Skip to main content.

Contraindications: Dr. Kachun Clement Yeung

Contraindications: Dr. Kachun Clement Yeung

Picture of William Heisel

The transaction was quick.

In the parking lot of a pastry shop, a patient handed Dr. Kachun ClementYeung $400. Yeung handed the patient a prescription for 800 milligrams of OxyContin. It took less than five minutes.

The exchange was part of 23,000 milligrams worth of the addictive painkiller that Yeung prescribed to patients who were never properly diagnosed with chronic pain during a 168 day period in 2002.

The pastry shop patient was an undercover agent. It took the U.S. Attorney's Office four years to finally charge Yeung. It took the state's Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs two more years to take away his license.

Hawaii seems to be hiding something here. They will provide you a stack of documents related to the federal case but not much about the state's own work. It would be good to press for the original charging documents and any exhibits. Also, has this guy ever been dinged before, forced to take a class in prescribing methods, sent to rehab, etc.?

A more important question is, "Who are the other pastry shop pill pushers?"

Yeung's scheme points to one way to answer this.

Yeung billed the Hawaii State Medicaid program for treatments even after he had collected money from the patients up front, according to the grand jury that charged him in 2006 with violating federal drug laws.

This shows pluck. Doling out drugs to patients who shouldn't be getting them. Charging the patients and then turning around and charging the government.

Why not ask the state's Medicaid program for a list of the Top 100 Oxycodone or even Schedule II narcotics providers? The DEA should give you this information, because they track it, but they won't. I've often thought a good First Amendment case could be made here, but it also could end up being declared a law enforcement matter and therefore off limits the same way a beat cop's notebook is off limits.

Leave A Comment

Announcements

The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors to serve as thought leaders in one of the most innovative and rewarding arenas in journalism today – “engaged reporting” that puts the community at the center of the reporting process. Learn more about the positions and apply to join our team.

Nowhere was the massive COVID wave of winter 2021 more devastating than in America’s nursing homes, where 71,000 residents died in the surge. In this webinar, we’ll hear from the lead reporter in the USA Today series "Dying for Care," who will show how an original data analysis and an exhaustive reporting effort revealed a pattern of unnecessary deaths that compounded the pandemic’s brutal toll. Sign-up here!

CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY

Follow Us

Facebook


Twitter

CHJ Icon
ReportingHealth