On March 22, 2016, Dr. Michael A. Cozzi, the owner of FW Interventional Pain Management in Fort Wayne, was arrested after around 30 vehicles of federal drug agents raided his properties as a helicopter circled overhead.
I would say that is just a little bit of overkill. The raid was followed up with a petition by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller to the state’s Medical Licensing Board to suspend Cozzi’s medical license for alleged “dangerous controlled substance prescribing.”
Really? Does that really warrant the manpower and cost of the raid? This just goes to show that the War Against Doctors is a big moneymaker. Big enough to float that many salaries for law enforcement personnel. They sure don’t turn out that kind of force against the man on the street corner selling cocaine or meth. In my area the law knows what the street pushers are doing, but just ignore it.
In a press release, the attorney general’s office said Cozzi prescribed more controlled substances than any other prescriber in Indiana between January 2014 and February 2016, including some 2 million doses of Oxycodone and 1.2 million doses of hydrocodone. From January to February 2016, he prescribed controlled substances to about 1,700 patients, and saw 90-100 patients a day.
That could be just the result of a conscientious doctor trying to serve as many people as he could, because no one else was willing. When you work the numbers, that is 4 pills per patient per day, which is well under the therapeutic levels for both oxycodone and hydrocodone.
A DEA investigation found that at least three of Cozzi’s patients died due to complications from the prescribed drug use, the attorney general’s office said. One victim received 50 prescriptions for controlled substances from six different providers in the last year, 35 written by Cozzi.
Three patients out of 1700 is 0.1%. I think cardiologists have a worse percentage than that. Why aren’t they being arrested? Or let’s take it out of the medical realm altogether. I bet lawyers that take care of lawsuits involving injury have a worse client loss rate. Why aren’t we arresting them?
Also according to the petition, pharmacies have refused to fill prescriptions written by Cozzi over concerns that they lacked legal and medical justifications.
My guess is the pharmacies were approached by the government agents. And since pharmacists can be charged as well as doctors, they quit out of self-protection, not because they thought Dr. Cozzi was doing anything wrong.
Investigators also interviewed several staff members at Cozzi’s office who claimed he was verbally abusive and sexually harassed patients and employees. Some of Cozzi’s former female patients reported that Cozzi touched them inappropriately and asked them to perform sexual acts in his office.
And the key word here is “former”. Patients that have been dismissed from the practice are always disgruntled and will say anything they can to make it look like it was the doctor’s fault. Sexual harassment is an easy charge to make.
They also told investigators that in order for Cozzi to see up to 100 patients a day, medical charts and prescriptions were sometimes prepared before patients even went to the office to reduce the amount of time each patient would require.
Sounds like good planning on his part. Chronic pain visits can be started in a CPR and simply note the patient responses at the time of the visit. Visits are pretty standard. That’s not the sign of a bad doctor, but a prepared one.
The paper continued at the end with an incriminating statement: “Cozzi has a criminal past. In 2014, he was arrested on domestic battery and strangulation charges after police said he beat and strangled a woman over an argument about how the school system was “feminizing their son.” The charges were ultimately dropped.
So if the charges were dropped, why is it being reported as a “criminal past”? Or why is it being reported at all? Sounds like the press in this case definitely wants to indemnify Dr. Cossi as much as possible.
Dr. Cozzi has had his medical license suspended for 90 days for an investigation. Usually the doctor doesn’t get it back when this happens. So now 1700 people are forced to the street to treat their pain. I bet more than 4 deaths occur as a result of that.
Please keep us posted with the aftermath of this abuse of power.