Doctors Rush to Use Supreme Court Ruling to Escape Opioid Charges

Dr. Nelson Onaro conceded last summer that he’d written prescription illegals, although he said he was thinking only of his patients. From a tiny, brick clinic in Oklahoma, he doled out hundreds of opioid pills and dozens of fentanyl patches with no legitimate medical purpose. “Those medications were prescribed to help my patients, from my … Read more

CA Lawmakers Approve Mental Health Care Plan for Homeless

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will establish a new court program to steer — even force — homeless people with severe mental disorders into treatment after lawmakers on Wednesday gave final approval to a proposal pitched in March by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. The Senate unanimously agreed to changes approved in the Assembly late Tuesday, … Read more

Prosecutors Must Prove Ill Intent in ‘Pill Mill’ Cases

In an unanimous decision, the US Supreme Court set aside the convictions of two physicians accused of violating the Controlled Substances Act (1970) and running “pill mills.” The cases were sent back to their respective jurisdictions to be reheard in order to consider whether the juries were properly instructed. If they were not, said the … Read more

Roe v. Wade Overturned, Ending 50 Years of Abortion Protections

The US Supreme Court has voted to overturn the federal constitutional right to abortion, which will now leave the issue to be decided on a state-by-state basis. According to some estimates, some 25 million women of reproductive age will now live in states that ban or severely restrict abortion. Twenty-six states are “certain or likely” … Read more

Will Physician Intent Matter in SCOTUS Pill Mill Cases?

Legal experts are divided on whether the US Supreme Court’s eventual decision on the cases of two physicians convicted for illegal opioid distribution will have precedent-setting implications for medicine. Attorneys for Xiulu Ruan, MD, and Shakeel Kahn, MD, both pain management specialists, argued — along with some medical organizations, business groups, and law professors, through … Read more

Former Physician Sentenced to 20 Years in Pill Mill Case

A former pain medicine physician received a sentence of 20 years in prison for selling opioids and writing prescriptions for patients who were abusing or diverting the medications. Patrick Titus, 58, operated Lighthouse Internal Medicine in Milford, Delaware, from 2005 to 2014. Federal prosecutors said Titus unlawfully distributed or dispensed opioids including fentanyl, morphine, methadone, … Read more

Psychiatrist Found Guilty in $110 Million Fraud Scheme

A Florida jury has found a Palm Beach psychiatrist guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud and 11 counts of healthcare fraud. Mark Agresti, MD, 59, was convicted of illegally billing $110 million of medically unnecessary urinalysis services for patients living at Good Decisions Sober Living (GDSL), a drug … Read more