Post Falls Doctor Pays $ 110,000 to Settle Allegations of Overprescribing Opioids | USAO-ID

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COEURD’ALENE – Dr. Eric Benson, an internist practicing medicine in Post Falls, Idaho, has agreed to pay $ 110,000 to resolve allegations that he illegally prescribed opioids and other controlled substances to patients between 2014 and 2021. The rule, which was based in part on Dr Benson’s ability to pay, also restricts the doctor’s ability to take on new patients who have already been prescribed opioids.

According to the settlement agreement, the government alleged that Dr Benson wrote prescriptions that did not have a legitimate medical purpose and were issued outside the ordinary course of professional practice in violation of the Substances Act. controlled. The government also alleged that Dr. Benson’s illegal prescriptions caused false claims for prescription drug benefits to Medicare and Medicaid in violation of the False Claims Act.

“Opioid dependence and dependence often begins with doctors prescribing excessive amounts of pain relievers to patients who want it but don’t need it,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr. , who announced the settlement. “Healthcare professionals need to know that they are civilly responsible under the Controlled Substances Act when they write prescriptions that do not have a legitimate medical purpose. This regulation demonstrates our commitment to a community approach to dealing with the opioid crisis. “

“The allegations in this case describe a blatant affront to patient safety and a blatant disregard for the purpose of Medicare and Medicaid funds,” said Steven J. Ryan, special agent in charge of the US Department’s Inspector’s Office of Health and Social Services. General (HHS-OIG). “In coordination with our law enforcement partners, the HHS-OIG ardently pursues medical providers who fail to meet their obligations to provide appropriate patient care and support the integrity of the HHS program.”

“Dr. Benson’s irresponsible prescribing habits violate federal law, violate his medical license, and pose a clear danger to the health and safety of our country,” said Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in charge of the Division of DEA Seattle field. “Dr. Benson’s behavior is also a violation of public trust and contributes to the many complexities that fuel the opioid epidemic and endanger the citizens of Idaho. We continue to work with our partners responsible for the opioid epidemic. opioid overdose prevention and awareness law enforcement, while relentlessly prosecuting those who prescribe too many opioids.

This case was the subject of a joint investigation by the United States Attorney General’s Office and the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, with additional assistance provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Idaho Board of Pharmacy.

Claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only and there has been no admission or determination of liability.

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