Texas clinic owner, doctor sentenced in pill-mill case | N.J. physician pleads guilty to illegal oxycodone distribution | Medical device firm owner pleads not guilty to health care fraud
September 21, 2018
NHCAA SmartBrief
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Texas clinic owner, doctor sentenced in pill-mill case
Shane Faithful, owner of Gulfton Community Health Center in Houston, and one of the clinic's doctors, Gazelle Craig, both were sentenced to 35-year prison terms after being convicted of unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances and conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances for their involvement in a pill-mill operation. Authorities said Craig prescribed over 33,000 prescriptions of hydrocodone and carisoprodol from March 2015 to July 2017, and they charged $300 per opioid prescription.
Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (9/21) 
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Law Enforcement & The Courts
N.J. physician pleads guilty to illegal oxycodone distribution
George Beecher, an otolaryngologist from New Providence, N.J., could face a maximum 10-year prison term after pleading guilty to conspiracy and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance. An investigation found Beecher wrote tens of thousands of medically unnecessary oxycodone prescriptions for people he didn't meet, examine or treat, which supplied an oxycodone distribution ring with the drug.
MyCentralJersey (Somerville, N.J.) (tiered subscription model) (9/20) 
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Medical device firm owner pleads not guilty to health care fraud
Etienne Allonce, owner of the medical equipment firm Medical Solutions Management, entered a not-guilty plea to health care fraud and conspiracy in a Long Island, N.Y., court for his alleged involvement in a Medicaid and Medicare fraud scheme. Allonce, who fled the country and hid in Haiti for several years after being accused of fraud in 2007, allegedly conspired with his wife, Helen Michel, in submitting $10 million worth of fraudulent claims to Medicaid and Medicare for unprovided medical services, prosecutors said.
New York Post (9/20) 
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Former Mass. doctor gets probation for accepting pharma kickbacks
Rita Luthra, a former gynecologist from Longmeadow, Mass., was ordered to serve one year of probation after being convicted of violating privacy laws and lying to federal agents in relation to a kickback scheme investigation involving the now-defunct drugmaker Warner Chilcott. Authorities accused Luthra of accepting $23,500 in kickbacks through speaker fees in exchange for prescribing Warner's osteoporosis drugs and allowing a pharmaceutical firm representative to access her patient records to more efficiently complete preauthorization insurance forms.
The Republican (Springfield, Mass.) (9/20) 
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Policy & Regulatory News
Tools & Technology
FDA clears inui Health's smartphone device for urine testing
Inui Health has secured clearance from the FDA to market its smartphone system for urine testing for detection of diabetes, urinary tract infection, kidney problems, pregestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
FDAnews (9/21) 
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Blood center introduces app for donors
Bloodworks Northwest has introduced a smartphone app that allows people to track their blood donations, schedule appointments and find blood drives. Bill Harper of application developer Degree 37 said focus groups showed that younger adults were as willing as their parents to donate but may not be reached through traditional media.
KXL-AM (Portland, Ore.) (9/20) 
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Medical News
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Complimentary Webinar: Data and Analytics to Combat the Opioid Epidemic with SAS
SAS, an NHCAA Platinum Supporting Member, invites you to a complimentary webinar on Thursday, Sept. 27, from 1-2 p.m. EST on the current state of the opioid epidemic. Get an in-depth view of the opioid issue and learn how data and analytics help make sense of the problem while delivering insights fast enough to make a difference. In this webinar, SAS experts will discuss what the crisis looks like today and where we are in the fight, as well as present case studies showing how data and analytics help mitigate the epidemic. Register today!
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