Health

A federal grand jury indicted a Louisville physician with prescribing pain medications that resulted in the death of five patients, healthcare fraud and unlawful distribution or dispensing of controlled substances.

Dr. Jaime Guerrero,47, was indicted on  32 counts Wednesday on charges of dispensing pain medications to 30 patients without a legitimate medical purpose and beyond the bounds of professional medical practice.

Between December 2009 and May 2014, Guerrero allegedly prescribed Oxycodone, Hydrocodone or Methadone to five patients who later died from using the medication, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Guerrero has offices in Louisville and Jeffersonville.

Oxycodone and Methadone are schedule II controlled substances, which means they have a high potential for abuse that could lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Hydrocodone is a schedule III controlled substance meaning the potential for abuse is not as high as substance I or II drugs, but it may still lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.

Guerrero has also been charged with two counts of healthcare fraud for allegedly fraudulently billing various healthcare benefit programs and for submitting fraudulent claims for patient healthcare counseling.

On May 26, 2011, June 15, 2011 and June 22, 2011, Guerrero allegedly saw more than 100 patients on each day and spent approximately three minutes or less with each patient, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. He billed various healthcare benefits programs for office visits at a higher code than the service provided.

He also directed an unlicensed employee to provide drug education classes to patients and fraudulently billed various healthcare benefit programs by submitting claims for 15-30 minute counseling sessions while he was out of the office.

Guerrero faces up to a life in prison, a $2,750,000 fine and a three-year period of supervised release if convicted at trial.