Mike Cummings is sentenced to 30 months, $400,000 fine

Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:52 am

Dr. Michael Lee Cummings, 64, of Albany, Kentucky, was sentenced on Wednesday, July 24, 2019, to 30 months of prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a fine of $400,000, by District Court Judge Greg Stivers, First Assistant United States Michael A. Bennett announced on Monday of this week..

Cummings was also ordered to reimburse the Bureau of Prisons for the costs of his incarceration.

The news of the sentencing came through a press release to the Clinton County News issued Monday by Nick Storm, Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Cummings was originally indicted on April 12, 2017, and on March 19, 2019, he pleaded guilty to 13 counts of illegally prescribing controlled substances outside the course of professional medical practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.

Dr. Cummings ran a family practice in Albany for many years.

According to the press release, a federal investigation began in 2015 after a Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure expert found that Dr. Cummings’ treatment of several patients fell below minimum standards of care, and after the Clinton County Coroner noticed several overdose deaths involving patients under Cummings’ care, according to a Sentencing Memo filed before the Court.

According to the Sentencing Memo, the investigation further discovered that every single year from 2009 through 2014, Dr. Cummings was in the top 1 percent of all Kentucky primary care prescribers for Oxycodone, hydrocodone, and benzodiazepines.

Between 2009 and 2014, Dr. Cummings wrote prescriptions for an average of over 249,000 oxycodone pills, 438,000 hydrocodone pills, and 347,000 benzodiazepine pills per year.

As part of the investigation, medical experts reviewed several of Dr. Cummings’ patient charts and found, amongst other things, that Dr. Cummings: 1) failed to establish an objective pain diagnosis; 2) failed to establish treatment plans and goals; 3) excessively prescribed “highly addictive drugs” without sufficient documentation; 4) failed to take action even when patients failed urine drug screens and pill counts; 5) failed to take action when KASPER reports were suspicious for drug abuse; 6) prescribed dangerous combinations of controlled and non-controlled substances; and 7) continued to prescribe opioids and benzodiazepines to patients for years without evidence of clinical improvement, which was detailed in the Sentencing Memo before the Court.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David Weiser and Ann Marie Blaylock, and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Kentucky State Police, and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Office of the Inspector General.

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