The following is a statement from Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) CEO/Administrator Stephen Buehrer regarding legal action taken today at the Portsmouth (Scioto County) and Plymouth (Huron County) offices of Dr. James E. Lundeen Sr.:
“Today, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, with assistance from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement, executed search warrants on the Portsmouth and Plymouth offices of Dr. James E. Lundeen Sr. The search is part of an ongoing investigation into workers’ compensation fraud by Dr. Lundeen, who provides medical services to injured workers. In addition, we believe this issue could extend beyond fraud to include prescription drug abuse.
Governor John Kasich has declared war on the epidemic of prescription drug abuse in Ohio and charged state agencies with using every tool at their disposal to help victims and fight those who abuse the law. To that end, BWC has been reviewing data regarding the use of prescription pain medicine in treatment for injured workers. Today’s actions are part of our efforts to ensure Ohio’s injured workers are getting only the highest level of care so they can return to living healthy and productive lives.
Ohio BWC spends more than $50 million in prescription narcotics each year. While these prescriptions can be a valid part of treatment, the inappropriate use of pain medicines in treating injured workers hurts the worker and constitutes fraud against the taxpayers and businesses of Ohio. I hope today’s actions put those who would take advantage of Ohio’s injured workers on notice that it is something we absolutely will not tolerate.”
Because of the ongoing investigations, Buehrer declined to provide additional information into the specific of this case or the specific tactics being used by BWC in identifying fraudulent activity.
Buehrer also thanked the following agencies for their assistance:
- Attorney General Mike DeWine and his office, particularly the Bureau of Criminal Investigation;
- The Ohio State Highway Patrol;
- The Portsmouth Police Department and the Plymouth Police Department, which is assisting with the warrant there;
- The Ohio State Medical Board and Pharmacy Board;
- The Ohio Department of Insurance;
- Ohio Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services;
- The U.S. Attorney General;
- The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration;
- The prosecutors and sheriff’s departments in Scioto and Huron Counties.
Source: Ohio BWC