Attorney General Andy Beshear has sued "an alleged rogue drug-treatment clinic for Medicaid fraud, harmful business practices and illegal distribution of an addictive drug," his office said in a news release.
The Feb. 9 lawsuit in Breathitt Circuit Court charges that owners of The Recovery Center, with clinics in Jackson, Hazard, Mount Sterling, London, Paintsville, Richmond and Frankfort, illegally prescribed a treatment for opioid addiction to thousands of patients on Medicaid.
The clinics prescribe buprenorphine, branded as Suboxone, as a form of medication-assisted treatment for drug addiction. Beshear said his office recently raided the clinics in Hazard, Jackson, Paintsville and Richmond, and a criminal investigation is continuing.
The civil suit claims that the clinics illegally profited from the federal-state program by falsely claiming they "offered patients legally required medical advice and individualized treatment with each prescription," when in fact they were "pill mills . . . strictly operating for profits and couldn’t care less about the health and safety of our families and neighbors who are struggling with addiction," Beshear said in the news release.
The suit claims the clinics conducted illegal activity from April 2015 through February 2018. "Under law, a clinic is required to provide individualized treatment for each patient that includes steps to decrease dosages over time," the release says. "The Recovery Clinic was billing Medicaid for spending 15 minutes with each patient in order to diagnose and prescribe, which is mathematically impossible given the number of prescribing physicians in the clinics."
For example, the suit claims that on one day in 2017, the Jackson clinic wrote 136 Suboxone prescriptions to Medicaid recipients, all for the same dosage. Claims made in filing a lawsuit give only one side of a case.