Today is National Doctors Day? So How About No Doctor Crime for, You Know, Just One Day?

Not a chance. Zip. Nada. Not even a niggling of a possibility of a single day with no monstrously criminal physician misbehavior. Here are just 2 of the 10 physicians found guilty of felony-level behavior, before this day is over:

Troy Doctors Confess to Stealing $33,000,000 in Medicare Fraud Case

Dr Waseem Alam

Dr Waseem Alam

The last 5 healthcare fraud criminals have confessed their roles in a massive $33 million Medicare fraud scheme that involved 16 defendants in Metro Detroit, the Justice Department reports today.

The defendants were among 243 criminals in 6 states, in a $712,000,000 fraud scam that federal officials have called the “largest national Medicare fraud takedown in history.”

Muhammad Tariq, age 60, of West Bloomfield Township, an owner of home health and hospice companies in Metro Detroit, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Healthcare Fraud, in Detroit Federal Court in Detroit.

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Dr Hatem Ataya

Dr Hatem Ataya

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Sean F. Cox accepted pleas on the same charges from four other defendants — Shahid Tahir, 45, and Manawar Javed, 40, both of Bloomfield Township; and two physicians, Doctor Waseem Alam, 60, of Troy, and Doctor Hatem Ataya, 47, of Flushing.

 

All 5 are scheduled to be sentenced in July.

Here’s more:

http://www.abc12.com/news/headlines/Mid-Michigan-doctor-arrested-charged-in-drug-overdose-deaths-of-patients–305886341.html

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“Paramedic Heretic” Author Interview

BOOKS ARTMedics in the News

“Paramedic Heretic” Author Interview

March 29, 2015 PatricParamedic Leave a comment Edit

Reading and Writing Addiction

Interview with K. Patrick McDonald, Author of “The Paramedic Heretic: Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions”

Reading and Writing Addiction was able to catch up with medical author Patrick McDonald this week. We are excited to share this insightful interview today with our readers:

RAWA: Patrick, when did you first discover that you were a writer?

KPM: When I was a youngster growing up in Indiana, I was sent to a small, very strict private school called St. Michael’s Academy. I was so shy that I found it very hard to even look the Jesuit priests and the Dominican nuns in the face and communicate with them. I was a terrified young fellow who figured out that it was far easier to write down my thoughts, than to utter them out loud. The nuns used to pat me on the shoulder and smile, telling me my notes to them were a joy. That’s when I learned the value of the written word.

RAWA: What is your favorite part of writing?

HERETIC COVER 1

KPM:  For me, the most enjoyable aspect is going back over a section or chapter and tweaking the sentences; honing the concepts; tossing out superfluous language; substituting good words with great words. I suspect I may well be an editor at heart.

RAWA: What do you think is the most challenging aspect of writing?

KPM:  Because I write mostly non-fiction, the challenges I face are often in the research. I envy the fiction writers who can let their imaginations run wild – stretch deep into the world of make-believe. Because my work is highly critical of the medical profession, I simply cannot afford to stretch very far, or exaggerate. I examine real events and use real names. I do not particularly enjoy putting in the hundreds of hours necessary to be as accurate as a non-fiction critique of healthcare needs to be. But in order to make the book fun to read, I do write non-fiction with the feel of fiction story line.

RAWA: Tell us about your latest release.

KPM:  The short version is that my classmates and I were faced with numerous ugly realities within the world of EMS before we even got out of medical school. One of our most popular lecturers, for example, was a physician convicted of murdering his wife and three children. From that day forward, I started taking notes, just to make sense of what I was experiencing. These were private notes, and it certainly never occurred to me that the appalling misbehavior of professionals around me would continue. But it did and it does, day after day. So one day I pulled out several thousand pages of dusty notes and started the process of assembling them into a cogent string of rescue experiences and how they often went wrong. The result is “The Paramedic Heretic.”

RAWA: How did you come up with the title of your book?

KPM:  Like many authors, I suppose, I bounced title ideas around for quite a while. In the end, I realized that two undeniable facts kept bumping into each other: my profound Catholic upbringing during a time when the word “heretic” was commonly used. And later, as a young adult, benefitting from a highly traditional medical education at UCSD School of Medicine in San Diego. It dawned on me one day that anybody who actually writes a scathing critique of his own profession might rightly be called a “heretic.” I find it disturbing and regrettable that I no longer have faith in much of what bills itself “the finest healthcare in the world.” The fact is, U.S. healthcare generally ranks between 25th and 37th.

RAWA: Who are some of your favorite authors?

KPM:  In fiction, I’ve always admired Anne Rice for marvelous fictive worlds, and Michael Crichton for medical suspense. For reality I love Joseph Wambaugh. My favorite non-fiction book is Marcia Clark’s memoir of the O.J. Simpson case, “Without a Doubt.”

RAWA: What do you think has influenced your writing style the most?

