New Brunswick nurse charged

A charge of filing phony prescriptions has been laid against aformer nurse at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in New Brunswick. The charge is insurance fraud for filling phony prescriptions for a narcotic cough medicine.

Investigators report that, Lisa M. Guensch, 42, of Morning Glory Road in Warren Township, allegedly filled as many as 16 fraudulent prescriptions. This was done at three different pharmacies in Somerset County. She used her insurance benefits for a total of about $1,125.

The problem became apparent when a local pharmacist checked a prescription for a third refill within a month of the narcotic cough medicine, Tussionex. This came to the attention of UMDNJ's Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) where Guensch had worked.

The pattern laid out was that the first prescription was filled on May 10, 2008 and the second on May 25, 2008. When the third refill was attempted the nurse practitioner who had supposedly written the prescription was no longer employed at CINJ and had moved out of state.

An investigation by UMDNJ showed that Guensch's Pennsylvania nursing license was suspended in February 2008 for drug abuse. Termination for Guensch from her position at UMDNJ took place in June 2008.

It is reported that Guensch allegedly had been calling in fraudulent prescriptions for herself over the phone while working at CINJ. She had used various doctors' DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) numbers, investigators said.

Guensch turned herself in July 17, to detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office Insurance Fraud Unit. Bail was set at $15,000.

The insurance answer is that health care and/or group plans are monitored and must not be misused. Patterns are watched that show inappropriate use of prescriptions, particularly narcotics.