At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and local law enforcement raided a pain clinic in North Baltimore. The raid pushed health officials to alert Baltimore medical providers, emergency service providers, hospital emergency rooms and treatment centers, of a potential spike in drug withdrawals and overdoses among local patients.
DEA partnered with the office of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, Baltimore and Ann Arundel County police to raid the offices of Dr. Kofi Shaw-Taylor, Westside Medical Group at 4419 Falls Road in North Baltimore.
A spokeswoman for the Maryland Attorney General’s office, Raquel Coombs, said 67-year old Shaw-Taylor, of Annapolis, was charged with Medicaid fraud and later released on bail.
Dr. Kofi Shaw-Taylor is a practicing urologist, with hospital privileges at the Spring Grove Hospital in Catonsville and several other area hospitals. On the Maryland health department’s website, Shaw-Taylor is listed as a urology consultant.
An alert system was set up by the health department in response to the growing opioid epidemic that is responsible for a record number of overdose deaths in the city, mainly contributed to fentanyl and heroin.
The clinic services an undetermined number of patients, but health official documented in its alert that a “significant number of patients struggling with addiction may be at an increased risk for overdose and/or go into withdrawal without medical support.”