U.S. Senator Grassley’s initial investigation focused on Miami psychiatrist Fernando Mendez-Villamil who wrote an average of 153 prescriptions a day for 18 months ending in March 2009. His prescriptions cost tax payers $43 Million from 2004-2009. On June 21, 2010 the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration terminated its Medicaid contract with Mendez-Villamil. AHCA stated they will no longer pay for Medicaid prescriptions written by Mendez-Villamil.
A nationwide investigation ensued and newspapers around the country are now publishing stories on their own top Medicaid prescribers. (see below)
Lincoln Journal Star
November 24, 2010
By Mark Andersen
One Lincoln psychiatrist. Six mental health medications prescribed to Medicaid patients over two years. Cost to taxpayers: $2,927,872.
Newspapers around the country have picked up on the lists of Medicaid providers requested last April by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who suggested large numbers should spark official inquiries… In May, state Medicaid Director Vivianne Chaumont reported which Nebraska Medicaid providers wrote the most prescriptions for 11 types of medications during 2008 and 2009. Six of the drugs — Abilify, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, Risperdal and Risperidone — accounted for the bulk of the costs on Nebraska’s lists.
Four Lincoln mental health providers were among the top 10 for those six drugs:
* Dr. Walter Duffy, a Lincoln psychiatrist, $2,927,872 (9,010 prescriptions), including more than $1.5 million for Abilify alone.
* Dr. Rafael Tatay, a Lincoln psychiatrist, $1,503,998 (3,998 prescriptions), including $473,700 for Abilify.
* Dr. Stephen Paden, a Lincoln psychiatrist, $587,917 (1,695 prescriptions), including $426,257 for Abilify.
* Dr. Pratap Pothuloori, a Lincoln psychiatrist, $545,487 (1,751 prescriptions), including $192,277 for Abilify.
In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Grassley cited the example of a Florida doctor who wrote 96,685 prescriptions for mental health drugs in 21 months.
“This trend is found again and again across the states,” Grassley wrote, “suggesting that top prescribers stand out not only against other providers in their state, but against the very top prescribers in those states.”
Nov 23, 2010, South Carolina, From the NBC News Political Unit
An influential U.S. senator is checking up on South Carolina doctors
November 22, 2010, South Carolina, Charleston Post & Courier
Some docs face fraud inquiry – Senator looking into S.C. Medicaid prescription billing
November 22, 2010, South Carolina, Charlotte Observer
S.C. doctors might be over-prescribing
November 22, 2010, South Carolina, The State
Medicaid: Questions raised about S.C. prescriptions
Nov. 22, 2010 , South Carolina, The Herald
S.C. doctors might be over-prescribing
November 22, 2010, South Carolina, Sun News
Doctor inquiry ropes in S.C. – Medicaid fraud check under way
November 18th, 2010, Montana, Alabama, Wisconsin and New Jersey, Pharmalot
States Refusing To Give Medicaid Data To Grassley
November 17, 2010, Connecticut, Journal Inquirer
Beleaguered doc was biggest Medicaid prescriber of pain ‘lollipop’
Nov 15, 2010, Indiana, Indianapolis Star
Inquiry eyes Ind. doctors who write prescriptions
November 14, 2010 Oklahoma, The Oklahoman
Senator scrutinizes top Oklahoma prescribers of pain, anti-psychotic medications
November 5, 2010 Alabama, Tuscaloosa News
EDITORIAL: Why are doctors writing so many prescriptions?
November 1, 2010 Connecticut, Hartford Courant
Senator Grassley Cites Connecticut Example Of Doctors Who Write Too Many Prescriptions
October 30, 2010 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Feds eye doctors’ prescriptions for drug fraud
October 30, 2010 Arizona, Arizona Daily Star
State provides spending data on prescription drugs to senator
October 28, 2010 Arizona, Arizona Daily Star
Arizona provides prescription drug spending data to U.S. Senator
October 28, 2010 West Virginia
Editorial: Senator asks good questions about prescription drugs
October 23, 2010 Minnesota, Star Tribune
Top prescribers under Senate’s microscope
October 21, 2010 Florida, El Nuevo Herald
Psiquiatra de Miami en el centro de polémica por fraude con recetas al Medicare
October 21, 2010 Florida, Miami Herald
Another volley in Rx probe
October 21, 2010 Florida, AP
Senator: Feds should probe high prescribing docs
December 27, 2009 Florida, St. Petersburg Times
The high price of Medicare fraud
December 18, 2009 Florida, Miami Herald
Florida Medicare halts payments to Miami psychiatrist
December 17, 2009 Florida, AP
Feds Investigating High Prescribing Fla. Docs
December 16, 2009 Florida, Miami Herald
Miami psychiatrist cited in letter blasting health services monitoring