Doctor pleads guilty to health care fraud, opioid diversion charges

HARRISBURG — A doctor pleaded guilty Tuesday to defrauding WellSpan Health of York and Medicare, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced.

Dr. Charles Gartland, 59, admitted guilt to one count each of health care fraud and obtaining possession of a controlled substance by deception.

Between September 2014 and August 2017, Dr. Gartland wrote 221 prescriptions for a number of controlled substances, including Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, and Morphine, according to U.S. Attorney David Freed. The prescriptions were issued by Dr. Gartland under the names of three of his family members but were never intended for the medical care or treatment of the family members, the United States Attorney’s Office release states.

The prescriptions, which were filled at five pharmacies in York, Chester and Lancaster Counties, were intended for Dr. Gartland’s personal use. WellSpan and Medicare were defrauded by Dr. Gartland as they paid claims submitted by the pharmacies for the prescriptions.

The Chester County resident was released on supervised release pending completion of a Pre-Sentence Report. A sentencing date has not been set.

Health Care Fraud is punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Obtaining Possession of a Controlled Substance by Deception is punishable by up to four years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.