The state of Illinois last week suspended the license of a doctor who works at a Riverside pain management clinic, calling him “an immediate danger to the public” for prescribing controlled substances to patients without ever examining them or obtaining proof of the ailments from which they were suffering.
Jessica Baer, the acting director of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation filed an order temporarily suspending the license of Dr. William McMahon, who works at Riverside Pain Management, 28 E. Burlington St. in Riverside.
The clinic, which formerly was located in Melrose Park, was opened in January 2013 in Riverside by Joseph Giacchino, a former physician who was dubbed “Dr. Millionpills” by Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass during the 2010 and 2011 court hearings that led to the permanent revocation of Giacchino’s medical license.
Giacchino, while he is unable to practice medicine or prescribe drugs, serves as an administrator for the Riverside clinic. Reached by telephone Monday morning by the Landmark, Giacchino said the clinic is still operating, though without the services of McMahon at this time.
Asked to comment on McMahon’s suspension, Giacchino said, “I’m not privy to the details. He’s pursuing it with the Department of Professional Regulation.”
Dr. Paul Madison, who is under a federal indictment accusing him of insurance fraud, is listed as the president of Riverside Pain Management, according to Illinois Secretary of State records.
The case against Madison, filed in December 2012, was supposed to go to trial earlier in 2016, but has been continued. There is no date set for the trial at this time.
Madison was accused of submitting more than $3 million in false medical bills to 10 different health insurance companies and to the federal worker’s compensation program between 2005 and 2009.
Madison continues to serve actively as a prescribing physician at Riverside Pain Management, Giacchino confirmed. McMahon is listed on the Illinois Secretary of State’s website as the secretary of Riverside Pain Management.
According to the petition for temporary suspension filed on Oct. 28, the Chicago office of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency used a confidential source to visit the clinic on two occasions, in July and September.
During those visits McMahon allegedly provided the confidential source with six prescriptions for Norco, a controlled substance, in the amount of 90 pills per prescription, without ever examining the patient or obtaining the results of any medical tests that would have indicated something was wrong with the patient.
The source reportedly walked into the office in July and handed $200 to Giacchino, who was working the front desk. Giacchino reportedly put the money into his pocket, and the source then met with McMahon for about 60 seconds before walking out with the prescriptions. The September visit largely followed the same pattern, according to the state’s petition to suspend McMahon’s license.
McMahon accepts cash only, according to the suspension petition, which also states that McMahon prescribed more than 600,000 dosage units of controlled substances, including Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Soma and Amphetamine Salt Combo between Jan. 1, 2014 and May 1, 2016.
The state also alleges that patients of the Riverside clinic are selling the pills they are prescribed, citing “multiple complaints” from Illinois pharmacists to the DEA regarding McMahon’s habit of prescribing large quantities of controlled substances.
According to the suspension petition, DEA agents interviewed several pharmacists near Sterling, about 100 miles west of Riverside, who questioned the legitimacy of McMahon’s prescriptions.
Most of the patients presenting prescriptions from the Riverside clinic were former patients of a doctor whose prescriptions those pharmacists refuse to fill.
One patient of the Riverside clinic, according to the state’s suspension petition, runs “a crew” of people into McMahon’s office in order to get prescriptions for pills they subsequently sell.