Doing anything on July 22, 2016?
MEET ME IN MIAMI!
By Ken Kramer
June 16, 2016
Talk about slow justice!
We investigated the top psych drugging psychiatrist in the USA, Florida psychiatrist Fernando Mendez-Villamil, and reported our findings to the authorities on July 25, 2007. We calculated he was prescribing about 151 prescriptions per day!
This blew up sky-high in the press across the country. (see history of press below)
On July 22, 2016 he is to be sentenced in federal court for health care fraud. By our calculations, he could get a combined 35 years in prison.
We have flipped this to the press, so we expect some stories in the near future.
But you don’t have to wait! PsychSearch.net specializes in providing documents on psychiatrists and that is what we provide to you today. Heck, we’ll even throw in a couple of photographs of Mendez-Villamil coming out of his Miami office which we paid a private investigator to snap!
By Ken Kramer
November 17, 2013
On November 21, 2011, U.S. Senator Charles Grassley posted a short news item on his website titled “At Last, Florida Looks at Top Drug Prescribers,” in which he stated:
“When one doctor writes 96,685 prescriptions for mental health drugs in 21 months and bills Medicaid, what’s behind the numbers? That’s among the questions I asked after a whistleblower suggested Congress should look at high numbers of these prescriptions that might…indicate problems that harm patients and taxpayers alike.”
Senator Grassley was at that time Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance, whose jurisdiction includes federal health care programs like Medicaid and whose obligation it is to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not wasted or defrauded.
The “doctor” was Fernando Mendez-Villamil, a Miami psychiatrist whose output of antipsychotic drugs prescriptions in the Medicaid program was nearly double that of the next highest Florida Medicaid psych drug prescriber–153 prescriptions a day, if he’d worked seven days a week–information brought to the Senator’s attention by the whistleblower he referred to.
Alarmed by Villamil’s (and other prescribers’) high numbers, and concerned about an apparent lack of monitoring by federal and state Medicaid programs of “high-utilization” health care providers, Senator Grassley and the Committee began conducting inquiries of the federal and state programs.
In 2010, he issued letters to Medicaid program directors in all 50 states, expressing concerns about potential abuse and fraud in the program and inquiring as to how they monitored excessive prescribers. He also requested each director provide him a list of the top 10 prescribers of eight specific drugs—including the top five brand-name antipsychotics—for the previous two years.
Most of the states complied and, in preparing the data for the Senator, created documents which could then be acquired by the public through the Freedom of Information Act and state Open Records Acts. Psychsearch.net acquired the data and documents, posted them on the site and thus made it all available to journalists, researchers and others, resulting in a slew of news stories:
December 17, 2009 Gainesville Sun HHS investigating high prescribing Fla. docs
December 17, 2009 Miami Herald Miami doctor cited in letter blasting healthcare monitoring
December 18, 2009 Orlando Sun-Sentinel Psychiatrist investigated over high number of prescriptions
December 18, 2009 Miami Herald Medicaid halts payments to Miami psychiatrist
December 20, 2009 Tampa Tribune Doctor writes 97,000 in 18 months
January 15, 2010 Health News Florida Doctor wrote 1,000 scripts/week
January 16, 2010 Miami Herald Miami psychiatrist defends his record over prescriptions
October 20, 2010 St. Augustine Record Grassley seeks prescription probe
October 21, 2010 Beaumont Enterprise Texas doc wrote 14,170 Xanax prescriptions in 2009
October 21, 2010 Miami Herald High prescribing Florida psychiatrist sparks federal investigation
October 21, 2010 Bloomberg Business Week Senator Feds should probe high prescribing docs
October 23, 2010 Minneapolis Star Tribune Top prescribers under Senate’s microscope
October 28, 2010 Herald-Dispatch (Huntington, WV) Editorial Senator asks good questions about prescription drugs
October 30, 2010 Arizona Daily Star State provides spending data on prescription drugs to Senator
October 30, 2010 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Feds eye doctors’ prescriptions for drug fraud
November 1, 2010 Hartford Courant Senator Grassley Cites Connecticut Example Of Doctors Who Write Too Many Prescriptions
November 5, 2010 Tuscaloosa News EDITORIAL Why are doctors writing so many prescriptions?
