Aggressive DOJ Actions Against Opioid Prescribers Continue

An article published yesterday by Pain News Network’s Pat Anson tells the story of yet another physician who has faced threats from the Department of Justice (DOJ) due to the use of opioids within his practice. Dr. Roger Kasendorf, a physician from Southern California, paid a settlement of $125,000 rather than defend against allegations of illegal opioid prescribing.

Dr. Kasendorf claims the allegations were an effort to extort him and were based solely on inadequate recordkeeping, rather than any actual evidence of illegal prescribing habits. He agreed to settle on the advice of his attorney, who said that paying the settlement would more economically sensible than fighting the allegations.

DCBA Managing Partner Michael C. Barnes is quoted in the article, weighing in on the potential legitimacy of Dr. Kasendorf’s extortion claim. “Without reviewing the medical records, I cannot assess the fairness of this outcome. If the physician were merely a big-data outlier because he took on patients with the most complex needs, and if his prescribing were CSA (Controlled Substances Act)-compliant, then the behavior of the federal government would fall squarely under the Black’s Law Dictionary definition of extortion.”

Barnes also stressed how important it is for practitioners to maintain thorough, accurate, and up-to-date records. “The DOJ treats controlled-medication prescribers, especially big-data outliers, as though they are guilty until proven innocent. Detailed medical records are the only affordable way for a provider to prove his innocence – or at least make the prosecutor think twice about proceeding with criminal charges.”

Read the full article here.