Ex-doctor gets jail term on drug distribution conviction
A former Pittsburgh radiologist convicted of unlawfully distributing a prescription painkiller and health care fraud has been sentenced to two years in federal prison and fined $15,000.
Omar A. Almusa, 46, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. Judge Arthur Schwab in Pittsburgh.
Almusa was a radiologist with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) when he submitted illegal prescriptions for Vicodin, and then unlawfully dispensed those pills to other persons without a legitimate medical purpose, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh said.
Almusa also committed health care fraud by submitting fake claims to UPMC Health Plan for payments to cover the costs of the unlawfully prescribed Vicodin.
The judge also ordered Almusa to undergo two years on probation after completing his prison sentence
“Prosecuting medical professionals who illegally prescribe powerful painkillers without a legitimate medical purpose is another front in our fight against the opioid epidemic,” U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said in a statement.
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the Western Pennsylvania Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit. That unit has investigated and prosecuted more corrupt health care professionals than any other U.S. Attorney’s Office in the country, the U.S. Attorney said.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .