Doctor in Trouble Over Vicodin Scam 

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doctor in trouble over vicodin scam

A federal document released on Wednesday states that Dr. Scott C. Bickman, an anesthesiologist from Anaheim Hills, will be prohibited from prescribing controlled substances due to his involvement in the illegal acquisition and sale of large quantities of addictive painkillers. Effective April 29, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will revoke Bickman’s prescribing registration number. Bickman was unavailable for comment at the time of the announcement.

According to the Department of Justice, Bickman allowed a plastic surgeon, Dr. Harrell Robinson, to utilize his prescribing number for ordering Vicodin and similar drugs, receiving $2,000 monthly in return. Robinson, in turn, sold these drugs to a Santa Ana clinic for $10,000 per month. This illicit arrangement persisted from late 2007 to October 2008. Bickman was employed at the Hills Surgical Institute in Anaheim Hills during this period, a facility owned by Robinson, where various doctors disciplined by the state had practiced.

The DEA initiated an investigation into Robinson, who ranked as California’s sixth-largest purchaser of hydrocodone-containing drugs in 2007, known to be widely abused. Surveillance of the Anaheim Hills surgery center revealed drug deliveries to the Santa Ana clinic under Robinson’s directorship.

Robinson claimed to investigators that the painkillers were distributed to disadvantaged individuals in Mexico who lacked access to medication. However, DEA Deputy Administrator Michele Leonhart noted in a 2009 document that the drugs likely made their way into the illicit market, either domestically or in Mexico.

In the same year, Robinson surrendered his medical license following accusations by the California Medical Board of illegal drug procurement and sales, as well as misconduct in performing surgeries and inappropriate behavior with patients.

Bickman may face disciplinary action from the medical board based on the DEA’s decision. Previously, he had agreed to 35 months of probation following a negligence allegation related to a patient’s death during anesthesia in Sherman Oaks in 2006.

The Hills Surgical Institute has been implicated in multiple disciplinary cases. Dr. Lawrence Hansen, for instance, received 35 months of medical board probation in February after a patient’s death following plastic surgery in 2008. Additionally, Dr. Mark Knight, the former medical director, surrendered his license in December amid allegations of engaging in sexual activity with a patient.

Furthermore, the institute previously hosted a clinic for penis enlargement, overseen by Dr. Gary Rheinschild, who surrendered his license in April 2010 after accusations of botched surgeries and practicing despite cognitive impairment.