By Rich Bockmann
An RN who acted like an MD was busted last week for allegedly prescribing and administering painkillers to patients at a Hollis nursing home, authorities said.
James Williams, 59, was arrested and charged with filling out phony scripts for Ambien and Percocet and dishing them out to adult daycare patients at the Hillside Manor Rehabilitation and Extended Care Center, according to a criminal complaint filed in Queens court by the state attorney general’s office.
“Nurses at adult daycare centers are trusted to protect their patients, not to expose them to potential harm,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. “My office is committed to protecting our most vulnerable citizens. We will continue to aggressively prosecute anyone who endangers elderly or disabled New Yorkers in their care.”
Schneiderman added that despite the substantial risks there were no reports of patients harmed as a result of Williams’ alleged activities.
Williams was charged with calling in nine phony prescriptions to a Walgreen’s for five patients between January and October 2011 despite being unauthorized to do so.
A review of state Department of Health records found Walgreen’s was paid a total of $25.93 in Medicaid reimbursements for the prescriptions.
Williams was charged with two felonies: unauthorized practice of a profession and falsifying business records. He was also charged with misdemeanors of willfully violating health laws, criminal possession of a controlled substance and petit larceny.
This was the AG’s second oxycodone bust in as many weeks. Last week the office brought charges against a Bronx gang that was allegedly submitting fake prescriptions at pharmacies in the Hudson Valley and the city, including one in Richmond Hill.
In 2011, Schneiderman announced he had assigned dozens of new prosecutors, investigators and auditors to his office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit assigned to investigate Medicaid fraud, including fraudulent prescriptions and illegal trafficking of prescription narcotics.
As part of a wider package designed to combat fraud, Schneiderman said the expanded unit would be funded by recovered money and a 3-to-1 match in federal funding.
The AG also introduced a bill passed in June that will require patients’ prescription drug histories to be updated in real time to a database using electronic prescriptions by August.
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.