A former Hyannis doctor was arraigned in Barnstable Superior Court Monday in connection with illegally prescribed opioid drugs. According to a release from the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, 63-year-old Dr. Mohammed Nassery is alleged to have written unnecessary oxycodone prescriptions and defrauded the state's Medicaid program.
Charges were brought against Nassery following an investigation conducted by the Attorney General's Office. Nassery, who practiced at Ariana Pediatric Neurology in Hyannis, is accused of prescribing opioid medications such as oxycodone and Percocet to high risk patients. The investigation revealed that some of Nassery's patients had documented substance abuse issue, some were in recovery programs and some were already prescribed similar medications by other physicians. Additionally, each prescription prompted the pharmacy filling the prescription to falsely bill MassHealth, the release said.
In addition to illegally prescribing medication, Nassery is accused of using urine-drug screens and MRI tests as a cover for his practices, often ignoring the results of the tests, the AG's Office said. Nassery is also alleged to have have billed MassHealth for "medically unnecessary or overstated services", by using billing codes for comprehensive medical exams rather than the proper codes for simple office visits.
On Monday Nassery was arraigned on 11 counts of illegal prescribing, 9 counts of Medicaid false claims and larceny over $250. He was indicted by a Barnstable County Grand Jury on May 15. Following the indictment, Attorney General Maura Healey said in a release, "Through a partnership with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, we are proactively working to ensure that Dr. Nassery’s patients are notified about this case and referred for proper care and treatment by other medical professionals. Our office is committed to ending practices that fuel the disease of addiction and ruin lives."
According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, Nassery voluntarily agreed to not practice medicine on the day of his indictment. He was first issued a license to practice medicine in Massachusetts in 1999. His current medical license expires next April. In 2001, Nassery ws reprimanded and fined $2,500 by the board. The reason is not noted. Nassery's specialties are listed as neurology and pediatric neurology.
The lead prosecutor is Assistant Attorney General Joshua Orr. A joint investigation was conducted by the Medicaid Fraud Division, Massachusetts State Police, the DEA, Marshfield police, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, MassHealth and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General.
Nassery's next appearance in court will be on September 24 for a pretrial conference.