Physician Practice Roundup—Texas doctor gets 10 years in prison for sex assault of patient, plus more news

Wooden gavel and gold legal scale that appear to have sunlight falling on them
A Texas doctor will spend 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a patient. (Getty Images/William_Potter)

Texas doctor sentenced to 10 years in prison for sex assault of patient

A Texas jury has sentenced an orthopedic surgeon to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 71-year-old female patient.

The jury found Donald Ozumba, M.D., 45, guilty of aggravated sexual assault of an elderly person and later arrived at the sentence. The felony conviction will disqualify him for a license to practice medicine in the future.

While the trial dealt with the single charge against the doctor, the Texas Medical Board accuses Ozumba of sexually assaulting nine patients and inappropriate sexual conduct with four others. (Associated Press article)

Mayo Clinic study: Opioid prescribing flat over past several years

Recent research has suggested that opioid prescriptions are on the decline, but a new study found that instead prescriptions have been level over the past several years. 

Researchers led by a team at Mayo Clinic analyzed data on 48 million insured patients, some of whom had traditional commercial insurance and some of whom had Medicare Advantage plans, that was recorded between 2007 and 2016. For MA members aged 65 or older, for example, 15% of patients each quarter used opioids in 2010, compared to 14% in 2016. (FierceHealthcare)

California insurance commissioner urges DOJ to block CVS-Aetna merger

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is asking federal regulators to block a pending $69 billion CVS-Aetna merger.

In a letter (PDF) to Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general of the antitrust division at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Jones cited specific concerns over consolidation in the Medicare Part D and pharmacy benefit management markets.

American Medical Association President Barbara L. McAneny, M.D., commended Jones for pushing to block the merger. AMA has previously made similar calls to the DOJ. (FierceHealthcare)

D.C. physician aid-in-dying law safe for now

An effort to repeal Washington, D.C.’s physician aid-in-dying law has been shot down by the Senate.

The Senate rejected a policy rider yesterday, which was attached to a government funding bill approved last month by the U.S. House of Representatives, which would have repealed the D.C. Death with Dignity Act, according to Compassion & Choices, a group that supports end-of-life options.

The group is urging a conference committee to pass a final spending bill without the policy rider so the law remains in effect. It allows doctors to prescribe medications to terminally ill adult patients who want to use the drugs to end their lives. (Compassion & Choices announcement)