Local News
April 15, 2015

Two Rutland women accused of “doctor shopping”

RUTLAND— On April 9, the Vermont State Police Drug Diversion Unit was notified of a possible case involving the sale and diversion of prescription narcotics involving Jami Baker, age 49 from Rutland City.

Through the course of the investigation, it was revealed Baker was receiving a regular prescription for narcotics from a physician in Whitehall, N.Y. In January 2015, Baker also sought treatment at Vermont Orthopedic Clinic, a Rutland County clinic, and received additional prescriptions for narcotics, failing to notify the clinic of her current active prescription in New York State.

Ultimately, Baker procured five prescriptions for a scheduled II narcotic regulated drug fraudulently.  Baker was cited for five counts of 18VSA4223, Fraud or Deceit. She is scheduled to appear at Rutland Superior Court-Criminal Division on May 4 to answer to the charges.

On April 10, the Vermont State Police Drug Diversion Unit received information on the possible diversion and procuring of fraudulent narcotic prescriptions, involving Sarah Winchell, age 35, of Rutland.

Winchell was reported to have illegally obtained and filled a narcotic-scheduled drug prescription in Burlington while holding an active prescription from another doctor in Rutland. The overlapping of prescription narcotics and failing to notify the second physician of her current active narcotic prescription is a violation of 18VSA4223, Fraud or Deceit.

Title 18 VSA 4223 Fraud or Deceit states the following: “(a) No person shall obtain or attempt to obtain a regulated drug, or procure or attempt to procure the administration of a regulated drug, (1) by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or subterfuge; (2) by forgery or alteration of a prescription or of any written order; (3) by concealment of a material fact; or (4) by the use of a false name or giving of a false address. (h) Any person who in the course of treatment, is supplied with regulated drugs or a prescription therefor by one physician and who, without disclosing the fact, is knowingly supplied during such treatment with regulated drugs or a prescription therefor by another physician, shall be guilty of a violation of this section.”

Winchell was issued a citation to appear in Chittenden Superior Court-Criminal Division on May 12.

Wikipedia’s definition of doctor shopping is “the practice of a patient requesting care from multiple physicians, often simultaneously, without making efforts to coordinate care or informing the physicians of the multiple caregivers. This usually stems from the patient’s addiction to, or reliance on, certain prescriptions drugs or other medical treatment.”

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