PHILADELPHIA – Dr. Jeffrey Bado, 59, of Philadelphia, PA, was charged today by indictment with illegally distributing pain medications from his Philadelphia and Bryn Mawr medical offices, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Bado is charged with two counts of maintaining a drug-involved premises, 200 counts of illegally distributing oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, outside the usual course of professional practice and for no legitimate medical purpose, as well as 33 counts of health care fraud and four counts of making false statements to federal agents.
According to the indictment, Bado, a doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, gave prescriptions for large numbers of oxycodone pills to “patients” who paid in cash for an “office visit” during which the “patient” would receive at most a cursory physical examination and little other medical care or treatment. During their first visit to Bado’s practice, new patients would still get prescriptions for large amounts of oxycodone even though they provided little or no recent medical records to verify their claim of pain, or provided medical records that were not consistent with their claims of pain.
The indictment alleges that Bado’s prescribing mirrored the needs of drug addicts and drug traffickers. Bado would allegedly comply with patient requests for pills with specific concentrations of oxycodone, and Bado would allegedly switch patients to pills with a higher street value even though there was no medical justification for the switch. Bado allegedly continued to prescribe high amounts of oxycodone even when he knew that his patients were addicted to oxycodone, were using illegal drugs, or were not even taking the oxycodone pills as prescribed.
The indictment further alleges that Bado committed health care insurance fraud by billing Medicare and private insurers for patient visits that occurred in February 2010, when Bado was out of the office and traveling in Haiti. Bado allegedly directed residents, nurses and other staff to see patients while he was away, and allegedly directed that they provide the patients with prescriptions that Bado had already filled out and signed. Before departing for his trip, Bado allegedly made notations in and signed medical charts to make it appear as though he had seen the patients when in fact he was away in Haiti during their appointments. Bado then allegedly had his office staff submit fraudulent claims to these patients’ health care insurers for the cost of the patients’ office visit as if Bado had seen these patients. It is alleged that Bado subsequently made several materially false statements to federal agents regarding the arrangements he made before leaving for Haiti, including falsely claiming that he had not filled out in advance out any medical records for the patient appointments that occurred while he was in Haiti.
If convicted of all charges, Bado faces an estimated sentencing guideline range of at least 24 years in prison with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of oxycodone distribution and maintaining a drug premises counts, 10 years in prison for each count of health care fraud, and five years in prison for each count of making false statement counts. He also faces substantial fines and criminal forfeiture.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the Haverford Township Police Department and the Philadelphia Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nancy Beam Winter and Andrew J. Schell.
An Indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.