KPM:  Well, as so many of us who love words woven into stories, I’ve read a thousand books. But I think what I’ve tried to emulate are authors who teach you as they entertain you; express thoughts cleanly, while not going off the deep end with the flowery adjectives. Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard do this very well in their “Killing” series.

RAWA: As a writer, what is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

KPM:  In “Heretic” Doctor Max Harry Weil – considered the ‘father’ of critical care medicine – was impressed enough with the book that he agreed to write the Foreword. I am honored. More than two dozen other physicians were good enough to support what are – at times – extremely critical views of physician misbehavior. I am extremely proud that so many doctors actually support my blistering exposure of their incompetent peers.

RAWA: How did you get published?

KPM:  In 2009 my book “America’s Dumbest Doctors” was put out by Dog Ear Publishing. When they learned I was working on a second one in a similar vein, they contacted me and offered to publish “Heretic.” I spoke with two other publishers, but what truly separates Dog Ear from so many others is their terrific author reps. They work with you every step of the way, and they are available by phone just about every time you call. They simply do exactly what they promise, and the quality of their books is outstanding.

RAWA: Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?

KPM:  Yes. Create the finest end-product you possibly can. In order to do this, you need to read, read, read, and then write, write and write some more. There are some terrific online guides to writing Query letters to agents, and you will need to master this, too. Submit at least a dozen Query letters to appropriate agents. Then submit a dozen more. And while you are awaiting their responses, download a copy of Mark Levine’s, “The Fine Print of Self Publishing.” If and when you have no positive responses from literary agents – and that is a very real possibility – go for the most appropriate choice in Mark Levine’s book you can find. In fact, you may just discover – as I have – that the literary agent path is not the path for you.

Paramedic Heretic: Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions by K. Patrick McDonald is available at Amazon.com.

 

Daffy Doctors and Crime: ‘Houston, We Have a Problem’

Dr Enyibuaku Rita Uzoaga

Why work honestly when you can steal from the taxpayers?

 

A Houston Texas MD  was sentenced on March 24 to 3 1/2 years in federal prison. It appears she thought it was a bright idea to fraudulently bill Medicare and Medicaid, for hundreds of thousands of dollars in treatment and tests – which patients either never received or did not need.

“The appalling volume of illegal tests, prescriptions and bills generated by Doctor Enyibuaku Rita Uzoaga exceeded that of any physician any of us has ever heard of,” U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein told the court as he announced the sentence.

Med Fraud art

Uzoaga’s criminal business – which masqueraded as a medical clinic –  submitted more than $650,000 in claims to Medicare and Medicaid between 2006- 2010 for what are known as ‘vestibular’ exams, which are used to diagnose dizziness. About 50% the claims were paid.

Daffy Doctor Uzoaga, age 44, was found guilty by a jury last November on 6 felony charges  of Health Care Fraud and one charge of Conspiracy. The Texas Medical Board suspended her medical license this month.

A co-defendant,  age 55, who went by multiple names, one of which is Celestine Nwajfor, pleaded guilty on 4 related crimes and was sentenced to 3 years.

Nwajfor, who is not a physician, was running businesses in Houston called Cevine Health and Rehabilitation Center and Patstel Healthcare & Rehabilitation Services. Nwajfor was paid $100,000 by Uzoaga.

Uzoaga’s attorney, Donald J. DeGabrielle, argued Thursday for probation. He said sending her to prison would be a disservice to her thousands of patients.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Bradley, however, said that the scope of the fraud merited prison time for Uzoaga. And the judge agreed.

Here’s more:

https://www.fbi.gov/houston/press-releases/2014/houston-physician-arrested-in-health-care-fraud-conspiracy

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Another Day; Another California Doctor Sent to Jail

 

Dr Thomas Lin

Dr Thomas Lin

In the city of Monterey Park a physician was sent off to county jail on Friday for 2 years. It seems he thought it was a wise career move to prescribe powerful diet pills for no medical purpose. He was also convicted of insurance fraud, according to a statement by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

 

Doctor Thomas Lin, age 46, had already pleaded “no contest” last December to 2 felony charges.

“Lin provided diet pills known as phentermine, a controlled substance, through his pediatrics clinic known as ‘Kid’s M.D.’ on Atlantic Boulevard in Monterey Park,” according to the L.A.D.A. statement.

The wayward MD also fraudulently billed MediCal and other insurers for services never rendered, prosecutors said.

“Over the course of several months in 2012, investigators from California Medical Board investigators posed as patients and were able to buy phentermine from the doctors with no physical examination by Doctor Lin,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “Investigators received the drug either by paying his front office staff or receiving the drug for free.”

After serving two years in custody, Lin will remain on mandatory supervision for another two years, officials said.

Lin was initially named in a 55-count indictment. If convicted on all original charges, he could have gotten 34 years in state prison.

Of course as a physician drug-pusher – as opposed to a common street pusher – the doctor gets 24 months punishment, instead of 34 years.

America. What a country.

