Monday, January 18, 2010

Florida Doctor Writes 1000 Scripts/Week


Health News Florida

Doctor writes 1,000 scripts/week

By Carol Gentry

Since 2004, a Miami psychiatrist has prescribed almost 14 million pills to Medicaid patients at a cost to taxpayers of $43 million, a state agency says.

Fernando Mendez Villamil would have had to issue 4,000 prescriptions a month, or 1,000 a week, to keep up that pace, according to the data released by the Agency for Health Care Administration. Altogether in the six years from 2004-09, he issued nearly 285,000 prescriptions, including refills, AHCA showed.

Mendez Villamil's status as the most prolific prescriber in the state was already known, based on a report released in December of the period 2007-09. But that period was mild compared to the years before, the new data show, and a timeline suggests that the prescribing slowed down markedly after the state began implementing computer tracking and other controls.

His highest-prescribing year in the period studied was 2004, when he issued about 62,400 prescriptions that cost Medicaid $12.2 million, according to the chart. (The AHCA chart counts a refill as a prescription.)

Sen. Don Gaetz, chairman of the health regulation committee, said Mendez Villamil "appears to be taking advantage of the taxpayers of Florida and draining money away from legitimate patients. He should be the poster boy for tougher enforcement actions."





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