A Houston-area physician was sentenced to seven years in prison for healthcare fraud that resulted in the deaths of multiple patients due to opioid overdoses, as well as the death of an entire family in a car accident involving one of the patients.
The physician, Rezik Saqer, prescribed powerful opioid painkillers to vulnerable patients and then required they undergo unnecessary and expensive procedures that he then charged to healthcare providers. According to a Department of Justice news release, Saqer made fraudulent claims of at least $14 million. He was ordered to pay restitution of $5 million, along with the prison sentence.
Healthcare fraud is a huge problem, and the recent Sackler case demonstrates a renewed vigor to hold responsible parties accountable for the opioid addiction crisis.