The Latest: Pain doctor pleads guilty to health care fraud

The Latest on a pain management doctor who federal prosecutors say prescribed opioids to drug abusers (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

A pain management doctor who prescribed opioids at an alarming rate has pleaded guilty to health care fraud and other charges for running a pill mill.

Dr. Fathalla Mashali ran four pain clinics in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

He pleaded guilty Wednesday to 44 counts of health care fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering.

Prosecutors said Mashali would often see more than 100 patients a day and would write prescriptions for opioids without doing physical exams or medical tests to determine whether patients had a legitimate medical condition that required powerful pain killers.

Sentencing has been set for June 21.

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12:25 a.m.

A pain management doctor who federal prosecutors say prescribed opioids to drug abusers is due in court for a change-of-plea hearing.

Dr. Fathalla Mashali ran four pain clinics in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

He was expected to plead guilty earlier this month to 44 counts of health care fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering. But when he failed to admit personal responsibility, a judge refused to accept his guilty plea. Another hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in federal court in Boston.

Prosecutors say Mashali ran a pill mill where he would often see more than 100 patients in one day.

His lawyers say he suffers from severe bipolar disorder.