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Former Amherst doctor sentenced for illegal prescribing and defrauding Medicare

Posted at 1:00 PM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 13:01:00-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A former Amherst doctor was sentenced for illegal prescribing and defrauding Medicare.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says 43-year-old Dr. Gautam Arora who was convicted of unlawfully acquiring controlled prescriptions by misrepresentation and fraud, and scheming to defraud a health care benefit program, was sentenced to 14 months in prison.

According to officials, between April 2013 and May 2017, Arora worked as the pain management doctor at the Hens Pain Center in Amherst and "prescribed opioids to multiple patients outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose."

The opioids included:

  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Dextroamphetamine-amphetamine
  • Carisoprodol

The U.S. Attorney's office says Arora wrote around 61 prescriptions to those who were either not his patients or without first conducting a proper medical exam, verifying their condition and assessing risk of abuse by the patient.

Between January 1 and March 31 of 2016, officials say Arora also fraudulently billed Medicare for patient office visits totaling $92,209.50.

“History has taught us that inappropriate prescribing practices by some healthcare professionals were a significant contributing factor to the opioid epidemic which continues to ravage this country,” stated U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. “This defendant, and others like him, put profits before the well-being of his patients. In the process, he also defrauded a federal health care program designed to help, not harm, those who receive Medicare benefits.”