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Police raid locations linked to Fort Wayne pain doctor

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 5:07 pm

Police searched four locations linked to a suspended Fort Wayne pain doctor Wednesday as part of an ongoing investigation that involves state and federal authorities.

The raids involved separate properties in Allen County that are connected to Dr. William Hedrick and his practice, Centers for Pain Relief, the Allen County Prosecutor's Office said in a written statement.

The locations included an address in the 6800 block of Lima Road, on Fort Wayne's north side, and a clinic near Lutheran Hospital on W. Jefferson Boulevard.

According to the statement, the searches involved the Indiana Attorney General's Medicaid fraud unit, the state inspector general for health and human services, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Fort Wayne Police.

Hedrick's medical license has been under an emergency suspension since December because of complaints of misconduct, including allegations by the attorney general's office that he gained financially by prescribing unsafe amounts and combinations of pain medicine, and by having his patients repeat treatments too frequently.

Multiple patients of Hedrick have died because of "multiple drug toxicity," the attorney general's office alleged in its formal complaint in December.

Earlier this month, Hedrick and the attorney general's office agreed to a settlement over the complaints, but the state Medical Licensing Board rejected the deal, opting to hold a full hearing Feb. 28.

At that hearing, the board will have "a lot of options" for disciplinary action against Hedrick, including revocation of his medical license, temporary suspension and fines, said board Director Kristen Kelley.

The deal reached between Hedrick and the attorney general's office would have imposed an "indefinite" suspension of at least two years, after which he could have appealed the suspension, according to documents provided by the licensing board.

If Hedrick's license were reinstated, he would have then remained on indefinite probation for at least four years, during which he could not prescribe controlled substances or supervise or collaborate with more than one physician assistant or nurse practitioner.

Hedrick has agreed to continue his emergency suspension until the Feb. 28 hearing, Kelley said.

Hedrick has not been charged with a crime as part of the state and federal investigation, the county prosecutor's office emphasized in its statement.