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Pocatello doctor pays $96,000 to settle allegations he wrote unlawful prescriptions

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The following is a news release from the Idaho U.S. Attorney’s Office.
POCATELLO – Dr. Gerald Knouf, a family medicine doctor formerly of Pocatello, agreed to pay $96,000 to resolve allegations he wrote unlawful prescriptions, prescribed dangerous combinations of drugs, and billed Medicare and Medicaid for services that were not performed, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced Wednesday. The settlement also restricts Dr. Knouf’s DEA registration for five years.
According to the settlement agreement, the government alleged Dr. Knouf wrote prescriptions for controlled substances that lacked a legitimate medical purpose and/or were issued outside the usual course of professional practice between 2018 and 2023. That included prescriptions for dangerous combinations of drugs, including overlapping prescriptions for opioids, benzodiazepines, and muscle relaxers. The government alleged the Dr. Knouf’s actions violated the Controlled Substances Act and the False Claims Act.
“We will continue to hold prescribers accountable for writing unlawful prescriptions for opioids and other controlled substances wherever such conduct is found,” said Hurwit. “Cases like this demonstrate my office’s ongoing commitment to protecting our community from drug-related harms no matter who the offender might be, even if, as in this case, the offender is a medical professional.”
“The core mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration is to protect our communities, not just from illicit drug dealers, but also from the health care professionals who might misuse their positions of special trust to cause harm,” said David F. Reames, Special Agent in Charge, DEA Seattle Field Division. “The settlement in this case clearly shows that the DEA and our partners will hold everyone, including medical providers, accountable for their actions when they threaten the safety of our communities.”
“Medical professionals who prescribe dangerous amounts of controlled substances put their patients at severe risk of overdose and undermine our efforts to halt the opioid crisis,” said Steven J. Ryan, Special Agent in Charge with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “HHS-OIG will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to curb such irresponsible prescribing and billing schemes at every turn.”
This matter was investigated jointly by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, with additional assistance provided by the Idaho Board of Pharmacy, the Idaho State Police, the Pocatello Police Department, and the Idaho Department of Correction.
The post Pocatello doctor pays $96,000 to settle allegations he wrote unlawful prescriptions appeared first on East Idaho News.

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