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Wichita, Kansas—68 fatal overdoses occurred at a Haysville, Kansas medical clinic and it wasn’t because the patients were necessarily drug addicts after a high or trying to commit suicide. Rather, federal officials have implicated Dr. Stephen Schneider and his wife for illegally prescribing medications to their patients, defrauding health insurance programs and their patients, and of running a money-laundering scheme out of the clinic. In total, the couple is directly charged with 21 of the 68 patient deaths.

The indictment portrays a chaotic picture of the clinic: for example, medical records were often missing or incomplete, patients were given prescription refills after previously overdosing on the drugs, and inexperienced physician assistants were rarely supervised. Prosecutors also allege that Dr. Schneider left a blank pad of signed prescriptions for his wife to fill out at will. When he didn’t provide enough pre-signed prescriptions, prosecutors argue that she simply forged her husband’s signature.

The Schneiders were arrested in 2007 for unlawfully prescribing drugs, overbilling for medical services, and for money laundering. Furthermore, the federal government alleges that from 2002 to 2007 patients at Schneider Medical Clinic who died of drug overdoses comprised 18% of such deaths in the county and surrounding areas in Kansas. Three more deaths occurred since the Schneiders were arrested and are now included in the new indictment.

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