Muncie pain doctor faces several felony charges
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Jan. 6, 2015)– A Muncie pain doctor accused of dangerous prescribing practices was arrested Tuesday in Fort Wayne by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents.
Hedrick operated the Centers for Pain Relief in Muncie, Ind. In October, the clinic was raided by federal agents. The new charges stem from his Muncie practice.
“There are three separate cases against Dr. Hedrick totaling eight felony counts,” said Zach Craig, a Delaware County deputy prosecutor.
The doctor is under investigation for fraud, forgery, dangerous prescribing and violating his probation. The state has identified eight former patients of Hedrick’s who have died of overdoses. Court documents released Tuesday by the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office link ten deaths to Hedrick’s clinic.
“The problems that go along with overdoses and addiction is a huge problem. It seems to be the starting point for other problems we deal with on a daily basis,” said Craig.
Hedrick is facing three felony forgery charges.
“We are alleging that there were claims that were submitted to Medicaid and then subsequently paid out by the Medicaid program,” said Craig.
The Indiana Attorney General’s office is in charge of the Medicaid Fraud Control unit and serves as a co-chair to the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force.
“The prescription drug abuse epidemic is fueled by dangerous overprescribing of addictive opioid drugs by a few medical providers who violate the trust placed in them as physicians; and when the Indiana Medicaid program is wrongly billed for ineligible claims, as is alleged here, taxpayers become victims as well,” said Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.
In October, Hedrick’s licence was suspended by the Indiana Medical licensing Board. He was placed on a 90-day suspension as the state builds its case. However, in light of these new charges, a request has been made to extend the suspension.
Hedrick’s nurse practitioner, Gay Gunderson-Watson, was also arrested.
Gunderson-Watson faces six preliminary felony counts.