You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Police and fire

  • 1 dead, 1 wounded in shooting on East Rudisill
    An adult male died from gunshot wounds early Sunday, according to Fort Wayne police spokesman Jason Anthony.Officers responded to a shooting about 12:55 a.m. in the 600 block of East Rudisill Boulevard.
  • Suspect in bank robbery arrested
    The man police arrested in connection with a recent North Webster bank robbery is also accused of making a phone call to a local school to distract police before the robbery.
  • Police seek help finding Mount Etna boy
    A teenage boy with special needs is still missing from Huntington County, and police hope the public can offer some tips.
Advertisement
Cathie Rowand/The Journal Gazette
Health Now Urgent Care, 6819 Lima Road, was closed for the day Wednesday because authorities were serving a search warrant there.

Pain doctor's local offices searched

FORT WAYNE -- Several offices of a local doctor accused of recklessly prescribing pain medication were raided Wednesday.

Search warrants from Allen Superior Court were served at four locations of Dr. William Hedrick, the founder and president of Centers for Pain Relief.

Hedrick is currently facing discipline from the state's medical licensing board, stemming from a complaint filed against him last month by the Indiana Attorney General's Office, which alleges some of his patients have died from multiple drug toxicities.

And while no criminal charges have been filed, the raids show the investigation into Hedrick and his medical practice now includes a plethora of state and federal law enforcement agencies.

The Allen County Prosecutor's Office, Fort Wayne Police Department, federal Drug Enforcement Agency and the state Attorney General's Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit are all involved, according to a statement from the prosecutor's office.

So, too, is the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources, which had agents help serve the warrants Wednesday.

The Office of Inspector General typically looks into fraud, waste and abuse of programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, a spokesman said.

Officials would not comment on what, if anything, was taken from the offices.

Hedrick's practice has more than a dozen locations throughout northeast Indiana, according to his web site, but several in Fort Wayne were closed Wednesday in lieu of the raids.

One, Health Now Urgent Care, had a sign posted in its door apologizing to patients for the inconvenience and noting that it is expected to be open today.

A spokeswoman for Hedrick said the doctor is cooperating with law enforcement officials.

Hedrick came under fire early last month when the state Attorney General's Office sought an emergency suspension of his license before the Medical Licensing Board.

An official with the attorney general's office said at the time that Hedrick "poses a clear danger to his patients and the public," noting that he aggressively prescribed pain medications.

Later that month, the attorney general's office filed a formal complaint with the licensing board against Hedrick alleging that he:

  • Treated chronic, non-cancer pain with opiate drugs without sufficient education, training or experience, causing negative effects in his patients.
  • Recklessly prescribed highly addictive pain medications for non-medical purposes.
  • Overused steroid injections beyond what is medically acceptable.
  • Operated a pain clinic outside the bounds of legitimate medicine.
  • Failed to apply current theories of appropriate pain management to treat patients.
  • Failed to adequately supervise advance practice nurses and physicians' assistants with whom he was required to collaborate and monitor for patient care and safety.
The complaint also said that Hedrick's procedures are more consistent with "financial gain" than with medicine.

Initially, Hedrick had reached a proposed settlement with the attorney general's office that would have seen his license suspended for two years, after which he would have needed to show that he was fit to practice.

That would have led to him being placed on probation for four years.

But last week, the licensing board rejected that proposal. Instead, board members wanted to hear specific information about the allegations.

Hedrick now must go before the board for a full disciplinary hearing next month to defend his practice.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

Advertisement