BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Since April, the clock has been ticking on when the office of Dr. Eugene Gosy would close. At the time, the date was July 30, and it still is.
But because of requirements to notify patients and logistics, the actual date of closure could be two weeks away.
Since Gosy was indicted on 114 counts ranging from over-prescribing narcotics and health care fraud, to instructing office staff to forge his signature, three doctors have been running practice. Now they’re running out of time.
Gosy’s massive practice serves an estimated 10,000 patients with pain and other chronic illnesses across Western New York.
Without intervention from the federal court handling his case, those patients will be forced to seek treatment elsewhere, in a medical community that has been at best hesitant to take them on.
“The practice is so sizable, that a void would be felt throughout this whole community,” said Dr. Christopher Kerr, chief medical officer of the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care. “And the irony is that you would be causing the very thing that we’re trying to avoid, which is people seeking relief by finding illicit drugs on the street.”
Kerr is one of three doctors who’s been overseeing Gosy’s practice since this spring.
Each of the doctors believe the court should allow Gosy to at least consult with patients and conduct interventions.
They do not believe he should be able to prescribe narcotics, as the court has allowed.
Another covering doctor, Robert Milch, testified in a deposition earlier this week, that “without these recommended changes, including Dr. Gosy’s participation in the practice, I do not believe the office will be able to stay open.”
He said “thousands of chronic pain patients, many with complex medical problems will remain untreated creating, a veritable tsunami of many thousands of these patients who will flood a community inadequately resourced or prepared to manage the damage, and thus worsening its already critical drug management problems.”
He testified, “I have grave concerns that, short of some sort of collaborative approach, the practice will likely close within two weeks.”
“I think there’s a widely held consensus in our medical community that there’s a looming health care crisis,” Kerr said. “A crisis that we’re not really in any position to absorb as a medical community without some solution such as Dr. Gosy returning to practice.”
U.S. Attorney William Hochul released a statement Wednesday that read, “As in all cases prosecuted by this Office, the Government will respond to any defense pleadings filed in the time provided by the Court.
Wrote Hochul: “To be clear, the Government has never sought, and the Court has never ordered that the defendant not practice medicine. Instead, the only limitation by the Court is that the defendant not prescribe controlled substances, or have others prescribe such substances on his behalf. Indeed it was the defendant’s decision to close his practice for two weeks in May.”