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Tumbling Tumbleweeds - a Continuing Look at the Schneider Trial in KansasMarianne Skolek Salem-News.com
One witness testified that while being treated by Schneider she received pain narcotics such as -- methadone, Lortabs, Soma and Xanax; a combination similar to other patients who had died of drug overdoses.
(WICHITA, Kansas) - A former Haysville, Kansas police chief, a Wichita firefighter, a truck driver and a mother were among witnesses -- testifying on behalf of Stephen Schneider this past week during the 6th week of trial -- saying Schneider helped them overcome illnesses -- and that he was "very attentive."
Schneider, a former Haysville doctor of osteopathic medicine, and his wife, a nurse are on trial on federal charges stemming from their practices of prescribing painkillers leading to patients deaths.
Michael Hadley, a Wichita firefighter, said Schneider helped save his daughter's life by discovering her cancer quickly and getting her treatment within days. James Kitchings, a former Haysville police chief, said he and his wife were treated at the Schneider Medical Clinic for back pain. "Dr. Schneider always has been very attentive and down to earth," Kitchings said. "I call him cowboy-like in his approach."
"Did Dr. Schneider help you?" defense attorney Lawrence Williamson asked.
"I got rid of my back pain," Kitchings said.
On cross-examination, prosecutor Tanya Treadway indicated that most of the defense witnesses weren't on long-term pain treatment.
One witness, identified only by her first name to protect her medical privacy, said Schneider treated her for pain from cancer and from several car accidents.
"Did he tell you he'd had patients overdose?" Treadway asked.
"No," the woman said.
"Did he tell you he'd had patients die?" Treadway asked.
The woman said he didn't.
The witness testified that while being treated by Schneider she received a variety of pain narcotics such as -- methadone, Lortabs, Soma and Xanax.
It was a combination similar to other patients who had died of drug overdoses.
She commented from the witness stand -- "If you take it like your supposed to, nothing bad will happen." Without the medicine, she said she couldn't walk down stairs. With the medication, she could attend her children's sporting events.
From KWCH Eyewitness News in Wichita, Kansas:
The Schneiders operated the Schneider Clinic from 2002 until their arrest in 2007.
NUMBER OF PATIENTS AT THE SCHNEIDER MEDICAL CLINIC:
Patients who received prescriptions for controlled substances: 5,253
Patients covered by Medicaid who received prescriptions for pain meds: 3,131
INSURANCE CLAIMS BY SCHNEIDER PATIENTS:
Claims for patients receiving prescriptions for controlled substances: 199,602 (69% of total)
INSURANCE PAYMENTS FOR PRESCRIPTION PAIN MEDS (rounded down to nearest thousand dollars):
Medicaid payments: $4,059,000 (67% of total)
INSURANCE PAYMENTS TO SCHNEIDER MEDICAL CLINIC FOR MEDICAL SERVICES:
Top 5 Payors:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas: $951,000
Preferred Health: $772,000
Medicare, Part B (physician side of Medicare): $707,000
FirstGuard (Medicaid-managed HMO plans): $583,000
Week 7 of the trial resumes next week.
This article written as a voice for Darrell H age 24, died July 17, 2004.
Salem-News.com Reporter Marianne Skolek, is an Activist for Victims of OxyContin throughout the United States and Canada. In July 2007, she testified against Purdue Pharma in Federal Court in Virginia at the sentencing of their three CEO's who pled guilty to charges of marketing OxyContin as less likely to be addictive or abused to physicians and patients. She also testified against Purdue Pharma at a Judiciary Hearing of the U.S. Senate in July 2007. Marianne works with government agencies and private attorneys in having a voice for her daughter Jill, who died in 2002 after being prescribed OxyContin, as well as the voice for scores of victims of OxyContin. She has been involved in her work for the past 7-1/2 years and is currently working on a book that exposes Purdue Pharma for their continued criminal marketing of OxyContin.
Marianne is a nurse having graduated in 1991 as president of her graduating class. She also has a Paralegal certification. Marianne served on a Community Service Board for the Courier News, a Gannet newspaper in NJ writing articles predominantly regarding AIDS patients and their emotional issues. She was awarded a Community Service Award in 1993 by the Hunterdon County, NJ HIV/AIDS Task Force in recognition of and appreciation for the donated time, energy and love in facilitating a Support Group for persons with HIV/AIDS.
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