Help could be coming for patients of accused doctor - WNEM TV 5

Help could be coming for patients of accused doctor

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SAGINAW TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

As the FBI continues to investigate a local doctor accused of fraud, some patients are left without a physician and without their medical records.

But there could be some good news for those patients.

TV5 spoke to one of Doctor Gavin Awerbuch's patients who says she is having a hard time getting a doctor to prescribe pain medications she truly believes she needs.

But the FBI says help could be just a phone call away.

Dr. Awerbuch is facing federal charges of distributing a controlled substance and health care fraud.

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

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.

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

Christina Willet says she is an immense amount of pain. She's epileptic and takes medication to prevent seizures that she says have injured her for more than a decade.

Willet says she used to receive injections for the pain in her lower back and knee from Dr. Awerbuch in his Kochville Township office but now Awerbuch is under a federal investigation.

His patients don't have immediate access to the medical records seized from his office by the FBI. 

Willet says her family doctor is still prescribing her seizure medication but won't prescribe the additional pain medications prescribed by Awerbuch, 10 milligrams of Methadone seven times a day, 8 milligrams of Dilaudid twice a day and 1 milligram of Klonapin once a day.

She believes if her doctor had the medical records from Dr. Awerbuch, she wouldn't have to be entering her second week without these pain medications.

The FBI says they are making copies of records for patients that call and request their records at (989) 892-6525. It will take about a month for those copies to be made.

However, if one of Dr. Awerbuch's patients has a doctor call and it's medically necessary to have access right away, they are working to expedite them sooner than a month.

Meanwhile, Dr. Awerbuch will be back in federal court Tuesday, May 27.

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