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Georgia MD Admits ‘Yes, I Really Did Steal the Money’

“This guilty plea will hold [Windsor] accountable for his greed-based criminal conduct.” FBI Special Agent J. Britt Johnson.

Dr Robert E. Windsor

Dr Robert E Windsor

In the city of Atlanta a physician has changed his “not guilty” plea to “guilty” to Health Care Fraud. He now admits that he did indeed deliberately and routinely bill insurance companies for surgical monitoring services that he never performed.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Georgia, Doctor Robert E. Windsor of Forsyth County, confessed his crimes Friday before U.S. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg.

Evidence presented in court by investigators exposed the doctor’s fraud through analysis of Medicare billing records, which showed the wayward  MD had stolen more than $1,100,000 for medical services he did not perform, over a 3-year period from January 2010 – July 2013.

J. Britt Johnson, FBI Special Agent in charge, described the doctor’s behavior as, “not only criminal. It was reckless and irresponsible.”

“While Windsor’s repeated practice of falsely billing for services that he himself did not render, is at the heart of these federal charges, the potential harm to those patients who were not getting the required services, should not be overlooked,” Johnson said.

U.S. Attorney John Horn said “this physician put patients at risk by passing the surgical monitoring work he was paid to perform to an unauthorized medical assistant and then lied about it.”

“This doctor’s scam left patients without a qualified physician monitoring their neurological health during surgery and cheated other health care providers out of over $1 million,” Horn said.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Windsor entered into a contract with American Neuro-monitoring Associates, a Maryland-based corporation, to provide a medical service called intra-operative monitoring. The procedure involves a physician observing a patient’s nerve and spinal chord activity during surgery to prevent dangerous side effects.

Windsor was responsible for providing a medical report after each surgery, and ANA and its sister company would bill patients and health care benefit programs, including private health insurance companies, for the monitoring.

But during that three-year span, the doctor routinely assigned the work to a medical assistant who impersonated him by using his log-in credentials.

Medical Assistants are not physicians and are not legally allowed to perform physician-level monitoring.

Windsor submitted reports falsely stating that he had conducted the monitoring, which ANA and its sister company relied upon in billing health care benefit programs for his services.

On several occasions, Windsor billed ANA for monitoring services he purportedly performed when he was actually traveling on international flights.

“This guilty plea will hold [Windsor] accountable for his greed-based criminal conduct,” said Johnson with the FBI.

The daffy doctor’s sentencing is scheduled for June 3.

Here’s more:

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga/pr/georgia-doctor-pleads-guilty-false-billing-surgical-monitoring-performed-medical

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Doctor Named ‘Heiney’ Gets His Butt into Trouble

Dr Jake Paul Heiney

Dr Jake Paul Heiney

A well-known orthopedic surgeon in Ohio found himself in handcuffs and headed to jail last month, after the Lucas County Common Pleas Court determined that some of his examination techniques were, well . . . a little off-kilter.

Doctor Jake Paul Heiney, age 41 and a resident of Lambertville, was found guilty of two felony charges of Gross Sexual Imposition. He was also convicted on another charge of falsifying medical records. The prosecution was able to prove that Heiney groped two female patients’ breasts and pulling down one of the women’s pants during an exam. Judge Gene Zmuda revoked his bail after the verdicts were read.

“It is our duty to seek justice and protect the public’s safety,” said Lindsay Navarre, Lucas County Assistant Prosecutor. “By convicting Jake Heiney and ensuring he will never practice medicine again, we have accomplished both of those goals.”

After four days of testimony, the jury of 6 men and 6 women deliberated 4 hours before returning the verdicts. Heiney showed no emotion, though his wife and other family members cried as he was led out of the courtroom.

Dr Jake Heiney

Dr. Heiney; a poster child for nominative determinism

 

Both victims, as well as three former patients of Heiney’s from Michigan, took the witness stand during his trial.

One 42-year-old patient described a sexual assault on February 12, 2015, when she saw Heiney for shoulder pain. She testified the wayward MD  pulled down her bra and squeezed her breasts.

Another patient, age 33, visited Heiney last March 12 for knee pain. She told the court she also received a totally inappropriate breast exam and, later, with no explanation, Heiney pulled down her pants and underwear and poked her behind and upper thigh, and brushing his fingers over her private area. Both victims testified no one else was in the exam0 room with Heiney when the assaults happened.

While prosecutor Navarre told the court that Heiney committed the offenses for his own sexual gratification, defense attorneys tried to convince the jury that Heiney used accepted medical procedures but lacked a proper bedside manner, when he failed to let his patients know what he was going to do to try to diagnose the cause of their pain.

Heiney was sentenced to a whopping 6 months in jail.

In a separate case, Heiney is facing still another, similar trial in Monroe County Circuit Court, on 4 additional charges of criminal sexual assault, for incidents involving two other adult female patients at his Lambertville office.

Here’s another look at this particular medical muttonhead:

http://www.wtol.com/story/31303487/dr-heiney-found-guilty-on-all-charges-in-sex-crime-trial

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