Is Your MD the Real Thing?

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Imagine seeing a psychiatrist at the local mental health clinic a couple of times then discovering that he or she was an impostor. Impossible? Evidently, it’s not.

An Indiana man was sentenced to over 13 years in jail earlier this year after posing as a psychiatrist, writing prescriptions, and seeing dozens of patients at a city clinic recently. Scott C. Redman, 37, was convicted of using the medical identity of physician Julian Lopez Garcia, a duly licensed psychiatrist also practicing in Chicago, for five months.

The US Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois prosecuted Redman and reported that Redman’s patient list included several young children.

“Redman assumed the physician’s name to prescribe medications to more than 40 individuals from September 2015 to February 2016.  The purported patients included a nine-year-old child, for whom Redman prescribed a 30-day supply of Vyvanse, a medication that treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,” the USA’s office said.

A jury last November convicted Redman on three counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, five charges of distributing a controlled substance, and one count of furnishing false information to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Somehow, Redman’s photo appeared on the clinic’s website along with the name and bio of the legitimate physician. In addition to prescribing Vyvanse, Redman also wrote orders for other controlled substances, including Adderall, Clonazepam, and Xanax.

Protect Yourself from Impostors
As a prospective patient, you may wish to check your doctor’s background before that first appointment. Social media profiles and other resources including your state’s licensing agency can provide details to confirm that the person you sit down with is really the person whose name is on the door.

Physicians concerned about having their practitioner identity stolen can sign up for our National Provider Identifier (NPI) monitoring. An NPI is a number assigned to healthcare professionals, practices, and organizations primarily used for processing Medicaid claims and administering payments.

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