Attorney General files lawsuit against "rogue" Eastern Kentucky suboxone clinics

Published: Feb. 9, 2018 at 1:09 PM EST
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Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Friday he filed a civil lawsuit against The Recovery Center and its owners.

In the lawsuit, Beshear claims the “rogue” treatment clinic committed Medicaid fraud, harmful business practices and illegal distribution of an addictive drug. He claims medical professionals illegally prescribed Buprenorphine or Suboxone – a treatment for opioid addiction – to thousands of Kentucky Medicaid patients.

Investigators performed raids at four clinics operated under The Recovery Center in August in Hazard, Jackson, Paintsville and Richmond. Beshear acknowledged there is also a criminal investigation. Owners operate three other locations in Frankfort, Mount Sterling, and London.

Beshear alleges that the clinic, while properly registered with the state to do business, illegally profited from Kentucky’s Medicaid program by falsely claiming it offered patients legally required medical advice and individualized treatment with each prescription.

In the lawsuit, Beshear claims The Recovery Center carried out its illegal activity for nearly three years – from April 2015 through February 2018.

Under the law, a clinic is required to provide individualized treatment for each patient that includes steps to decrease dosages over time. The Recovery Clinic was billing Medicaid for spending 15 minutes with each patient in order to diagnose and prescribe, which is mathematically impossible given the number of prescribing physicians in the clinics.

On one business day in 2017, Beshear says at the Jackson Recovery Center clinic location, the owners wrote 136 Suboxone prescriptions to Medicaid recipients.

All of the 136 prescriptions were for the exact same dosage, according to the lawsuit.