BUFFALO, N.Y. — A former Amherst pain doctor was sentenced to 14 months in prison for illegally acquiring controlled prescriptions and defrauding Medicare.
Dr. Gautam Arora, 43, was convicted of unlawfully acquiring controlled prescriptions by misrepresentation and fraud and scheming to defraud a health care benefit program.
He was sentenced Friday in federal court.
Investigators say between April 2003 and May 2017, Arora prescribed opioids to multiple patients outside the course of professional practice without a legitimate medical purpose. They say Arora prescribed various opioids, including hydrocodone, oxycodone, dextroamphetamine-amphetamine, and carisoprodol.
Officials say that Arora fraudulently billed Medicare for patient office visits totaling $92,209.50. They say he requested and received payment for services he did not perform.
“History has taught us that inappropriate prescribing practices by some healthcare professionals were a significant contributing factor to the opioid epidemic which continues to ravage this country,” said U.S. Attorney James Kennedy in a statement released by his office. “This defendant, and others like him, put profits before the well-being of his patients. In the process, he also defrauded a federal health care program designed to help, not harm, those who receive Medicare benefits.”
At the time, Arora was working as a pain management specialist at the Hens Pain Center in Amherst.