April 1, 2020 Recent Legal News

Criminal

Fraud

Healthcare

Malpractice

Peer Review and Employment

Criminal

US v Masood 
Charged

Dr. Muhammad Masood, a Pakistani physician who was employed as a reascher in Rochester, Minnesota, was arrested and charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS.  

Connecticut v Edgar
Charged

Dr. Cory Edgar, an ortho at UConn, has been charged with a breach of the peace.  He is said to have intentionally coughed upon and hugged nurses causing them fear.   He is not thought to have the virus.    Top

Fraud

US v Millennium Association
Settlement

The Texas medical group has agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle allegations that they billed Medicare for sleep studies done without qualified credentialed techs.  

US v Paulus
6th Circuit

The 6th vacated the conviction of Dr. Richard Paulus, a cardiologist at Kings Daughter's Medical Center.  He was wrongly convicted of fraud for billing fed med and private insurers for invasive cardiac procedures that were not necessary.  The feds did not turn over evidence that was exculpatory.  The feds used a very small sample to determine Dr. Paulus did 50%-70% unnecessary procedures.  

US v Cain
Guilty

Ted Cain and his wife Julie were found guilty by a jury of defrauding Medicare of over $10 million.  They billed for work never performed.  This was a civil trial and the money now needs to be repaid.

US v Tran
Settlement

Dr. Thi Thien Nguyen Tran of Florida and his practice Village Dermatology have agreed to pay $1.744 million to settle allegations that he submitted inflated claims to Medicare around Mohs. 

US v Anthem
Filed

The feds have accused the insurer of filing wrong codes to the fed in order to raise reimbursement for its Medicare Part C plan.  

US v Chip's Discount Drugs
Settlement

The Hazelhurst, Georgia, pharmacy and its owner Rogers Wood, Jr. have agreed to pay $2.1 million to settle allegations that it unlawfully dispensed illegitimate controlled substances.  These were written by Dr. Frank Bynes, who is serving time for writing the meds.

Healthcare

Patient v US
D Conn

The court has said that patients admitted to a hospital and then changed to "observation status" must be given an opportunity to challenge that reclassification.  The court stated that HHS must establish a procedure for the protest.         Top

Malpractice

Williams v Dimensions Health
4th Circuit

Williams was taken to the hospital after an accident.  He was seen in the hospital ED and admitted for 11 days and had multiple procedures performed.  He was transferred to another hospital where bilateral leg amputations were performed.  He sued the first hospital for EMTALA claims and lost.  Let us hope the attorney who took this case lost big money.

Lopez v Ledesma
Ca App

Lopez took an infant daughter to the dermatologist Dr. Lopez.  She was seen by a PA who did an excison and biopsy.  No malignancy.  The lesion returned and was treated as a wart.  Eventually a surgeon excised the lesion.  No malignancy.  A year later she had a bump in her neck and a biopsy showed metastatic melanoma.  She died.  Lopez sued the derm and the PA and won $11,000 in compensatory and $4.2 million in non econ damages.  This was reduced to $250,000 under MICRA and Lopez appealed.  She lost as the PA, even if not supervised well, is still covered under the physician agency agreement and therefore under MICRA.         Top

Peer Review and Employment

Saggar v St. Alexius
Filed

The CEO was fired by the bankruptcy trustee managing the bankrupt hospital.  Saggar, the prior ED supervisor, thinks his firing as CEO was about his complaints about patient care and his wanting to allow an empty wing to be used as a homeless shelter.  The trustee says it was because it was too difficult to co-mange the hospital.   

Mazurkiewicz v Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Filed

The RN was fired and is suing because she believes the firing was the result of her warning the masks provided by the hospital were inadequate.  They were not the N-95 masks.  The hospital had a rule that N-95 masks were not to be worn on hospital grounds.  She came to work wearing her own n-95 mask and was fired.           Top

Archive

DISCLAIMER: Although this article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented.