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South Carolina pain group under investigation for billing fraud related to opioids, urine testing — 5 notes

Last October, the FBI raided Spartanburg, S.C.-based Pain Management Associates' offices in three different cities and new documents show the affiliated physicians are under fraud investigation, according to WSPA, which is a CBS affiliate.


Five things to know:

1. The FBI investigated the clinics' parent company, Easley, S.C.-based Oaktree Medical Centre, and its owner for improperly billing Medicare, Medicaid and other federal programs after whistleblowers stepped forward in 2015. After another suit was filed in 2017, the DOJ picked up part of the cases, according to the report.

2. The whistleblowers, who were former employees, alleged the clinics participated in schemes to bill the federal government for unnecessary care associated with opioid prescriptions and urine drug testing.

3. Oaktree's owner Daniel McCollum, MD, also owned the urine testing lab, Labsource, and Oaktree-employed physicians and physician assistants allegedly received compensation tied to referrals to services including the urine tests.

4. Oaktree employed around 20 physicians in 2017, according to the second lawsuit.

5. In early 2018, Pain Management Associates' Blake Leche, MD, and physician assistant Amanda Leche were charged with a conspiracy for illegal hydorcodon and oxycodone prescription distribution. In October, when the FBI raids occurred, WSPA reported Bert Blackwell, MD, a Pain Management Associates physician, said the raid was unrelated to Dr. Leche and Ms. Leche.

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