November 30, 2010 Chattanooga Times Free Press Scrutinizing scripts
November 14, 2010 The Oklahoman U.S. Senator scrutinizes top Oklahoma prescribers of pain, anti-psychotic medications
November 15, 2010 Indianapolis Star Inquiry eyes Ind. doctors who write prescriptions
November 17, 2010 Journal Inquirer (Connecticut) Beleaguered doc was biggest Medicaid prescriber of pain ‘lollipop’
November 18, 2010, Pharmalot, States refusing to give Medicaid data to Grassley
November 22, 2010 Charleston Post & Courier Some docs face fraud inquiry
November 24, 2010 Lincoln Journal Star The cost of mental health? Pricey.
December 1, 2010 Rapid City Journal, State ignores Senate request for medical data
December 1, 2010 The Tennessean TN withholds doctors’ names
December 2, 2010 Nashville Scene TN Won’t Turn Over Names of Top Prescribers To Senate Committee
December 5, 2010 Rapid City Journal State snubs feds in doctor probe
December 5, 2010 The Clarion-Ledger (Mississippi), Mental health drugs probed
December 6, 2010 San Diego Union Tribune 3 local MDs are paid experts, also prescribe the drugs
December 6, 2010 California Watch Top antipsychotic prescribers also drug promoters
January 1, 2011 Washington Post Doctors who prescribe oft-abused drugs face scrutiny
November 17, 2011 Propublica Florida sanctions top Medicaid prescribers–but only after a shove
In 2012, Senator Grassley followed up his 2010 request, sending letters to the same 34 Medicaid program to find out what they’d done to handle the problem of excessive and questionable prescribers, as well as to request the names of the top 10 prescribers for the intervening two years.
Again, Psychsearch.net acquired the data and documents from the states and made it publicly available, followed by another wave of media on the actions states took (such as terminating high prescribers from participation in Medicaid):
February 29, 2012 Minneapolis Star-Tribune Doctors’ prescriptions raise suspicions of Medicaid fraud
March 1, 2012 St. Paul Pioneer Press U.S. Senator raises questions about prescriptions written under Minnesota’s Medicaid program
March 2, 2012 The Oregonian Iowa senator’s letter to Oregon hits hot issue rate psychiatrists prescribe drugs to children
March 6, 2012 Fort Worth Star-Telegram Psychiatric prescriptions under state investigation, agency says
March 7, 2012 Pharmalot High-prescribing docs get spanked in Minnesota
March 14, 2012 Post and Courier Health providers to repay $1.9 million
March 17, 2012 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, State puts lid on overprescribing doctors
Mar 27, 2012 Star Advertiser (Honolulu, HI) State cuts doctors from Medicaid Three were pulled from the program because of prescription volumes
March 28, 2012 Houston Chronicle Complaint alleges Houston-based doctor improperly gave drugs to child
April 10, 2012 Arizona Republic 7 Arizona doctors lose Medicaid contracts
April 12, 2012 Syracuse Examiner Senator Grassley goes after prescription drug abuse
April 21, 2012 The Tennessean TennCare blocks 3 top prescribers in fight against fraud, abuse
April 24, 2012 The Tennessean, Blocking three overprescribers is tiny drop in the drug abuse battle
May 6, 2012 Burlington Free Press Vermont doctor faces prescription investigation
May 8, 2012 New York Times Senate Inquiry Into Painkiller Makers’ Ties
May 10, 2012 Philadelphia Inquirer Senators Baucus, Grassley investigate pushing of painkillers
July 8, 2012 Palm Beach Post Doctors booted from Medicaid for massive oxy doses in Florida
July 30, 2012 Hartford Courant Many Of State’s Highest-Prescribing Doctors Get Pharmaceutical Perks
November 11, 2012 Idaho Statesman Idaho examinines top prescribers
In the aftermath of these actions, state and federal health and investigatory agencies took steps to monitor and reduce the amount of antipsychotics and other psychiatric drugs prescribed to children under Medicaid.