(Drug Enforcement Administration Press Release, June 14, 2023)
Rachel Peay-Goodman, a nurse practitioner in eastern Idaho, consented to judgment against her after admitting that she unlawfully prescribed controlled substances and submitted false claims to Medicare while working for AmeriHealth in Pocatello, announced U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit. The judgment found Peay‑Goodman civilly liable for violating the Controlled Substances Act and the False Claims Act, and requires her to pay a $75,000 fine and surrender her DEA license.
According to a complaint by the United States, Peay-Goodman wrote prescriptions for dangerous combinations of drugs to at least one patient, including simultaneous prescriptions for oxycodone, lorazepam, alprazolam, and zolpidem tartrate. Peay-Goodman admitted that such prescriptions lacked a legitimate medical purpose and were written outside the usual course of professional practice. When prescribed together, opioids, benzodiazepines, and other sleeping medications can suppress the central nervous system and cause overdose. As part of the consent judgment, Peay‑Goodman also admitted to submitting at least one false claim to Medicare.
“Ms. Peay-Goodman betrayed the trust of her profession and those who sought her care,” said Jacob D. Galvan, Acting Special Agent in Charge, DEA Seattle Field Division. “By prescribing a deadly combination of drugs, Ms. Peay-Goodman compromised the health and safety of her patients. We will continue to investigate such conduct at every turn.”
“Unlawful prescriptions for dangerous combinations of drugs leads to addiction, overdose, and pain for patients, families, and communities,” said U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit, who announced the judgment. “This office will continue to hold prescribers accountable under the Controlled Substances Act when they write prescriptions that lack a legitimate medical purpose, and likewise, will continue to root-out fraud on Medicare and Medicaid.”
“Providers who put financial gain before the needs of their patients and prescribe dangerous amounts of controlled substances put their patients at severe risk of overdose and undermine important measures to curb the opioid crisis,” said Steven J. Ryan, Special Agent in Charge with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “HHS-OIG will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to address this kind of abuse at every turn and protect American patients, communities, and taxpayers from such dangerous conduct.”
This matter was investigated jointly by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, with additional assistance provided by the Idaho Board of Pharmacy.