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Case study: Dr. Raymond Kraynak

Case study: Dr. Raymond Kraynak
Posted at 3:32 PM, Feb 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-19 11:31:57-05
  • Dr. Raymond Kraynak
  • Practice: Keystone Family Medicine Associates, Mount Carmel and Shamokin, PA
  • Specialty: Osteopathic medicine
  • Opioid prescriptions paid by Medicare 2013-2015: 13,285
  • Costs to Medicare: $945,705
  • Discipline: Indicted by a federal grand jury and medical-license suspension

(RNN) - State medical-board regulators knew for a decade that Dr. Raymond Kraynak had acted recklessly with a prescription pad, their own records show.

In 2006, officials launched an investigation that dragged on for six years. They accused the doctor of not really examining patients and writing them prescriptions without any medical justification. They also said that some of his patients were consistently asking for refills early – a sure sign of addiction and abuse.

The two sides settled the case six years later after Kraynak agreed to pay a $2,500 fine and to take a class on “controlled substance management.”

Soon after the case was closed, Kraynak, who practices in small towns about 90 miles northwest of Philadelphia, began writing a lot of prescriptions for the opiate drug, Oxycodone.

Between May 2012 through December 2015, Kraynak prescribed more than 3.6 million pills in towns with fewer than 8,000 residents, according to court records.

Some of his patients died of prescription opioids overdoses: one in 2013 and two each in 2014 and 2015.

But what caught federal investigators eye was his prescribing habits over a 17-month period beginning in January 2016. He wrote prescriptions for nearly 2.8 million opioid pills to 2,838 patients. That means that on average, each of those patients received 984 pills - enough to take three a day for a year.

It made him the top opioid prescriber in Pennsylvania.

“The sheer number of pills prescribed in this case is staggering,” U.S. Attorney David J. Freed said on Dec. 21, the day Kraynak was arrested at his office in Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania. “Death or serious injury was the inevitable result of this…conduct.”

Kraynak, 60, now faces 19 criminal charges related to drug overdose deaths. If found guilty, he could spend at least 20 years in prison. His medical license has been suspended indefinitely.

Documents:

Sources: Pennsylvania osteopathic medical board records and federal court documents.

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