A government press release reports the arrest of the owner of the Michigan Hematology Centers with charges of widespread Medicare fraud. In the past two years, these centers billed Medicare for a total of $35 million. The doctor allegedly prescribed unnecessary treatments and chemotherapy to patients who either did not need it or could not benefit from it.
Putting patients at risk of chemotherapy side effects, the doctor has reportedly falsely diagnosed cancer and began treatment for those that did not have it. Chemotherapy was allegedly administered to patients in remission as well as end-of-life patients.
The FBI Special Agent in Charge, Robert D. Foley, III, was quoted saying that “violating patients’ trust and placing them at risk through fraudulent abuse of our nation’s health care system is deplorable and a crime which the FBI takes most seriously. The FBI remains committed to the arrest and prosecution of those who commit health care fraud.”
The doctor’s fraudulent behavior was not limited to chemotherapy. He also reportedly ordered positron emission tomography (PET) scans knowing that they were unnecessary. There are reports of falsified diagnoses to justify hematology treatments for conditions such as anemia and fatigue. Of the $35 million billed to Medicare by the combined centers, approximately $25 million is attributed to one individual.
More information is beginning to emerge, such as patients with other urgent conditions being administered chemotherapy before receiving necessary treatment. One such case was a man who suffered a head injury from a fall and was delayed a visit to the emergency room to receive therapy under this doctor’s authority. The patient was taken to the ER later and the head injury proved fatal.
Federal authorities are currently collecting evidence from all of the centers involved in this fraud scheme, pending prosecution. If you or a loved one suffered an injury as a result of medical malpractice or negligence, Lopez McHugh will provide a free initial consultation.