January 26, 2010 By: Deborah Dupre
A major Medicaid Fraud lawsuit by Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights®) against psychiatrists, their employers, pharmacies, state officials, and a medical education-publishing company for their roles in fraudulent claims to Medicaid to drug mainly disadvantaged children and youth was unsealed, revealing a long list of defendants.
* Osamu H. Matsutani, M.D.
* William Hogan, Commissioner Of the Alaska Department Of Health And Social Services
* Tammy Sandoval, Director Of The Alaska Office Of Children's, Services
* Steve McComb, Director Of The Alaska Division Of Juvenile Justice
* William Streur, Director Of The Alaska Division Of Health Care Services
* Juneau Youth Services, Inc.
* Providence Health & Services,
* Elizabeth Baisi, M.D.
* Ruth Dukoff, M.D.
* Charter North Star Behavioral Health System
* Kerry Ozer, M.D.
* Claudia Phillips, M.D.
* Southcentral Foundation
* Sheila Clark, M.D.
* Hugh Starks, M.D.
* Lina Judith Bautista, M.D.
* Heidi F. Lopez-Coonjohn, M.D.
* Robert D. Schults, M.D.
* Mark H. Stauffer, M.D.
* Ronald A. Martino, M.D.
* Irvin Rothrock, M.D.
* Jan Kiele, M.D.
* Alternatives Community Mental Health Services, D/B/A Denali
* Anchorage Community
Mental Health Services
* Lucy Curtis, M.D.
* Fairbanks Psychiatric And Neurologic Clinic, Pc
* Peninsula Community Health Services Of Alaska, Inc.
* Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation, Inc.
* Thomson Reuters (Healthcare), Inc.
* Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
* Safeway, Inc.
* Fred Meyer Stores, Inc.
Law Project for Psychiatric Rights v. Matsutani, et al., United States District Court, District of Alaska, Case No. 3:09-cv-0080-TMB.
The lawsuit, filed on April 27, 2009 and required to be kept under seal (secret) until now, is brought under the federal False Claims Act, which authorizes private parties to bring fraud actions on behalf of the Government.
The Complaint walks through the lack of science supporting the practice and the methods used by the
pharmaceutical industryto induce psychiatrists to improperly prescribe these drugs.
PsychRights has developed a streamlined model Qui Tam Complaint for use around the country. (See, PsychRights Launches Campaign Against Medicaid Fraud With Model Lawsuit, July 27, 2009)
Last fall, Mr. Gottstein gave talks at two national conferences, the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA), and the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (ICSPP), where he presented how to bring and conduct these cases. Mr. Gottstein is also giving a presentation in New York City, February 2nd, following oral argument in Lilly v. Gottstein.
Mr. Gottstein indicates a number of these cases are percolating around the country. In one that is not as far along as some others, Ted Chabasinski, a Berkeley, California, lawyer, is seeking a former foster youth as a client to bring such a lawsuit in the Bay Area. Any former foster youth in the Bay Area who was given psychiatric drugs within the last 6 years can call Mr. Chabasinski at (510) 843-6372 to talk to him about bringing such a case.
While PsychRights and Mr. Chabasinski are not bringing these cases for the money, such cases represent a tremendous financial opportunity for attorneys to do well by doing good.
"These are about as open and shut as cases can get," said Mr. Gottstein.
*The posts made in this blog are of our opinion only* Without Prejudice UCC 1-207