A doctor in Baltimore County, Maryland will spend eight months in federal prison and another with supervision upon release after he was involved with in a kickback scheme to prescribe pain medications known to be highly addictive.
The illegal activity took place from 2012 to 2018.
The 65-year-old doctor is Howard J. Hoffberg, who served as associated medical director and part owner of the Rosen-Hoffberg Rehabilitation and Pain Management company. He pleaded guilty in June 2021 to a conspiracy to violate anti-kickback statues in which he took money from a pharmaceutical company to prescribe Subsys, a fentanyl spray.
The case was just one portion of a racketeering case which involved additional penalties leveled against Insys Therapeutics, a company prosecutors said helped cause the opioid crisis.
Hoffberg took in $66,000 in payments after contracting with Insys to appear at speaking engagements. The arrangement, however, was simply a front that allowed Insys to give Hoffberg kickbacks for his prescriptions of the dangerous and highly addictive medication.
The founder of Insys, John Kapoor, and others at the company were also in legal trouble for ayin gmillions in bribes to doctors around the country to prescribe the medication. The company also misled insurers to get approved payments for the drug.
The company has filed for bankruptcy since reaching a $225 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2021.
Kickbacks are illegal under federal law because they compromise the principle that medical professionals should be acting in the best interests of their patients rather than their own pocketbooks. In many cases, details of these arrangements would escape federal scrutiny if not for reports made by whistleblowers with inside knowledge of their existence.
If you are aware of kickbacks or other forms of healthcare fraud happening within your place of employment, contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group to learn more about your legal options.