A Wayne County, Mich.-based physician was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for distributing more than 6.6 million doses of medically unnecessary opioids, NBC affiliate WILX reported Jan. 30.
In September 2021, Francisco Patino, MD, was convicted of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and pay and receive healthcare kickbacks, and money laundering.
Dr. Patino owned multiple medical practices and clinical laboratories where he played a role in a scheme where patients were required to receive back injections in exchange for prescriptions of opioids. If a patient refused an injection, they would not receive their prescriptions for opioids.
According to the report, each scheme included more than $250 million in false claims being submitted to Medicare. Dr. Patino and 21 other defendants were sentenced for participating in the scheme.