Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear and his Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse has announced a six-count indictment of a former Eastern Kentucky Suboxone clinic doctor.
Dr. Curtis Edens, 57, of Hardeeville, South Carolina, was indicted by a Lawrence County grand jury May 12 on two counts of Medicaid fraud; one count of improperly prescribing a controlled substance; one count of theft by deception over $500 – all Class D felonies; and four counts of theft by deception over $10,000, Class C felonies.
The allegations involve Edens operating a now closed Lawrence County Suboxone clinic in 2016 and fraudulently charging Medicaid recipients cash for services. Medicaid specifically prohibits providers from billing cash for services that are covered by the program.
Beshear’s office also alleges that in 2011 and 2012 Edens improperly prescribed Suboxone to his patients from his clinic located in Louisa in Lawrence County.
“Substance abuse is the single greatest threat to our Commonwealth,” Beshear said. “The wrongful prescribing of Suboxone is flooding our communities with yet another drug that is killing our children, destroying our families and scarring our neighborhoods. While there are honest, legal Suboxone clinics that provide real and needed treatment in our state, the rogue clinics who value money over lives must be shut down.”
Edens’ case was investigated by the Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse of the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office with vital assistance from the Appalachia HIDTA Diversion Task Force and the Cabinet for Health and Family Service’s Office of the Inspector General, Drug Enforcement and Professional Practices Branch.
The Office of the Attorney General was assisted in the arrest of Edens by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department in South Carolina on May 12. Edens waived extradition May 15 and will now be brought to Kentucky.
The Lawrence County Circuit Court is set to arraign Edens. No date has been scheduled.
A charge is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
(story provided by the Office of the Attorney General)