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January 2006, Volume 36 Number 1 , p 24 - 24



DURING THE 1990s, Asa Bateman, a physician, owned and operated a pain management practice in Albany, New York, where he employed other physicians, nurses, and clerical staff. Patients visiting the practice commonly received prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances.

In July 1999, an agent for the Office of the Inspector General sought search warrants for Bateman's offices and home. The affidavit contained statements from people who'd worked for Bateman reporting that he let staff nurses examine patients and issue prescriptions without physician supervision. William Hale, who'd been office manager for 5 months in 1997, named the nurses and indicated that Bateman presigned blank prescription pads and “upcoded” insurance claims for reimbursement. He also indicated that Bateman's wife prepared extensive paperwork for the practice at home.

Dr. Albert Pacitti, employed at the practice from July 1995 to November 1997, corroborated Hale's account of presigned prescription forms. Diane Kelly, ...

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