Medical Malpractice: Michigan Doctors Choose Money Over Caring for Patients

Published on September 23rd, 2019

opioid crisis michigan medical malpractice thurswell lawThe opioid epidemic kills over 130 Americans every day. But who’s to blame? Federal authorities have pointed the finger at pharmaceutical companies and the doctors who profit because of them, committing medical malpractice (and other crimes) in the process. According to a recent expose in the Detroit Free Press, highly addictive opioids kill more people in Michigan than guns and car accidents, and doctors have a heavy hand in the epidemic.

Fraud, Misdiagnosis, and Medical Malpractice in Michigan

Hundreds of Michigan doctors have been blamed for fueling the opioid epidemic that is ripping across the United States. Metro Detroit doctors have been identified as writing thousands of fake pain pill prescriptions and billing the government for millions of dollars.

The stats:

  • Over 100 doctors charged with healthcare fraud and/or unlawful pill prescribing.
  • One Michigan doctor sent to prison every month for healthcare fraud.
  • Average sentence is four years and the highest has been 45 years in prison.
  • Southeastern Michigan has the second-highest rate for doctors and pharmacists sentenced for fraud.

Data shows that only about 1% of doctors in Michigan are responsible for the damage that opioids have inflicted on families and communities. But their actions have been atrocious, and they have been enough to make a dent in the drug epidemic.

Medical Drug Rings in Michigan

Everyone involved in a medical drug ring sees a profit. In West Bloomfield, a doctor worked with patient recruiters to bring in poor, unemployed, and disabled Medicare recipients, writing unnecessary medical prescriptions for over 23,000 pills of oxycodone – one of the most abused opiates in southeastern Michigan, according to prosecutors – and making $300 for every prescription written.

The patients never met or spoke with the doctor, but some received a few hundred dollars to show up for a doctor’s appointment and provide their Medicare information so the doctor could fraudulently bill the government for unnecessary pills and services. Pharmacists filled the fake prescriptions. Recruiters sold the meds on the street for serious cash. Oxycodone can bring in as much as $40 a pill.

In the past 10 years, over 400 people have been charged with running a medical drug ring in southeastern Michigan, billing the government over $1 billions in illegal prescriptions and services. The government paid almost $560 million for nonexistent healthcare needs.

Prescriptions for Drugs for Money

Even though hundreds of people have been arrested and charged with their crimes, the master plans concocted by doctors and recruiters have evolved to cash-only pain clinics and pill rings, as long as the money keeps coming in. Greed is the standard of care, not compassion or legitimate medical treatment.

A cancer specialist intentionally misdiagnosed patients with cancer, gave them chemotherapy treatment, and brought in $17 million in fraudulent billings. Other weary or financially strapped doctors agreed to write unnecessary pain pill prescriptions for patients who had no real ailments and got a cash kickback for each patient seen (but never really examined or treated).

Pain is often undertreated, but writing a prescription for opioids is not the answer. Some doctors, however, have chosen to profit instead of worry about a patient’s well-being, or turning a blind eye to where their pill prescriptions are going or who they’re harming.

If your family or life has been destroyed by an addiction to opioids caused by unnecessary doctor’s prescriptions, contact the Michigan medical malpractice attorneys at Thurswell Law. Schedule a consultation by calling (248) 354-2222 today. We do not charge any fees until we win.

Back to News

(248) 354-2222
1000 Town Center, Suite 500 Southfield, MI 48075
Have a question? Contact Us for Free Case Consultation GET STARTED NOW!