Norwalk Reflector: Doctor gets prison sentence after being caught running pill mill

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Doctor gets prison sentence after being caught running pill mill

• Aug 30, 2018 at 9:00 AM

DAYTON — An Ohio doctor has been sentenced to nearly six years in prison for running a pill mill in Dayton.

David Kirkwood, 62, of Dayton, has been sentenced in U.S. District Court to 70 months in prison and five years of supervised release. In August 2017, Kirkwood and his wife, Beverly Kirkwood, pleaded guilty to health care fraud. David Kirkwood also pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful drug trafficking.

According to court documents, David Kirkwood owned and operated Kirkwood Family Practice in Dayton beginning in 1986.

David Kirkwood distributed nearly 4,000 units of oxycodone outside the scope of medical practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. All of these units were paid for by Medicare or Medicaid.

The doctor often used the same billing code for his customers regardless of the service performed and would accept health care insurance payments for examinations that were not medically appropriate or sufficient for the billing codes submitted. Those bills were submitted on behalf of the practice and with the assistance of Beverly Kirkwood, who has been sentenced to six months in prison.

According to the indictment, David Kirkwood saw up to 100 patients per day, charging $100 per office visit.

The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Walter H. Rice.

“Our mission is to protect Ohio’s families, and we’ve made cracking down on pill mills a priority,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “David Kirkwood prescribed pills that never should have been prescribed and put his own interests above the health and safety of his patients.”

“David Kirkwood’s method of distribution was the prescription pad, but make no mistake: he was a drug dealer,” said Benjamin C. Glassman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. “His prescriptions exposed his ‘patients’ to the risk of overdose and encouraged their addiction.”

“Ensuring the appropriate use and prescribing of opioids is essential to protecting the health and safety of patients and the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” said Lamont Pugh III, special agent in charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General – Chicago Region. “Dr. Kirkwood’s actions were reckless and criminal and are reflective of a mindset that was polluted by greed. The OIG has made combatting the opioid crisis a top enforcement priority and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and hold accountable those who act illegally and put patients’ health and safety at risk.”

David and Beverly Kirkwood have agreed to pay restitution in the amount of nearly $160,000, which represents the loss to Medicare and Medicaid.

The case was investigated by the Ohio Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, HHS-OIG, and DEA. Attorneys with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office represented the United States in the case.

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