Sunday, June 13, 2010

Jail for Doctor Shopping

The Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel reports on the Milwaukee

A Milwaukee man accused of  'doctor shopping' for prescription drugs in four counties was sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation and 60 days in jail in a Waukesha County case. Daniel J. Stojsavljevic, 41, faces similar felony charges in Lincoln and Oneida counties. Prosecutors in Milwaukee County also are deciding whether to [pile on.]

In the Milwaukee area alone, Stojsavljevic used at least 13 aliases over an eight-year period to get prescription drugs more than 100 times from some 20 doctors, according to a Franklin police investigation. In the Waukesha County Circuit Court case, Stojsavljevic pleaded guilty to two felony counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

Besides the probation and jail time, Judge Mac Davis ordered him to pay $3,400 in restitution to two health care providers.  Prosecutor Jennifer Lough said after the sentencing that she recommended a three-year prison term because Stojsavljevic had shown "extensive criminal conduct" by allegedly using multiple false names in multiple counties to obtain prescription drugs.  She said that even though the investigations in Milwaukee, Oneida and Lincoln counties have not resulted in convictions, judges are allowed to consider such conduct in sentencing.

Stojsavljevic's lawyer, William Reddin, said after the sentencing that Stojsavljevic became dependent on prescription painkillers after suffering a back injury in a fall and three subsequent surgeries.

Initially, Stojsavljevic went from one doctor to another because he couldn't pay the doctor bills but still needed the painkillers, Reddin said. Later, he became dependent and used false names with various doctors because he wanted more of the drugs, Reddin said.  Reddin said Stojsavljevic primarily became dependent on opiate narcotic painkillers, such as oxycodone, which change the way the body responds to pain.

Doctor shopping - when a person goes from one doctor to another in an attempt to obtain multiple prescriptions - has been identified as one of the major ways people abuse prescription drugs. Prescription drugs are involved in about 70% of all overdose deaths.
In practicing workers' compensation over twenty-eight years this is something that is not at all unusual.  When you have a client engaged in this sort of thing, get rid of the client.

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