For Immediate Release - August 16, 2013

New Bedford Doctor Pleads Guilty to Charges of Prescribing Oxycodone Illegally to Patients

Physician Prescribed Drugs to 15 Patients without Any Medical Purpose; Receives Suspended Sentence in the House of Correction

FALL RIVER – A New Bedford physician pleaded guilty to charges of illegally prescribing drugs to 15 of his patients and defrauding the state’s Medicaid program, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

Dr. Michael A. Taylor, 62, a physician who formerly practiced at an office in New Bedford, pleaded guilty in Bristol Superior Court today on charges of Illegal Prescribing of a Controlled Substance (16 counts), violating the Medicaid False Claims Act (12 counts) and Larceny over $250 (3 counts). After the plea was entered, Judge Frances A. McIntyre sentenced Taylor to two and a half years in the House of Correction, suspended for a probationary period of five years. The special conditions of probation are that he permanently resigns his license to practice medicine, continues receiving mental health evaluations and treatment, and pays more than $9,800 in restitution to MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program. 

“Illegally prescribing drugs with a high potential for abuse is a serious offense that puts patients at risk and steals critical funding from MassHealth,” AG Coakley said. “This sentencing demonstrates that licensed doctors who engage in these fraudulent practices will be held criminally responsible for their actions.”

Taylor prescribed oxycodone, a powerful drug with a high potential for abuse, along with Percocet and other oxycodone-based drugs for no legitimate medical purpose, and outside the usual course of his professional practice. By doing this, Taylor caused pharmacies to falsely bill MassHealth for these narcotics by representing that they were appropriate and medically necessary.

Taylor fraudulently billed more than $9,800 to MassHealth for office visits when patients picked up drug prescriptions without seeing him and for office visits in New Bedford when he was out of state.

Taylor was licensed by the Board of Registration in Medicine in 1982 and practiced general internal medicine. A Bristol County Grand Jury returned indictments against Taylor in December 2012. He was arraigned on Jan. 17, 2013.

Assistant Attorney General Steven L. Hoffman prosecuted this case, which was investigated by Medicaid Fraud Division Investigators Lisa Bailey, with assistance from Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Bristol District Attorney’s Office, DEA New England Field Division-Boston, and United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General-Providence.

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