Iowa Board of Medicine Grants Criminal Doctor Medical License
In September of 2019, Dr. Parth S. Bharill pled guilty to “Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Outside the Bounds of Professional Medical Practice" in Morgantown, West Virginia (while also serving as a medical professional in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). He was charged and sentenced in January of 2020 to five years of probation including six months of home confinement.
The Iowa Board of Medicine granted him a medical license on November 29, 2021, just under two years into his probation.
According to iowacapitaldispatch.com, the guilty plea stems from an allegation that from November 2014 to January of 2018 the gastroenterologist,
had participated in a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid by issuing illegitimate prescriptions for drugs paid for by the taxpayer-funded programs.
The site continues:
As part of that scheme, Bharill and four other physicians were accused of giving Chris Handa, a manager of Redirections Treatment Advocates (RTA), a West Virginia addictions clinic, pre-signed blank prescriptions for opioids. Handa and would then fill out the prescription forms for individuals who visited the clinic.
Prosecutors alleged RTA was a volume business, accepting cash or credit cards for office visits priced at $120 to $175. In some cases, Handa or RTA’s owner, Jennifer Hess, signed prescriptions for the doctors, some of whom who were paid based on the number of patients who came through RTA’s door.
Though it wasn't disclosed as to how much Bharill made over the four-year escapade of illegal activities, he was required to pay over $73,000 in fines and restitution. He was also forced to forfeit $12,312.
The courts are not sympathetic to medical professionals who participate in the illegal distribution of opiates in West Virginia, as the state has been widely known as one of the worst in the country at handling the epidemic.
In 2018 (the most recent year I could find), the Mountain State had the worst opioid-involved overdose death rates and opioid prescribing levels in the country, according to drugabuse.gov. Out of 100,000 deaths, approximately 42.4 were caused by opioid overdoses.
Two months after Bharill's sentence, his medical license was revoked in the state of West Virginia. The Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine also placed his license on indefinite probation and barred him from prescribing controlled substances.
Iowa Capital Dispatch continues, regarding the details of his license in the Hawkeye State:
Bharill has been issued a license to practice in Iowa but has been barred from prescribing or administering controlled substances in most situations. The ban does not prevent Bharill from administering controlled substances during the performance of gastroenterology procedures when needed for completion of the procedure.