting the country with an insurance program that supports only the insurance industry, pharmaceutical industry and the AMA, I challenge the government to give me 100 patients, pay for the treatments I recommend, both conventional and alternative, and after one year, compare my costs with costs of 100 patients of a conventional doctor. I also challenge you to run the same comparison with the 3 other medical systems not used in the conventional medical system—homeopathy, chiropractic, and naturopathy. I’m sure there are doctors out there that would be happy to demonstrate the healing nature of these systems compared to the sickness of our current system.
I also have a program for the uninsured that would solve that problem. I presented the program to a seminar in 1996 in Washington about the uninsured problem. At that time I believe there were 15 million uninsured Americans. The response from the Congressman heading the seminar was “How would the insurance companies make money?” It would appear that helping the three biggest lobbyists in DC is still the main concern of the government. How about looking into more innovative but healthful alternatives such as mine?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Linda Cheek, MD
Supporter of the persecuted patient
I never heard from him either.