Patients want records after doctor charged with fraud - WNEM TV 5

Patients want records after doctor charged with fraud

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

A local doctor was charged with fraud and now his patients are being denied access to their medical records.

Last week, federal agents raided the office of popular neurologist Gavin Awerbuch. Among the items seized were his patients' personal medical records.

Now those patients say they're running out of meds, and no doctors will help them without proof of their medical histories.

Tricia Hall said not having access to her medical records was scary, frightening and disturbing. Her health information is in the hands of the FBI, a result of a raid at her Kochville Township physician's office earlier this month.

Awerbuch is accused of swindling Medicare and other insurance companies out of millions of dollars. Federal officials said Awerbuch filled out prescriptions for patients for procedures that were never provided. He allegedly billed the health insurance agencies and pocketed the cash. But Hall said those allegations have nothing to do with Awerbuch's patients who need their medical records.

"As far as I'm concerned, the government has just left the patients and are hurting us," Hall said, adding not having their records makes seeking healthcare difficult.

Hall called the FBI after the raid to try to get her medical records. It's been nearly a week, and she has heard nothing.

"It's leaving a lot of people with not knowing what to do. Other doctors obviously can't take care of people if they don't know their history," she said.

FBI spokesman said they are in the process of making an inventory of the records and making copies.

The spokesman did not say when Awerbuch's patients would get their records back. He also had no comment on what patients who need prescription refills should do. The fact that the government has said so little irks Hall, who said she knows people who really need their meds.

"If they can't get the proper medication and the proper treatment, they're going to suffer. And they're going to go through drug withdrawals that isn't fair to them. This should not have happened this way. There could've been a different way to handle this," Hall said.

Awerbuch is set to appear in federal court on Tuesday, May 27.

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