DEA Licensed Physician Charged For Giving Out Pain ‘Goodie Bags’

F.J. Thomas

Huntington Valley, PA (WorkersCompensation.com) – The US Department of Justice announced that Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist, Andrew M. Berkowitz, M.D. has been charged with 19 counts of healthcare fraud, and 23 counts of distribution for oxycodone outside the course of medical practice. If found guilty, the maximum sentence is 660 years in prison.

Berkowitz owns pain management center A+ Pain Management, and Bucks Philadelphia Medical Care Group. According to the National Provider Identifier database, Bucks is a “site other than a pharmacy that dispenses medicinal preparations under the supervision of a physician to patients for self-administration.”

According to the accusations from the DOJ, Berkowitz would give everyone coming to the clinic a pain “goodie bag” filled with prescription medications that he billed through Bucks. The “goodie bags” were given regardless of a patient’s history or condition and contained controlled substances such as Eszopiclone and Quazepam for insomnia, Schedule IV medications such as Tramadol for pain, and analgesic prescriptions. Berkowitz billed payers and received around $4,000 for each “goodie bag”.

In addition to the “goodie bags,” the indictment alleges that Berkowitz exchanged oxycodone prescriptions to pain seekers in exchange for filing medical claims. From 2015 to 2018 Berkowitz allegedly received $3.2 million in payment for medical claims that either did not occur, or that were medically unnecessary.

According to the A+ Pain Management website, Berkowitz earned his degree at Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and completed an internship at Mercy Catholic Medical Center. Since 1988, Berkowitz has treated over 25,000 patients, many of whom were addicts. He was licensed by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency and gained approval for Suboxone treatment.

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