Top Medicare Prescribers in Koreatown LA

ProPublica recently analyzed the prescribing habits of 1.6 million medical practitioners nationwide and found that a tiny fraction of them are having an outsized impact on spending in Medicare’s massive drug program.

The study is a treasure trove of structured data that include doctors’ names, the number of the doctors’ patients who are under Medicare Part D, number and costs of claims filled under the government program, the percentage of each doctor’s claims for brand-name drugs, as well as which doctors had received how much from drug companies (at least those that were disclosed).

Under the subheading Part D’s Ethnic Hot Spots was this notable statistic: Along one mile-and-a-half stretch of Los Angeles’ Koreatown, seven primary care doctors have some of the highest rates of name-brand prescribing in the country.

Top prescribing doctors in the Koreatown area include the ones in the following zip codes:

44 doctors in the 90020 – Sang Baik, Young-jik Lee, Brian Huh, Mark Song, Min Cha, Andrew Kim, Seung Kim, Andrew Cho, Seon Whang…

47 doctors in the 90006 – Moses Hyun, Jae Yoo, Dong Shin, Kyung Han, Dong Chung…

11 doctors in the 90005 – Hun Kang, Sun Shin, Bo Paik, thick Chow, Yong Kim, Hyun Kim, Sang Choi…

26 doctors in the 90004 – Julio Guzman, Marcle Filart, Alejandro Gil, Il Kim, Hyang Eun Sohn, Humberto Florian, Renato Mungcal, Leandro Gatus, Faye Montegarde, Carlos Martinez…

22 doctors in the 90010 – Sonwoo Lee, Edwin Choi, Yun Kim, Sharon Huggins, Joseph Lee, Hyo-Rang Lee, Theodore Friedman…

Among 6,534 doctors throughout the entire country whose data in the year 2011 were analyzed, SANG BAIK of 3663 W. 6th Street in Koreatown was ranked 2nd in terms of Medicare Part D prescriptions filled (including refills) and ranked second in terms of total retail price of all prescriptions, which was $6.75 million. He had 1,547 patients who received at least one drug in Part D and 96% of his patients were 65 years or older.

How does Dr. Sang Baik compare to the average of his peers in California who share the same medical specialty of internal medicine?

  • About 53% of this provider’s prescriptions were for brand-name drugs, compared to an average of 23%.
  • The average price of a prescription from this provider was $102, compared to $65 among his peers.
  • He filled an average of 43 prescriptions (including refills) per patient, compared to an average of 17.
  • He was the top prescriber in California for the drug Simvastatin filling out 1,527 prescriptions, including refills, in one year alone.

As of press time, there were unconfirmed reports that Dr. Sang Baik’s practice on 6th Street closed in 2013.

Additional data harvests from the Propublica project will be added to this page after further analysis.