Cardiologist Dr. Devendra Patel Pleads Guilty To Unlawful Distribution Of Oxycodone And Hydrocodone
Cardiologist Dr. Devendra Patel of Elko pleaded guilty to distributing highly addictive prescription drugs Oxycodone and Hydrocodone to patients without a medical purpose.
Dr. Devendra I. Patel, aka Devendrakumar I. Patel, 59, of Elko, who owns and operates Northeastern Nevada Cardiology, was indicted by a grand jury in December 2017. United States District Judge Larry R. Hicks accepted the guilty plea.
The investigation revealed Patel contributed to the opioid epidemic by unlawfully prescribing opioids and other prescription narcotics to patients for financial gain. As part of his plea, Patel admitted that, between September 2015 and February 2016, he prescribed Oxycodone (such as OxyContin) and Hydrocodone (such as Norco) to patients without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice. These prescriptions were in direct violation of his duty as a long-term licensed medical doctor. His license was suspended upon his arrest in December 2017. Patel’s prescribing practices allowed him to see a high volume of patients and easily prescribe and sell the opioids, while not addressing any legitimate medical concerns of his patients.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 18, 2019. The statutory maximum penalty is 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
In December 2017, vegasdesi reported Dr. Patel being charged on 39 counts for routinely prescribed fentanyl, hydrocodone, and oxycodone for his patients without a legitimate medical purpose and that he fraudulently billed Medicare and Medicaid for medical tests that he did not perform. The indictment alleges that Patel performed EKGs on his patients, so he could then order nuclear stress tests which he did not administer. He allegedly used a poorly calibrated machine and presented his patients with fraudulent X-Rays, in order to deceive his patients into thinking they had coronary issues that needed to be treated by him.