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Prescription practice leads to investigation of OB-GYN doc

Prescription practice leads to investigation of OB-GYN doc
Prescription practice leads to investigation of OB-GYN doc
After a search warrant was issued, Harrison County Prosecutor J. Otto Schalk, center, and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Nicholas Haverstock, to Schalk’s right, meet with investigators from the Indiana Attorney General’s Office and the Indiana State Police Thursday at the OB-GYN office of Dr. Paul Kelty. Kelty, who has not been charged with a crime, is being investigated for possible Medicaid fraud, illegitimate prescribing of controlled substances, theft and sexual abuse. Photo by Alan Stewart (click for larger version)

Investigators with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office and the Harrison County Prosecutor’s Office, accompanied by troopers from the Indiana State Police, temporarily closed a Corydon OB-GYN office at approximately 8:30 Thursday morning as they served a search warrant with the hopes of finding evidence of alleged Medicaid fraud, theft, prescription drug dealing and possible sexual abuse. The IAG’s Office will issue a report to the Harrison County Prosecutor’s Office, which will decide if criminal charges are applicable.
‘It’s important to note that this was a search warrant and not a finding of guilt,’ Prosecutor J. Otto Schalk said in a press conference Thursday afternoon. ‘Throughout this process, Dr. Kelty should be presumed innocent.’
According to a probable cause affidavit, Amy Sellers, an investigator with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, was assigned to look into Dr. Paul Kelty’s medical practice to see if he was prescribing controlled substances without medical necessity and in such quantities and combinations to Medicaid patients that the prescribing was outside of the scope of usual medical practice and in violation of the Controlled Substance Act and Medicaid fraud statute.
The affidavit says Kelty prescribed nearly 1.08 million pills to 1,283 patients during a period from 2008 to 2012. The high number of prescriptions for pain killers being written for Medicaid patients were a concern for at least two pharmacies in Corydon that tipped off a compliance officer with the Indiana Pharmacy Board.
The officer said that pharmacists at Walgreen’s and CVS/pharmacy told him that Kelty’s patients were getting controlled substance prescriptions filled monthly and the pharmacists suspected some of Kelty’s patients were drug abusers.
According to the officer, virtually all of Kelty’s patients were being prescribed hydrocodone and some patients were receiving a ‘cocktail’ of hydrocodone and Xanax. The combination of the two drugs, according to Sellers, makes someone eight times more likely to suffer an overdose as opposed to a woman who has only one of the drugs in her system at a time.
‘Some patients were seen every two weeks, which the expert doctors have noted in the affidavit makes no sense for routine provisions of patient care and that the vast majority of these visits were not medically necessary,’ Schalk said.
The most common of the controlled substances prescribed were hydrocodone, Xanax, oxycodone and Valium.
Sellers’ affidavit says that since 2008, six of Kelty’s patients who had been receiving controlled substances from him died from drug overdoses, with one patient hanging herself.
‘Some of those patients may not have seen Kelty for some time before their deaths, but I need Kelty’s patient files to be certain of that,’ Sellers wrote in the affidavit.
The affidavit also alleges that multiple patients were continually prescribed the same amount of controlled substances throughout their pregnancy. As a result, babies of mothers under Kelty’s care were born addicted to controlled substances and had to undergo treatment for the addictions.
A medical expert reporting to the AG office stated he believed Kelty’s prescribing practices presented a clear and present danger to the public.
In regard to the accusations of sexual abuse, the affidavit states several instances of inappropriate conduct between Kelty and his patients, through interviews conducted by the AG office. One patient described Kelty as ‘touchy feely’ and alleged he brought her to orgasm during exams. Another patient alleged she believed Kelty’s exams ‘felt more like a sensual moment between you and a partner … ‘
Schalk is asking that anyone in the community who has any information from their experiences with Kelty that would assist in the investigation to call his office at 738-4241.