RI Doctor Pleads Guilty to Healthcare Fraud & Accepting Kickbacks

Thursday, October 26, 2017
GoLocalProv News Team

A Rhode Island doctor has pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud and accepting kickbacks for prescribing a "highly addictive" version of Fentanyl.

Dr. Jarrold Rosenberg, 63 of North Providence and Jamestown is the operator of a now-defunct pain management practice in Rhode Island pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to conspiring to solicit and receive kickbacks in connection with his prescribing of the drug Subsys, a fast-acting, powerful, and highly-addictive version of the opioid drug Fentanyl that is administered as an under-the-tongue spray, and to committing healthcare fraud. 

“Patients trusted Dr. Rosenberg to make medical decisions based on the best available treatment, not based on speaker fees, kickbacks, and other financial incentives. He violated the law and his oath as a physician to do no harm when he placed greed over patient care, thinking little of the long-term consequences of patients taking this extremely powerful, highly-addictive opioid. Our office, working with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, is committed to rooting out fraud and abuse in our healthcare system,” said Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin. 

Pleading Guilty

Appearing before U.S. District Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Rosenberg admitted to the Court that he participated in a healthcare fraud scheme in which he falsely and fraudulently indicated that his patients had breakthrough pain from cancer when they did not, in order to secure insurance approvals for prescriptions of Subsys. 

As an example, Rosenberg admitted that in 2012  he falsely claimed that one patient suffered from cancer pain from basal cell carcinoma.  While the patient had, in fact, had a potential skin cancer lesion on his nose removed many years before, it had not recurred, and was wholly unrelated to his pain. Rosenberg admitted that, in total, the healthcare fraud scheme resulted in losses of over $750,000; in many cases, the cost of the drug was reimbursed, at least in part, by the Medicare program.

Rosenberg also admitted that, between 2012 and 2015, he conspired with Insys officials to receive kickbacks, in the form of purported speaker fees, from the manufacturer of the spray.  Rosenberg admitted that he accepted these payments, which totaled over $188,000. In addition, according to court documents, Rosenberg’s son was a sales representative for Insys Therapeutics from June 2012 – September 2013 and made substantial amounts in commissions as a result of the defendant’s prescribing Subsys to his patients. 

Rosenberg admitted that the speaking fees he received from Insys were a significant motivating factor in his decision to prescribe Subsys to his patients. 

Sentencing

Rosenberg is scheduled to be sentenced on January 16, 2018. The statutory maximum sentence with respect to the healthcare fraud scheme is up to 10 years imprisonment; a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment on the charge of conspiracy to accept kickbacks, followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.00 on each charge. 

Under the terms of a plea agreement filed with the Court, Rosenberg has agreed to the entry of a restitution order in the amount of $754,736.48. 

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