Cookeville Center for Pain Management owner to pay $1.45M for prescribing 'useless' painkillers

Matthew Anderson and his management company, PMC, will pay $1.45 million to settle claims Cookeville (Tenn.) Center for Pain Management and its employees improperly billed Medicare and TennCare for painkillers, the Herald Citizen reports.

Here's what you should know:

1. Federal authorities allege between 2011 and 2014, employees of the pain center wrote prescriptions for painkillers that served "no legitimate medical purpose." Authorities also said Mr. Anderson made the Cookeville clinic as well as three other clinics overbill Medicare for performed services, and he allowed two nurse practitioners to practice medicine while not under a physician's supervision.

2. Mr. Anderson agreed to settle those claims for $1.45 million. Additionally, Cindy Scott, a nurse practitioner, will pay $32,000 and surrender her DEA registration until October 2021. She will not be allowed to prescribe medicine until she renews her registration.

3. A former office manager with the clinic filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Mr. Anderson, Ms. Scott and the pain clinics. As a result of her actions, she'll be compensated.

4. U.S. Attorney Don Cochran said, "As evidenced here, we will use all available resources, including civil remedies, to pursue those whose actions continue to fuel the opioid epidemic plaguing our nation."

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