Medical Director of Baltimore County Pain Management Clinic pleads guilty to conspiracy to distribute and distribute oxycodone | USAO-MD
BaltimoreMaryland – Norman Rosen, 84, of Towson, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute and distribute oxycodone through his operation of Rosen-Hoffberg Rehabilitation and Pain Management Associates, PA, where he was medical director and co-owner.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington Division; Special Agent in Charge Maureen Dixon, Office of Investigations, Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG); and Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to his guilty plea, Norman Rosen is a physician and licensed to practice medicine in the state of Maryland. He was Medical Director and Co-Owner of Rosen-Hoffberg Rehabilitation and Pain Management (the “Firm”). Rosen has primarily worked at Practice’s Towson, Maryland locations. Rosen’s partner in the business and associate medical director of the practice was Howard Hoffberg.
According to Rosen’s guilty plea, patients at the practice were often prescribed high doses of oxycodone and other opioid medications. Some patients have been issued opioid prescriptions after consistently providing aberrant urine toxicology tests, including positive results for cocaine, heroin, and other illicit drugs; positive results for controlled substances that were not prescribed by the practice (indicating that the patient was likely buying drugs on the street or running errands from the doctor); and/or negative results for controlled substances prescribed by the practice (indicating that the prescribed substances were not taken, were consumed too quickly, or were sold by patients). Rosen was aware that the practice received complaints about patient behavior, including reports of suspicious drug transactions in parking lots near the practice. At times, patients have been observed “falling asleep” in the practice waiting room. Some patients have tried to bring in urine that was not their own in order to have urine toxicology tests. Some patients in the practice overdosed and some of these patients required hospitalization and some died. Several major pharmacies refused to fill prescriptions issued by the practice due to the high doses prescribed. Rosen and Hoffberg were aware of the conditions at the practice and yet continued to prescribe medication to these patients.
As detailed in his plea agreement, as medical director, Dr. Rosen set the rules for the practice. One of his rules was that the client, that is, the patient, is always right. Sometimes, when other providers in the practice let certain patients out, Rosen continued to treat patients at the Towson site. Sometimes, if a patient failed a urine toxicology screen due to illicit substances in their system such as heroin or cocaine, Rosen would refuse to let the patient out and instead require the patient to return to the office more frequently for follow-up. , sometimes as many as three times a week.
Rosen admitted to issuing prescriptions to some patients outside the bounds of usual medical practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. For example, Rosen prescribed high doses of oxycodone and clonazepam to a patient who had eight positive toxicology tests for cocaine and whose children had been taken from her due to her drug problems. Similarly, Rosen ignored red flags and prescribed oxycodone and methadone to a patient who admitted to using illicit drugs; had previously been criminally charged with prescription fraud and drug trafficking; had overdosed; had positive urine toxicology tests for heroin, cocaine, and marijuana; and had been accused of selling her pills.
Rosen faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III has sentenced Nov. 29, 2022, at 9:30 a.m.
In related cases, Rosen’s partner, Howard Hoffberg, 65, of Reisterstown, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate anti-bribery laws, as part of a scheme to accept payments from a pharmaceutical company in exchange for the prescription of a fentanyl drug. He was sentenced to eight months in federal prison. In addition, a medical assistant at the practice, William Soyke, 69, of Hanover, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and distribute oxycodone, fentanyl, methadone and alprazolam and was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI, DEA, HHS-OIG and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason D. Medinger, who is prosecuting the case.
For more information about the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and the resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md /community-outreach and click on the “Save a life” link.
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