Saginaw County doctor charged with health care fraud - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Saginaw County doctor charged with health care fraud

SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) - (05/07/14) - One day after federal agents raid his office, Saginaw County neurologist Gavin Awerbuch is accused of bilking Medicare out of millions in fake medical bills.

Now, patients are wondering how to get access to their records.

This investigation was done by several federal agencies, including the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service.

"He's a decent doctor, I've been seeing him since 2012," said Tammy Nicewander.

Nicewander drives 2.5 hours to see Dr. Awerbuch in Saginaw County. She says the neurologist has helped her with her medical conditions.

"My appointment today was to go over an MRI because I suffer from migraine headaches," she said.

Awerbuch has been arraigned in federal court in Detroit, charged with health care fraud and the distribution of controlled substances.

The complaint shows undercover police officers posing as patients began visiting his office in 2011. The complaint alleges Awerbuch prescribed medication patients didn't need and also billed Medicare for medical tests he never conducted.

The complaint states Awerbuch is the most prolific prescriber of Subsys in the country. Subsys is a fentanyl spray to relieve cancer pain. Records show Awerbuch billed Medicare nearly $7 million from 2009 to 2014. The complaint states his nearest competitor in the country billed Medicare for $1.6 million.

"He has been the best doctor I ever had," said Susan Smith, who comes from Gladwin County to see Dr. Awerbuch.

Smith was shocked to find his office is closed. She is now wondering how she is going to get her medical records.

"I've been down here and I have seen how many people he treats, I talk to people way up north farther than I am," she said.

Patients who want to get their records are being told to contact the FBI office in Bay City.

Dr. Awerbuch is free on bond. His attorney says he has no comment on the case.
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