WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — A pain management doctor formerly practicing in Marshall County has filed a lawsuit against a local hospital and fellow physicians, claiming he was “squeezed out of the market,” according to the West Virginia Record.
Chalifoux owned Valley Pain Management in McMechen. He was accused of billing Medicaid and other insurers for visits when he was not in the office.
In 2017, Chalifoux was indicted on 32 counts of healthcare fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud, but federal prosecutors later dropped the charges.
According to the paper, Dr. Roland F. Chalifoux Jr. filed a lawsuit in federal court against Wetzel County Hospital, West Virginia United Health System (doing business as West Virginia University Health System or WVU Health System,) Dr. Donald Blum, Dr. Niraj Mohan, Dr. Matthew Sokos, Dr. Hany Tadros, Sean Smith and Jessica Huffman.
Chalifoux’s complaint states that Wetzel County Hospital suspended his privileges on June 16, 2022 after an incident on June 6 but allowed him to perform three more procedures before being suspended. He appealed his suspension to the hospital’s Medical Executive Committee, which upheld it.
He then sought an injunction in Wetzel County Circuit Court but did not receive it.
WCH and WVU reported the suspension to the National Practitioner Data Bank and the West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine.
The West Virginia Board of Medicine dismissed the complaint against Chalifoux in February 2023.
Chalifoux claims WCH and WVU forced him out of the pain management treatment market and recruited a new doctor who also specializes pain management, Dr. Luay Mrad.
According to the West Virginia Record, “WCH and WVU promoted the hiring of Mrad with billboards touting, “Your pain is under new management.”
Chalifoux claims his reputation has been damaged by the defendants causing him financial harm and other damages.
He says the suspension has made it almost “impossible” for him to “obtain new medical staff privileges at any other hospital or licensure in other states,” according to the West Virginia Record.
Chalifoux seeks compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney fees and court costs.
He is being represented by Scott H. Kaminski of Ray Winton & Kelley in Charleston.
Chalifoux tells 7News that he is still practicing Interventional Pain in Wheeling in Ohio County.