FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Fort Wayne doctor faces several felony charges after being taken into custody by DEA agents.
Dr. William Hedrick was arrested in Fort Wayne on Tuesday and was taken to Delaware County where he is currently being processed. Hedrick faces eight felony charges including forgery, medicaid fraud and reckless prescribing. Hedrick’s former assistant Gay Gundersen-Watson was also arrested on multiple charges.
Hedrick’s pain relief clinic in Muncie was raided by federal agents in October. According to an October 2014 release, that raid was part of an ongoing investigation for possible over-prescribing for prescription painkillers to patients along with possible forgery and fraud. That warrant was served by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Indianapolis District Office, the Delaware County Drug Task Force, Muncie Police and the Indiana Attorney General’s Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
The October warrant application noted eight drug overdose deaths of patients who received prescriptions from either Hedrick or one of his nurse practitioners from January 2013 through July 2014.
A couple days after the October raid, the Indiana Medical Licensing Board ordered an emergency suspension of Hedrick’s license to practice medicine. Indiana Attorney Greg Zoeller’s office alleged Hedrick engaged in conduct that jeopardized patient safety, including falsifying medical records, falsifying prescriptions, and utilizing dangerous prescribing practices. In light of the newly-filed criminal charges, the Attorney General’s office will request the Indiana Medical Licensing Board extend the suspension.
In November, all the locations of the Fort Wayne-based Indiana Pain Centers shut their doors, affecting an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 patients in northeast Indiana. Medical officials in Allen County and Fort Wayne called the influx of patients a community health crisis. Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deb McMahan warned that the community was maxed out and would be unable to absorb the large number of patients quickly.