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Opioid Exploitation: Doctor and Staff Charged with Conspiracy and Fraud

Posted  July 8, 2024

In Saint Louis, Dr. David A. Parks along with his clinical manager and spouse, James M. Bilderback, and front desk staffer Michelle J. Scheer, face serious allegations of conspiracy and health care fraud. Indicted by the U.S. District Court, the three are accused of illegal prescription practices and fraudulent activities aimed to profit from controlled substances and fraudulent medical billing.

The indictment alleges that Dr. Parks and his associates conspired to prescribe controlled substances outside the bounds of legitimate medical practice. The prescribed drugs, including highly addictive substances like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and dextroamphetamine-amphetamine salts, were allegedly dispensed without proper patient evaluation or medical justification. This approach, the indictment claims, was part of a broader strategy to maximize patient numbers and, consequently, profits.

In addition to the improper prescription practices, Dr. Parks and Mr. Bilderback are accused of defrauding Medicare, Missouri Medicaid, and private insurers. The indictment details that they billed for services falsely attributed to Dr. Parks, including periods when he was not in the country. This fraudulent billing practice significantly inflated their earnings at the expense of health care programs designed to serve the public.

Even more concerning, while this was allegedly taking place, the indictment states that Dr. Parks was rarely present, typically attending the clinic for only a few hours each week. During his absence, pre-signed prescriptions were used to continue dispensing controlled substances without proper medical oversight. Staff members, including Mr. Bilderback and Ms. Scheer, allegedly forged Dr. Parks’ signature on prescriptions and used his authorization to approve electronic prescriptions for controlled substances.

Particularly troubling is the allegation that Ms. Sheer made unilateral decisions about the prescriptions, altering dosages, quantities, and types of drugs when she has no prescribing authority or knowledge.

Special Agent in Charge Linda T. Hanley of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General stated, “As we continue to combat the opioid crisis, our agency remains committed to investigating those involved in fraudulent schemes exploiting controlled substances for profit.” She affirmed that the indictment reflects their commitment to protecting vulnerable individuals from this crisis.

Dr. Parks and Mr. Bilderback also face accusations of billing fraud. The couple allegedly billed for services at higher rates, as if Dr. Parks had performed them, even when they were carried out by a nurse practitioner or Bilderback himself. Additionally, Dr. Parks is accused of failing to provide adequate supervision to nurse practitioners, which violates professional standards and regulations.

Kim Daniels, Diversion Program Manager for the Drug Enforcement Administration, regarded the dangers posed by the malpractices, stating, “Medical professionals have a duty to ensure that their patients’ health and safety are their primary concern. When they abdicate this responsibility, they put lives at stake.”

The operational malpractices are deeply concerning, to say the least, and such schemes should be reported if seen. If you have information about potential Healthcare or Pharmaceutical Fraud or would like to learn more about Whistleblower protections laws, you can speak to an experienced Constantine Cannon whistleblower lawyer team member. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free and confidential consultation.

Tagged in: Healthcare Fraud, Medicaid, Medical Billing Fraud, Provider Fraud,