Gosnold Will Offer Treatment For Addicts Affected By Clinic Closings
By: Brent Runyon
The arrest last week of a Brookline doctor and the closure of 29 of his Preventive Medicine addiction treatment clinics across the state, including an office in Homeport on Gifford Street, Falmouth, and offices in Barnstable, and Sandwich, have resulted in Gosnold on Cape Cod offering new services for patients affected by the closings.
Gosnold President and CEO Raymond V. Tamasi said that the closure of the Preventive Medicine clinics last week that specialized in outpatient treatment for opiate addicts, has created an emergency for addicts in treatment.
Effective October 3, a Gosnold physician and counselors will be available to see patients in Gosnold’s Centerville clinic. Mr. Tamasi said he expected 100 patients to take advantage of the new service.
Preventive Medicine clinics provided outpatient “de-addiction” services to patients who were recovering from opiate addiction, according to the company website.
The treatment involved injecting a drug that eased the withdrawal symptoms, by blocking opiate receptors in the brain, significantly reducing the cravings associated with heroin and oxycodone, Mr. Tamasi said.
Mr. Tamasi said Gosnold plans to expand its services to accommodate the new patients permanently.
The opening of the new service is a direct response to the emergency created by the recent closings of addiction treatment centers in the area, and the arrest of the owner and founder of the clinics.
Last Tuesday, Massachusetts State Police arrested Dr. Punyamurtula S. Kishore, 61, at his home. He was arraigned the next day in Malden District Court on one count of Medicaid kickbacks, according to a statement from Brad Puffer, communications director for Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office.
Dr. Kishore pleaded not guilty and was held on $150,000 cash bail and ordered to surrender his passport and inform probation of any travel plans.
Dr. Kishore is accused of running a Medicaid fraud kickback scheme involving almost $600,000 in taxpayer funds, according to court documents.
The scheme allegedly involved a contract with Fresh Start Recovery Coalition President Damion P. Smith, who owned and operated sober houses in Malden.
According to court documents, Mr. Smith told investigators he entered into a “urinalysis contract” with Dr. Kishore in July 2006, where he referred residents of the sober houses to Preventive Medicine for drug testing roughly three times a week.
In exchange for the referrals, Preventive Medicine paid Mr. Smith $2,500 per month from July 2006 to November 2009, according to the court documents.
During that same time period, Preventive Medicine then billed MassHealth for the urinalysis of those residents in amounts totaling $597,000.
Court documents show that after investigators learned that several of the Preventive Medicine offices had closed, they feared that Dr. Kishore would leave the country because he was aware of a grand jury investigation. The investigation is ongoing, Mr. Puffer said.
Last month, Primary Care Associates of Sandwich closed its doors permanently. Falmouth Wellness Center in Homeport on Gifford Street, Falmouth, and Barnstable Counseling and Education Center on Main Street, Barnstable, were also owned by Preventive Medicine.
Attempts to contact Dr. Kishore at the Preventive Medicine headquarters in Brookline were unsuccessful.
Patients who were displaced by the Preventive Medicine closings should call Gosnold at 800-444-1554 and select option 3 for outpatient appointments.