SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Ludlow doctor who was once the number-two MassHealth prescriber of oxycodone in the state, was indicted Monday for allegedly writing unneeded prescriptions for known drug abusers, and for defrauding the state’s Medicaid system. Family practitioner Dr. Fernando Jayma, 73, is charged with 22 counts of illegal prescribing of controlled substances, 18 counts of false Medicaid claims, and a single count of larceny over $250.
He also faces additional charges of defrauding private insurers, charges for which he was arrested and arraigned Tuesday in Palmer District Court. He was ordered by the court to surrender his passport and remain in Massachusetts. He also agreed to turn over his medical license. District Attorney Anthony Gulluni says he expects these charges will result in another indictment against Jayma.
According to a news release sent to 22News by the office of Attorney General Maura Healey , Dr. Jayma allegedly prescribed potent painkillers such as morphine, fentanyl, oxydcodone, and methadone, to patients who did not require them. Prosecutors allege that many of Jayma’s patients had documented substance abuse problems, and in one case, he even wrote out a prescription for fentanyl to a patient who had recently overdosed on the same drug.
“In several instances, urine drug screens indicated that patients were negative for the prescribed opioids but positive for heroin and other non-prescribed opioids, but Dr. Jayma allegedly continued to prescribe opioids to those patients,” the statement reads.
Many of Jayma’s patients received health insurance through the state’s Medicaid program- known as MassHealth- which would be billed whenever one of his prescriptions was filled. In one instance, Jayma allegedly arranged for another doctor to care for his patients while he was out of the country, but ordered his office staff to bill MassHealth as if Jayma had treated them himself.
In a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said that Jayma was the number-two prescriber of oxycodone statewide, and that he was prescribing the drug at a rate 11 times the average.
Gulluni said that the charges filed against Jayma should indicated that law enforcement in western Massachusetts is united to fight the drug crisis from all angles. He said that the over-prescribing of powerful painkillers is a huge part of the problem.
A call to Jayma’s Hubbard Street practice went to a voice mail message saying that the office will be closed until further notice due to “unfortunate circumstances.”
Jayma will be arraigned in Hampden Superior Court on the charges on the indictment at a later date.