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Docs allegedly peddle addiction drug in Pennsylvania

June 11, 2018, Washington County, PA — The owner of a Washington County-based addiction clinic where five former contract doctors are already under indictment has been accused of illegally distributing Suboxone, a drug used to treat addicts.

Jennifer Hess, 49, owner of Redirections Treatment Advocates, was indicted June 5 under seal on counts of aiding the distribution of controlled substances, conspiracy to distribute drugs and health care fraud.

The case was announced Monday by the U.S. attorney's office.

Chris Handa, the operations manager at Redirections, had previously been charged on similar counts, as have five doctors from Pittsburgh suburbs who worked under contract at the company's clinics in Washington County and West Virginia.

Mr. Handa, of Brentwood, has indicated he will plead guilty on June 28.

Ms. Hess is accused in the new indictment of helping the five doctors unlawfully dispense Suboxone and Subutex. She is also accused, like the others, of causing fraudulent claims to be submitted to Medicare and Medicaid for payments to cover the costs of the drugs.

The investigation first became public in January 2018 when federal agents raided the Redirections main office in Washington, another facility in Bridgeville and the West Virginia locations.

The prosecution is part of a national Justice Department program targeting doctors and other health care providers who are contributing to the opioid crisis here and across the country.

The cases against the five doctors — Krishan Aggarwal and his wife, Madhu Aggarwal, Cherian John, Parth Bharill and Michael Bummer — are pending.

Ms. Hess appeared last week before a federal magistrate judge and is free on a $10,000 bond.

Source: Pittsburg Post-Gazette

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