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Prescriber Checkup » Medicare’s Top Prescribers of Powerful Controlled Substances

Medicare’s Top Prescribers of Powerful Controlled Substances in 2012

Here are the top 20 prescribers of the most-potent controlled substances within Medicare’s Part D program in 2012 and their notable legal or disciplinary history, if any. These drugs, including painkillers and stimulants, have been classified as Schedule 2 by the Drug Enforcement Administration because of their high potential for abuse and risk of psychological and psychological dependence. ProPublica attempted to contact each for comment. If they or their representatives responded, their comments are included below.

Doctor State Total Prescriptions Total Schedule 2 Prescriptions Self-identified Specialty History
AL 31,175 14,438 Pain Medicine Controlled substance certificate was suspended by Alabama's medical board in March 2013. He then voluntarily surrendered his medical license in July 2013. A board investigation had alleged excessive and unnecessary prescribing.
FL 19,617 11,493 Interventional Pain Medicine Federal agents seized documents from Sidhom's office in May 2012, according to a news report. In 2010, 31 people were accused of forging pain prescriptions, some with Sidhom's name. Terminated by state Medicaid program in 2011. License currently active with no action.
GA 23,520 10,705 Interventional Pain Medicine Fined by Georgia's medical board in July 2005 for working with a physician assistant without consent from the board. Ellis said he "learned the hard way" about the rule. License currently active.
OH 18,098 9,777 Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation No action found.
WV 14,912 9,278 Pain Medicine Voluntarily surrendered West Virginia medical license in May 2014 after accusations of allowing others to write pain prescriptions on his pre-signed prescription pads. Reprimanded and fined in September 2011 for "unethical or unprofessional conduct."
AR 26,076 9,251 Pain Medicine North Little Rock police charged him in November 2013 with sexual assault, a felony. Awaiting jury trial. License currently active with no action by Arkansas medical board. His lawyer, Jeff Rosenzweig, said his client is not guilty and is a doctor in good standing.
MO 13,654 9,232 Anesthesiology No action found.
FL 22,395 8,935 Pain Medicine An amended complaint filed in November 2014 by Florida's health department accuses him of failing to properly document his treatments and prescriptions for controlled substances. Leal's lawyer Jon Pellett said his client disputes the accusation and added that the health department has dismissed two counts against Leal that alleged excessive prescribing and violations of the standard of care. License currently active. Terminated by state Medicaid program in 2012.
OK 15,511 8,932 Pain Medicine No action found.
CT 12,114 8,705 Nurse Practitioner Reprimanded and fined by the Connecticut health department in July 2014 for allegedly failing to examine a patient before prescribing/refilling narcotics in 2012. License currently active.
MA 13,538 8,534 Critical Care Medicine Charged with federal health care fraud in March 2014 related to his narcotic prescribing habits. He has pleaded not guilty. His Rhode Island medical license was suspended in August 2013 and he voluntarily agreed to cease practicing in Massachusetts in September 2013. Six of his patients died from drug overdoses, according to the Rhode Island board's suspension.
AR 14,366 8,176 Specialist No action found.
FL 14,493 8,082 Pain Medicine Three accusations are currently pending by the Florida health department alleging excessive prescribing, poor documentation and violations of the standard of care. License currently active. Federal grand jury indicted Iyer on five counts of illegally dispensing and distributing controlled substances in 2000. Charges were dismissed after she completed a drug diversion program. In 2006, the DEA revoked her prescribing privileges; Iyer appealed and regained her prescribing license. In 2011 Iyer was charged with six counts of Medicare fraud and found not guilty.
FL 15,902 7,942 Specialist Fined in March 2000 by the Florida medical board for failure to provide a patient with medical records. License is currently active.
AL 22,078 7,868 Anesthesiology No action found.
AL 16,745 7,747 Specialist Agreed to surrender his Alabama license in March 2014 after the state medical board accused him of unnecessary services, endangering patients and lack of medical competency. He was previously reprimanded and fined by the board in July 2011 for not properly documenting his continuing education credit hours.
FL 12,877 7,581 Interventional Pain Medicine Fined and issued a letter of concern in June 2011 by Florida's medical board for failure to properly monitor a patient on narcotics. Issued a letter of concern and fined in December 2004 by the medical board for failure to have a full crash cart and functioning generator on hand. He currently faces an accusation, filed in November 2013, for leaving a piece of plastic from a spinal cord stimulator inside a patient. License currently active.
OK 12,740 7,334 Pain Medicine No action found.
OH 11,318 7,232 Interventional Pain Medicine Surrendered controlled substance privileges to the Drug Enforcement Administration in August 2013. Found guilty of one count of sexual  imposition, a misdemeanor, by an Ohio jury in August 2014. Acquitted on 26 other sexual misconduct charges. Bressi was sentenced to 59 days in jail and was required to register as a sexual offender. He remains free while the case is on appeal. His medical license remains suspended in Ohio.
KY 15,099 6,666 Pain Medicine No action found.