- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 10, 2008


New rules delay vital prescriptions

Some doctors and pharmacists are arguing new enforcement of prescription drug rules is creating delays for D.C. Medicaid patients who urgently need their medicine.

About three weeks ago, the city’s new pharmacy benefits contractor began requiring several patients to have prescriptions for some pain medication and gastrointestinal drugs preapproved by city Medicaid officials.

The requirement is causing delays for some patients receiving medicine that had been prescribed to them for years, doctors say.

Rob Maruca of the D.C. Medical Assistance Administration said he wrote to doctors with Medicaid patients Friday, outlining the changes.

He also included emergency provisions, such as allowing pharmacists to give a three-day supply of drugs when a doctor can’t be reached for authorization.

Dr. Amy Kossoff, a doctor at area homeless shelters, said she now has to spend extra time calling the city Medicaid office and pharmacies for her patients.

Police probe two homicides

D.C. police are investigating two shooting deaths, including one in which a 15-year-old boy was killed.

Officers responded to a call at about 1:35 a.m. Saturday on Southern Avenue in Southeast, where they found Drevon Proctor, 15, of Oxon Hill, with gunshot wounds, police said.

Drevon was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

In a separate incident, authorities found a man’s body inside a vehicle on Georgia Avenue in Northwest at about 9:15 p.m. Friday.

Officers found Stanley Daniels, 48, of Landover, with gunshot wounds to his head and neck. He was pronounced dead at the scene



Judge admits to hit-and-run

A Wythe County juvenile court judge has pleaded guilty to hit-and-run.

Michael Keith Blankenship was fined $200 Friday in Powhatan County General District Court. He also was ordered to pay for the damage he caused April 27 when his car ran off the side of a road, hitting a phone line box and uprooting a tree.

It was Judge Blankenship’s second court appearance as a defendant in less than three months. On May 20 he pleaded guilty in Smyth County General District Court to reckless driving and refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer test after being pulled over on Interstate 81.

He was fined $100 and his driver’s license was suspended for a year.

A spokeswoman for the Virginia Supreme Court said Judge Blankenship is on administrative leave.


Credit card used to defraud Navy

A former sailor has been sentenced to two years in prison for using a Navy credit card to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the government.

Yokeia M. Gibbs was sentenced in federal court in Norfolk after pleading guilty to theft of government property.

Gibbs, who now lives in Columbia, S.C., had been issued the card so she could buy supplies on behalf of her command.

Gibbs used the card to buy 162 computers, 65 big-screen TVs and 22 digital cameras, which she and an unnamed person then sold, according to court documents. She defrauded the government out of $363,243, the Naval Audit Service said.

Gibbs’s supervisors failed to adequately monitor the use of cards, said defense attorney David Price.

More arrests are possible, prosecutor Kevin Comstock said.



Potomac fever strikes 3 horses

The Star Equestrian Center on Greencastle Pike near Hagerstown has reported three cases of Potomac horse fever.

One of the horses had to be put down when the infections occurred last month, said Ginny Gaylor, director of the center. None the center’s horses is infected with the disease now.

Potomac horse fever is spread by aquatic insects. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and lethargy.


Attorneys called on ethics issues

Two Baltimore defense lawyers are in the unusual position of being called to the stand to face questions about witness tampering.

On Friday, a judge ruled jurors could hear testimony from a prosecution witness who claims defense attorney Leslie Stein urged him to change his story in a murder case.

Mr. Stein denies acting improperly, saying the witness told him he had made a terrible mistake in accusing his client and wanted to change his testimony.

In another case, defense attorney Ivan Bates took the stand Tuesday in a robbery trial following allegations he negotiated a deal in which the victim would be paid for not pursuing civil or criminal “remedies.”

The agreement was to prevent civil action, Mr. Bates said.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy met with top deputy state’s attorneys Friday to review the cases.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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