Ohio Work Comp Doc Sentenced for Running ‘Pill Mill’

July 7, 2011

Dr. Jean Zannoni has been sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay more than $7,500 in fines and restitution after pleading guilty to theft, attempted workers’ compensation fraud and telecommunications fraud, according to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).

The action occurred following an undercover investigation of an alleged “pill mill” in 2007 at Cleveland Family Practice.

According to authorities, two BWC undercover agents were provided narcotic medications without proper medical examinations and BWC was billed improperly for the office visit.

Search warrants later turned up a copy of orders Zannoni provided to her staff that instructed them to bill all injured workers under the same code and charge BWC $75 no matter the circumstances of their visit.

The team also obtained copies of patient files, including those of BWC’s undercover agents.

Authorities said Zannoni’s records falsely indicated she delivered services that she never provided, and that she elevated pain levels and fabricated tests to justify her continual prescribing of pain medication.

Investigators also found that Zannoni continued to prescribe narcotics to patients who were known doctor shoppers even after receiving warnings from pharmacies, parents, spouses, social service agencies and police departments.

Zannoni originally entered a no contest plea to these charges in September, 2010, but withdrew her plea in October. She pleaded again in June and was given probation, and ordered to pay restitution to BWC in the amount of $5,067.34 and a fine of $2,500.

Source: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation

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