Dr. Howard Gregg Diamond was back in federal court on Thursday as he and his attorney worked with the court and the government to figure out a way to help his former clients.
Charges Diamond faces include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, money laundering and abetting, distribution of controlled substances and health care fraud, and aiding and abetting. The charges also link Diamond’s prescriptions to the overdose deaths of seven people. Diamond pleaded not guilty to those charges. The Texas Medical Board suspended Diamond’s medical license in late July.
On Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Christine Nowak said Diamond’s former patients have called the court, the court clerk and Diamond’s attorney Pete Schulte looking for ways to get their records so they can continue their care.
She said it was her understanding that they had found a solution to that problem.
The solution was Frank Parker Lee, the managing partner of a company called Progressive Health Network, signing paperwork in the federal district courtroom Thursday that should allow Diamond’s clients to get their paperwork.
Lee said that the court could point those clients to his company. The company can be reached at 903-345-7246 or in person at 600 E. Taylor, suite 3011, in Sherman.
After court, Parker said clients will be able to pick up their records or make arrangements to continue their care with a doctor through Progressive Health Network.
Last month, Nowak ruled Diamond would remain in jail to await his day in federal court.
Nowak said Diamond’s attorney Peter Schulte didn’t rebut the government’s presumption that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure that Diamond would appear in court as required if let out and assure the safety of the community because there is probable cause to believe that Diamond committed an offense for which he could be sentenced to prison for 10 years or more.
The Associated Press reported that the overdose deaths occurred in three Texas cities — Abilene, McKinney and Sulphur Springs. Deaths mentioned in the indictment also occurred in four Oklahoma cities — Ardmore, Hugo, Idabel and Yukon.
Diamond’s prescribing of opioids outpaced every other Texas doctor save one in 2014, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CMS data shows that Diamond’s opioid claim count was 11,035 in 2014.
“The claim count is the number of Medicare Part D opioid drug claims, including original prescriptions and refills,” CMS says.
Last week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Rattan filed an unopposed motion to take Diamond’s case off the fast track. The motion said the case has been designated a complex case because the “voluminous discovery and the nature of the prosecution make it unreasonable to expect adequate preparations for pretrial proceedings or the trial itself within the time limits established.”
Rattan said the case involves approximately 1,000 patient files, hundreds of pages of pharmacy data, and financial records.
“Further, overdose deaths have been alleged in the indictment and multiple other deaths are linked to the defendant. The discovery contains over 40 gigabytes of information,” she said.
Rattan asked for the designation as a complex case and that the pretrial conference date and deadline be postponed to another time.