Published in Health Care

West Michigan physician indicted for opioid prescription abuse

BY Friday, December 07, 2018 03:57pm

Ada physician Ronald Kufner was among six doctors indicted by a federal grand jury on allegations they illegally prescribed 13.2 million doses of opioid pain medications and billed Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan a collective $464.3 million over nearly six years.

The indictment alleges that 68-year-old Kufner prescribed the pain medications to patients in situations in which it was “medically unnecessary” and ineligible for reimbursement while a working at a pain clinic in Warren. He and the others prescribed the highly addictive pain medications “to induce patients to attend reoccurring office visits” and to undergo unnecessary and sometimes painful medical procedures, the indictment alleges.

“The damage that opioid distribution has done to our community and to the United States as a whole has been devastating,” Matthew Schneider, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, said in a Thursday announcement of the indictment. “Health care professionals who prey on patients who are addicted to opioids in order to line their pockets is particularly egregious. We will continue to prosecute such individuals who choose to violate federal law and their ethical oaths.”

Also indicted by the grand jury were:

  • • Dr. Rajendra Bothra  Bloomfield Hills, the owner and operator of the Warren pain clinic and two others in the Detroit area
  • • Dr. Eric Backos of Bloomfield Hills
  • • Dr. Ganiu Edu  Southfield
  • • Dr. David Lewis of Detroit
  • • Dr. Christopher Russo of Birmingham

The indictment claims the six defendants committed the fraud between January 2013 and November 2018.  

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